Uber vs. Taxis: The Chilean Version

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Note: This post originally appeared in spanish in El Mercurio, one of Chile’s largest newspapers with the title Uber contra los taxistas. This battle has played out in major cities around the world and is currently coming to a head in Chile, with the same mass taxi protests and government intervention to ban Uber and similar services.

The national debate has been focused on the battle between Uber, Cabify and “yellow cabs” during the past few weeks. Most people have focused on this battle as if it were the only battle between technology and the status quo happing right now and have only focused on one part of the battle.

As a tech investor and also a foreigner, I’ve seen this battle many times from afar in the US and from close up with companies that we’ve invested in. Continue reading…

Startups: Charge US prices, with Latin American Costs

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A version of this post originally appeared in Spanish as a column in El Mercurio, with the title Startups: vender a precios de Estados Unidos con costos chilenos.

The internet’s magic is that you can connect anywhere with any part of the world from where ever you are. We notice it when we talk with friends living in other countries, connect on social media, look at photos from around the world and keep up to date with the latest news from all corners of the world. We’re really living in a global world.

Tech startups are also global. A startup’s market can be the entire world from day one. But many Chileans only think about technology businesses from the US and Europe that have gotten to the Chilean market.

We’ve all heard about foreign startups that sell into the chilean market and many chileans have made purchases from sites like Amazon, Asos, Book Depository, Aliexpress and more. But the vast majority think it’s impossible to do the opposite: sell in the US from Chile. Continue reading…

Pushing the Lead Domino

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Pushing the lead domino is another heuristic I’ve been using lately. In the words of Tim Ferriss, “which of these [tasks], if done, make the the rest easier or irrelevant?”

Most people know about the 80/20 principal, in that 20% leads to 80% of gains, but the lead domino is even more powerful. It’s the 80/20 principal on steroids, making it easier for me to focus on what’s important. There’s always one thing that I can be working on that will make everything I’m doing much easier. Continue reading…

Property Simple: Automated Social Media Advertising for Real Estate Agents

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Property Simple, a company that helps real estate agents sell and capture more properties, is our first portfolio company to make the jump from Latin America to the US market. Adrian Fisher, Property Simple’s founder, moved to Los Angeles full time a month ago to continue to help real estate agents sell more faster.

Property Simple helps real estate agents in two ways.

Property Simple’s first product allows real estate agents to improve their personal branding and stay top of mind within their network by automatically posting property listings and unique agent information to an agent’s own social media profiles like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Google Plus. By posting automatically, agents stay top of mind in their personal network, which are the people most likely to refer a seller to them, without having to spend 30-60 minutes per day on posting on social media. Continue reading…