Remember the time when everything crashed? When easy-to-get money for a startup idea was no longer easy, and the cool, upcoming rock stars of tomorrow suddenly turned belly-side up?
I don’t. I was young and protected from the happenings in the world at that time. Funny thing though: As an entrepreneur in the tech scene you become trained to feel and talk about as you experienced it the 90’s and 2000 crash yourself. Me, and many others, constantly feel like the dark days are shadowing us, and that they can come back at any given day. Lately, you see signs and patterns whispering the words of a new tech bubble waiting to burst. Less money poring in to idea-stage companies, the barrier for a Series A is slowly tightening and the word extension and bridge financing are more frequently used.
Now, as scary as a downfall may seem, it also comes with great opportunities. In harder times, the “real deal” stands out like never before. If you manage to stand your grounds there’s less competition and a bigger market share for you to grab. It’s easier to work with truly great companies, as the market is not clouded with wannabes. Not to talk about the hiring opportunities coming up for real talent in downtimes. Yummy!
Right now, I’m going through my own, personal downtime. After realizing Vint needs to go through a pivot to dominate the fitness industry we had to take the though decision to cut everything – staff, offices, marketing costs – the works. We’re taking one step at a time, carefully trying a few selected models before swinging for the fences again. Honestly, although super exciting as it seems and we’re making great progress, it’s a though time. BUT with challenges comes also truly remarkable opportunities. And I’m taking advantage of it!
Since a very long time I’ve had this idea called mini-retirements. Instead if waiting to see the world and doing things you love when you’re +60, you should break up your retirement into small pieces and enjoy them throughout your life, not only during the final part of it. Three months here, six months there and maybe a full year once and a while. Of course, this is tremendously hard to realize.
Four months ago I realized that both my husband and me would have a similar work related situation between November and February – non of us would be tied to a specific location for this period of time. I understood that this is our moment. We need to take action. How many times would we both not be tied to a specific location with co-workers, meetings and a tight agenda? We have hardly had any significant vacation at all last few years due to our work life. But now here it was. This was our time to make reality of our first mini retirement – with a small twist. We’d be working remotely during our travels.
A few things were obvious: we need a solid wifi connection wherever we are, we want to focus on an active and social adventure and we need to be able to bring our dog. So we embarked on our adventure following this rough itinerary:
- Four weeks in Argentina to play polo, work remotely and understand more about the current election, startup ecosystem and to learn Spanish
- Two weeks in St. Lucia for diving, enjoying the playa and working remotely
- Six weeks in Jackson Hole to ski, work remotely and an opportunity for us to invite our friends and interesting people to come visit
We’ve now just spent our first week here in Buenos Aires with beautiful weather, welcoming and generous people, two hour Spanish lesson every morning and a lot of Dulce De Lecce. The hottest co-working space in tech, La Maqunita, quickly opened it’s doors to us and have the best coffee I’ve been able to find in the city so far. The presidential election coming end of November could be even more interesting than the US one, both seen in media coverage and the impact it may have. We’re navigating our way between the three different USD exchange rates and learning how to find things with little or no help of four square (seems to not be a big hit here…).
Today we went out to what is called an Estancia where I will play polo for the coming seven days. I’m super excited as this is my favorite hobby in the world and Argentina is by far the best country to practice and learn.
I have three more weeks here to experience Argentina, its startups, ecosystem, opportunities and challenges. What do you want to know from here? Hit me up and I will do my best to report from this side of the world.