The Developing World Will Offer Better Quality of Life than the US and Europe

The half life of a skill is 10 years and rapidly falling. AI is here. Government policies of low interest rates, threats of tariffs and burying our heads in the sand are incentivizing automation and job destruction as fast as possible. That’s the story in the developed world.

What about the developing world? In places like Latin America, most industries are unchanged. Amazon hasn’t disrupted most markets, and big, old, incumbents are still in control. Retailers see little need to compete. Banks have little online competition. Most large companies are way behind US companies in efficiency and implementation of AI/Automation technology. Business owners don’t feel threatened from competitors, so they see little need to innovate.

Many publicly traded companies’ inventory control system is still minimum wage workers taking notes on a clipboard and then calling in the numbers from the warehouse. Some companies are becoming more efficient because of the commodity bust of 2014-2016, but most are way behind. Things are changing in the developing world, but not nearly at the pace of the US. Because the pace of change is slower, it will be better to live in developing world than in the US or Europe for a higher percentage of the population. Continue reading…

Trump’s Trade Policies Will Accelerate Job Losses

President Elect Trump ran on anti-tech platform designed to get US jobs back that have been sent overseas. Although our tax and trade policies have hurt developed country workers, especially in the US, the vast majority of job losses are because of technology, not outsourcing.

Trump’s talked about putting tarrifs and fining companies that outsource. He’s “succeeded” in getting a few companies to stay. But these companies are staying grudgingly, and demanding massive tax breaks to do so. Trump is using the power of the presidency to influence markets and potentially pick winners and losers. He’s sending the message that you have to play ball, or risk losing government contracts or being made uncompetitive.

Trump’s policies are going to make US companies think twice about outsourcing and moving factories. But they won’t go back to hiring US workers like they did in the 70s and 80s. An example in the West Virginia coal industry: Continue reading…

Artificial Intelligence Is Here

AI is here and it’s being implemented faster than most people think. I’m not talking about human level AI, AGI, but super early stage AI that’s already helping make things more efficient. Although it’s early, AI implementation is moving faster and will affect new industries faster than most people suspect.

These AI improvements are made possible by companies like Facebook, Google and Microsoft opening sourcing their APIs in the past few months. Companies like Amazon and IBM will likely follow suit and launch AI APIs. It’s now possible for anyone who knows how to code to implement AI into their apps. This wasn’t possible 6 months ago. Now it is. And it’s open or cheap. Continue reading…

Mexico Venture Capital Overview

This post is the fourth in a series about Latin American venture capital ecosystems. Read the post on the Chilean Venture CapitalPeru Venture Capital, Colombia Venture CapitalHighlighting Latin American Startups. Hopefully it’s helpful. Let me know what I missed and got wrong!

Mexico is the most interesting startup ecosystem in Latin America. It’s interesting because:

  • Population (125m, Mexico City has more people than Chile)
  • Biggest Latin American economy leads to startups servicing local market
  • Proximity to the US leads to more global vision from entrepreneurs
  • US companies with their tech back offices in Mexico
  • US funds with presence in Mexico

There are three important cities for tech in Mexico, although there is activity in many other cities, too.

Continue reading…