Ever since I have moved to Brazil, I got to accept and even appreciate many things that were very different from my previous life. I learned the language, I got used to changing plans and tardiness (which actually fit quite well my own personality), I developed a skill of understanding social queues of the very high context culture (ex: I will think about it = I am not interested/ I don’t like your idea), etc. I fully embraced the fun-loving lifestyle of the cariocas (Rio’s inhabitants).
Unfortunatelly, one thing I could never get used to and I am not sure I will ever be able to is the ability to trust people. I constantly face situations in my personal and professional life when an issue is discussed with much enthusiasm and future plans are made (aka “let’s do this project!”), and then the person simply drops off. Despite people’s best intentions, I feel that it is virtually impossible for cariocas to commit to their word. They mean well, but then they just forget about it, or simply change their mind and are too conflict avoidant to ever bother letting you know. There must be, of course, rare exceptions, but I personally never met any.
Professionally, this makes things very complicated because you have to do everything yourself if you want it to be done within a certain time frame and adhere to a specific quality standard. Or, there is an option to pay someone a very high price for his or her services, just because he or she is known for being trustworthy but even then the quality is not really guaranteed.
On a personal level, it is very hard to form deep friendships. Because “deep” is correlated with the person’s mood of the day/month.
This issue of trust has been bothering me quite a bit and I have been thinking that perhaps I’ve become paranoid until I have recently met another gringo that told me exactly the same stuff. I finally felt like I am not alone.
I am not sure how can one come out of this loop as I cannot do business in Brazil dealing only with foreigners. I also don’t believe in living in a place without being immersed in the local culture (unless it’s the USA).
Would be interesting to know if people had different experiences.
My best friend chose to get engaged to one very creative guy. Their photoshoot left me breathless.
Some time has passed since my last post about entrepreneurial life.
I got to know 2 new start up accelerators
1. Papaya Ventures – started (among rest) by the impressive lady, Luisa Ribeiro, is located in a trendy remodeled colonial style house in Botafogo. I enjoyed the cool space and the great vide that left me impressed and motivated. I also met the guys from Dujour – who are promising to be the next IT thing for fashion and looks sharing. Maybe the next Instagram? They come from the technology and fashion retail background so they certainly know what they are doing! Apparently, some celebs are using their app already! ( I have a memory of an ant, so I cannot remember which ones, but I believe it was some rapper.. )
For whoever is interesting, Papaya’s last cycle was dedicated to consumer mobile apps and they are working on their next one which will focus on B2B.
2. Tonight, I attended an event from the Founder Institute, which is an accelerator for persons who work full time and want to launch something in their free time. They have an interesting setup of a type of mutual fund: everyone who enters has to contribute and also give a share to all the other existing members. They are now launching an accelerator program in Rio for the first time. I went because they have a big track record of launching ~500 companies in 20+ cities around the world so I figured it could be an interesting option for me.
The information session left me unimpressed by promises of a potential network of Rio-based mentors (who might those be exactly?) and a bunch of middle-aged participants who kept talking about their existing companies and how they want to relaunch them and be innovative.
Now I am trying to evaluate if I want to spend 15 weeks meeting these people and will I learn anything from this. On the other hand, it may be a good discipline to focus on execution. Food for thought.
As for LetMeKnow, I finally managed to buy a very cool customized logo from 99designs.com for only $100 bucks and one day of execution. Best deal I’ve made so far in this business! Now, the only thing left is to figure out how to add it to the website! Indeed, baby steps..
And.. last but not least, Mulheres de Lideraça / Women Leaders is still going very strong with lots of support from everyone! Love it.
I’ve been thinking about the below “Mais amor, por favor” (“More love, please”) ever since I noticed this sign in Santa Teresa neighborhood about 10 days ago. How could I create more positive waves in this world?