Josep Tarres has led the photo booth specialist Digital Centre for 15 years, longer than any other company he’s been involved with. But it was only a chance encounter in Japan that brought him into the world of amusements...
How did you first get involved with the amusements industry?
In 1996 I was owner of a touristic company, and as an innovation company we had to have the very last trends, ideas, products or concepts from any part of the world.
We travelled to Japan and we found the first digital sticker photo booth, and for me it was clear that this new concept could work in our company, because it was revolutionary and because we could very easily keep and print our consumers’ experiences.
Why? What attracted you to this sector?
The ease of creating an innovative product for our consumer.
Do you think it has changed much since then?
In my opinion the most important change is the technology. Photo booths were printing by chemical analogue technology, which demand a high level of professional maintenance and was very slow. Nowadays it’s all digital, cleaner, faster and easier, and the integration of social media allows the business a new revolution that will change our industry again.
What are the biggest positive factors for the sector right now – the drivers of growth and development?
The existing technology that is there, but we have to be clever in using it. The social concept is important for business development – we make a social product that lets people share, gather and enjoy, with perceptions, senses and emotions. This is the key and we have to be next to our consumers’ needs.
And what are the negative ones – the obstacles to growth?
One of the worst things for an innovative company such as Digital Centre is the illegal copies. We are losing a lot of time, effort and money keeping people from copying our intellectual property, created with a lot of work.
But worse than the illegal copiers is to see how part of the industry is selling and supporting those copies, so giving credibility to the copiers who are contributing to destroying innovation in the industry.
If we could concentrate that time and money in R&D, for sure we could take the industry to the next level.
Looking at your whole career, what do you reckon was your smartest move (large or small)?
Becoming part of the amusement industry by accident.
And your dumbest one?
Trusting the wrong people.
Where do you hope you’ll be, professionally, in ten years’ time?
Celebrating Digital Centre’s 25th anniversary as a worldwide reference in innovation for the amusements industry.
And finally – if you’d never embarked on this career, what other line(s) of work would you have liked to pursue?
I always enjoy travel, meeting new people and discovering new behaviours, so I think it would have been something relating to travelling and tourism.
17 November 1970
UAB – Barcelona Autonomous University
FUB – Barcelona Foundation University
1990 Founder, Quads Manresa (ATV promoter & sales). In 1991 transferred to brother.
1991 Founder, Bonaventura (one-week ATV trips in the European Pyrenees). In 1996 transferred to brother.
1993 Founder, JJ Tot T (ATV adventures for groups). In 1996 transferred to brother.
1995 Founder, Yeti Club (outdoor experiences for corporations). Sold in 2003.
1997-present Founder, Digital Centre
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