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Romain Aubert - Issue #6

I just spent 9 weeks in Lisbon for a coding boot camp. First time I went to Lisbon was for Web Summit
Romain Aubert - Issue #6
By Romain Aubert • Issue #6 • View online
I just spent 9 weeks in Lisbon for a coding boot camp. First time I went to Lisbon was for Web Summit a few years ago. My takeaway from that first trip was a saying from a local a politician: “[Portugal] does not claim to be a Startup Nation. We told founders “come to Portugal,” see if you like it, you will have to go to the US for markets, to UK to raise money, and hire talents from abroad.”
People stayed for the lifestyle.
The government has been very pro active and launched a bunch of initiatives (incl. Open Data) to promote Portugal has a place for startups. I believe government can’t be leader — only feeders (if you haven’t read Startup Communities from Brad Feld, here is a collection of 24 quotes — that was one of the most useful book I read while writing a report on La French Tech for the French government.)
Local startups have found markets abroad. They had too. Founders I talked to listed the following as their markets (no specific order): US, Brazil, Germany, Spain and the UK (although some uncertainty moving forward because of Brexit.) France was not part of the list. I asked why. The answer: “too French.” 🥖😂
Portugal’s notable startups: Talkdesk (contact center software), Farfetch (fashion e commerce), Feedzai (financial crime);
There are 2 VCs in Portugal (excl. gov funds): Indico Capital (10+ investments, just closed a fund of €40 million) and Armilar (around since 2000, 40+ investments, €250 million AUM.)
Lisbon is becoming an increasingly trendy place for “digital nomads” to stop by. The city is walk-able, mostly sunny, there are a few coffee shops to work from, and surf. People come from the laid back southern European lifestyle.
Web Summit lead the movement of making Lisbon attractive — “Lisbon brand equity.”
Notable event beside Web Summit: “LIS” for Lisbon Investment Summit in June this year.
Techstars is opening an accelerator with Semapa, an industrial group operating in the paper, energy and cement sectors.
Lisbon is not necessarily the center of Portugal’s ecosystem. None of the 10+ investment of Indico Capital are in Lisbon.
Some large European companies like Revolut, Daimler, Wolkswagen, Zalando are picking Portugal to locate “tech centres.” “Google is coming as well.”
Salary for a junior developer is around EUR 20,000.
Some people I met: Stephan Morais (partner, Indico Capital), Andreia Campos (founder Gleam sold to Farfetch), Garpard Marcelin and Bruno Antunes Luis (Gaspard + Bruno), Pedro Oliveira (founder, Landing Jobs), Shannon and Emily (Le Wagon Lisbon), Mariana Barbosa (journalist, author), Mario Mouraz (Ambassador Sandbox, founder Climbers), James Muscat (Moviin.) Thanks.

Most of what I learnt on Growth I learnt from Brian Balfour’s blog. He writes infrequently and released a blog post on how to build process to maximize “product launch.”
Some wisdom from Naval for all corporates and other centralized organisations launching “their” blockchains:
If it’s not going to be completely and utterly decentralized, it doesn’t need a blockchain.
11:45 PM - 29 Jan 2019

In case you’ve missed it, Western nations have been worrying about Huawei selling 5G network with backdoor. Huawei CFO was arrested in Canada and Chinese are retaliating; they arrested a former Canadian diplomat under no charge. He has been detained since then. There also some thriller-like story of startup getting in the Huawei sting + they have cool design:
I spend some time working in China for the French state. Below are the three challenges coming up for Europe.
  1. how to deal with data of European citizens on Chinese servers? (I asked Danish Ambassador to Technology;)
  2. how can Europe deal with investments in technology (from China) when EU entrepreneurs need exits?
  3. how can startups compete in Europe when Chinese counterparts don’t play with the same rule (i.e. unregulated market)?
Further insight on Privacy and our most valuable asset: personal data.
Naval released a podcast. I am listening right now. If you don’t know Naval. Read this (3 min.)
You don’t need to build a product to launch a business. Here are tools you can use.
Back in December I was in Iran and met with some Bitcoin miners. Interestingly, cryptocurrencies could help Iran economies connect with the World since they’ve been banned from SWIFT international payment in 2012, and under sanctions since 1979.
Mark Zuckerberg announced a new vision for a “privacy-focused” social network. My full comment here.
Romain Aubert
“Private” does not necessarily mean “privacy”. A private conversation between 2 individuals can have no privacy, if Facebook collects metadata.
1:39 AM - 7 Mar 2019
For those who are thinking about doing a coding boot camp. I’ve documented my journey:
Romain Aubert
👋 I started a 9-week coding bootcamp mid-Jan. Learning HTML, CSS, Bootstrap, JavaScript ES2015,
SQL, git, GitHub, Heroku and Ruby on Rails 🖥️🔰 . I'll document the rest of the program. Let's start with day 14 right now 😊:
cc @dizzda @kytwb @UX_hugo @pascualin
11:08 PM - 31 Jan 2019
Also, when was the last time you got bored by Matthieu Bodin
Night Jasmine
Be a window
in a world full of mirrors
12:31 PM - 1 Feb 2019
Books I've read this month
John Le Carré, The spy who came in from the cold
Michel Houellebecq, La carte et le Territoire
Nir Yal, Hooked
Next stop: Paris. Ping me if you are in town.
If you hit reply, I’ll hit reply.
Did you enjoy this issue?
Romain Aubert

“The role of the organiser is to create power for others” — Saul Alinsky

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