Alfredo GangotenaChief Marketing Officer, MasterCard Worldwide

What did you wake up thinking about this morning? We're always thinking about how MasterCard can become the passport to whatever you want to do, and how to bring that to life more and more through the digital and social media technology that's putting these experiences at your fingertips. We signed Beyonce's [Mrs. Carter World Tour] just at the time of the Grammys. We're going to be doing 100 concerts basically covering Europe, the United States, Latin America and Asia. So how do we create a lifetime memory for our card members as opposed to just going to the show, then go home and sleep? We want to create one of the best moments in their life. That's something that will stick in your mind for a long, long time, and that's what we're trying to deliver with Beyonce.

Describe a lesson that you learned from a failure. When I was 8, growing up in South America, I saw the ocean for the first time in my life. The waves were gigantic, and I didn't really know how to swim. But my friend's dad said, "It's very simple. You run as fast as you can, then--poof! Into the wave. Just go with it. You know what, you're going to be fine two seconds later." So that's what we're doing. Don't hide from the damn challenge because the challenge will crush you. If you are afraid of it, just confront it, and you are going to be a better person.

What will define your career in the coming year? We have a concept that we have labeled Priceless Cities, which means how to make the place that people have chosen to live in or travel to priceless. Think about New York City. There's 8 million people and probably 1,000 events every day. You probably know about one of them and you're ignoring 999 of them. I always think about the artists that are in the 999, and they're not showing up. So how about MasterCard being Match.com between you and your city, you and the village of New York where you have decided to spend 70 years of your life? We launched in New York 18 months ago and have expanded the concept to 21 cities around the world-literally covering the four corners of the planet.

Name a project that you're not affiliated with that has most impressed you in the past year. I watch carefully Coca-Cola and what they call "Open Happiness." They're very clearly associated with music. I happen to believe that our tag line "Priceless" is one notch above "Open Happiness," because it provides even more meaning to life. But we're in the same kind of thinking-bringing good things to life.

Name a desert island disc. "Meddle" by Pink Floyd, and the song "Echoes." It's 20-30 minutes long and one of the most striking pieces of music ever written. It's essentially all about David Gilmour and his mastery of the guitar. I can close my eyes when I listen to it and move on to my next life at that time.