EP29: Diego Gutierrez - Building Entrepreneurial Communities in Buenos Aires
In this episode, Justin speaks with Diego Gutierrez, co-founder of Rootstock, Koibanx, Sistema-D, the Buenos Aires bitcoin community, and much more.
Diego has been an entrepreneur his entire life. Since he was 12, he helped create neighborhood publications to communicate the news of the neighbors.
When he was 17, he got into tech entrepreneurship.
Age 19: Created the first website for the main newspaper in Argentina (1995)
Diego realized early\ that communities would be an important part of the web.
Diego takes 2 year leave after the 1999 internet bubble – went to live on a sailboat for 2 years.
Diego and Wences Casares lost hope in the internet – this time around, with bitcoin, they pledged not to let that happen again. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wences_Casares
What is internet usage like in Buenos Aires? China? Diego explains based on his experience and recent travels.
Diego talks about getting into bitcoin, and how he became more and more fascinated by it.
To learn about bitcoin, Diego decided to try everything: read about it, buy and sell on local bitcoins, mine using a GPU, and create a meet up.
In the first meet up, Diego met Rodolfo Andragenes and Franco Amati – and the three of them continue to today to be the most galvanizing resources in the Buenos Aires community.
Bitcoin Meetups in Buenos Aires: grew from a 25 person meeting to 100 people, in McDonalds. The First Latin American Bitcoin Conference (Dec 2013) had over 1200 attendees.
Created Koibanx, an alternative investment banking structure utilizing cryptocurrency in Latam.
In Argentina, people usually save their money under the mattress, in foreign currencies, to protect from inflation. People even buy cars as a way to protect their wealth. Not the best investment, but can protect you from 30% inflation per year.
Diego helped found Sistema-D
Diego ran into Nick Szabo in a bar in Palo Alto and discussed the idea of RootStock. RootStock has a number of co-founders, including Sergio Lerner (who we interviewed on Liberty Entrepreneurs) http://libertyentrepreneurs.com/2016/01/le12-sergio-lerner-rootstock-and-smart-contract-platforms/, Gabriel Kurman, Ruben Ariel Altman, Adrian Eidelman, and Adrian Garelik.
At 19:20 in the podcast, Diego explains Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Rootstock on a basic level
For entrepreneurial success, Diego believes that ideas, execution, aren't enough. Timing is also a very important element to entrepreneurial success.
Teams are the most important: highly skilled and highly motivated. How do you find them? Usually their eyes are bright. They have that light in their eyes.
After experiencing a number of failures, Diego advises not to spread yourself too thin, and find good partners.
“Your life starts when you know yourself.”
Rootstock is hiring: cryptographers, senior software architects
Rootstock will be opening offices in cities across the world.
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