About jay pacific

Grown up in East Germany, done business everywhere since the Berlin wall fell, now relaxing on the tropical Pacific coast of Panama. And there is an idea ...

Why Panama does not have to copy the Silicon Valley to succeed

In an interesting blogpost, Peter Diamandis explained the success of the valley with the arrival of new-type coffee shops as place to gather and network, then with the high density of tech people, reducing the risk of failing, as there are many more positions and opportunities waiting.

Based on that, the other ingredients – contributors, culture, capital – grew organically, cumulating innovation power, delivering success along the road.

All this has been and is happening despite some harsh conditions, like climate, immigration and tax rules. How much easier should it be to achieve such success under Panama’s tropical living conditions, in its relaxed business, immigration and tax environment?

SkylineTrumpFerryWeit_9656

Leaving Panana City on express ferry, heading Las Perlas Archipelago, 35 nautical miles off the coast. Sea water temperature 28C/87F

Being a successful entrepreneur in Panama appears to be much more attractive then up there. Lifestyle, costs of living, investment opportunities, to mention a few.

Becoming a successful entrepreneur in Panama must not be more difficult.

Creating perfect conditions to attract entrepreneurs to start and thrive their high-tech business here in Panama is the task at hand.   

Getting closer to be the next startup mecca

Peter Diamandis had asked this week “Where do you think the next mecca for tech startups will be?”.

I doubt if Mecca is an appropriate synonym, but my response has been: “The next mecca for tech startups needs tropical lifestyle, more favourable immigration and tax rules. How about ?”

And I mean it. You just don’t have to have everything together in one place anymore.

Technology creates conditions, overcoming obstacles to create technology.

Skype, Hangout, Facetime enable people to work together, no matter where.

Freelancer.com and others find outsourced capacity for almost every job imaginable.

Kickstarter.com and others facilitate project funding.

Codepath.com does free education for Android and iOS coding.

WeWork.com has temporary space to meet, hang around and work with peers.

So if everybody can take advantage of technological progress as mentioned, the general, surrounding conditions become more important: quality of life.

What else do we need here in Panama?

– Transform a crazy idea into a bold target,

– Get the right people together

– Build and work an actionable plan.

#exPANAMAnding opportunities

WWDC and Panama

Was following Apple’s developer conference today and must admit that the amount of $30b paid to app developers is staggering. There must be many more app developers out there and more than surviving with what they are doing. Excellent to hear this.

wwdc2015

Wondering how many of them are doing their creative work outside of old-fashioned corporate structures, not bound by work hours, a desk, a hierarchy.

For those, lucky enough to enjoy such status, my advise is to get even more enjoyment. Move to a country where the sun is shining, the Web infrastructure is available, where bureaucracy doesn’t care too much, and where there are excellent investment opportunities for the money you’ve earned.

#exPANAMAnding opportunities.

The really important ranking has Panama as #1

There are so many rankings out there. Best place to live, best place to work, best place to retire, best place to be buried etc. Often with laughable results.

Gallup and Healthways have now published The Gallup-Healthways Global Well-Being Index. On 124 pages their scientific methodology is described and results shown, highlighting continents and countries. Well worth reading. (here)

There are five categories contributing to our overall well-being:

– job / purpose

– social

– community

– physical

– financial

Panama became #1, the only country where more than 60% of people are predominantly happy in more than 3 of these 5 categories. Actually, they are happy in 4 of them, except finance.

I am glad to see this and it explains why so many people walking the streets are just smiling at you. And drivers almost never honk their horn, show a finger or so.

This is where countries like Germany are leading, but not even reaching the top ten altogether. Even worse, in Germany 24% of employed people indicate to be actively “disengaged” in their professional position.

How about living and doing business in the land of well-being?

Panama is growing strongly, on its way to improve the financial situation for the average and poor people. So in 10 years from now, they’ll still lead but be happy in each of 5 categories. Good luck.

What Panama has to offer Silicon Valley companies, benefitting both

Upcoming countries, like Panama, have to figure out how to become and stay competitive in the future.

The Panama Canal with logistics, a solid financial sector, mining and tourism are already in place and growing. Starting a business is easy to do.

facebook.com/canaldepanama

facebook.com/canaldepanama

But how about high tech and a way to prepare the younger generation? Panama should seriously consider high-tech initiatives.

Of course, there is no way to copy something like the “Valley”. It has been tried already. But Panama is ideal to become a SECOND HOME & BOOTCAMP FACILITY for SV companies. And a super-affordable springboard for hightech startups anyway.

City of Knowledge, a special economic zone at the banks of the Panama Canal, only 15 minutes from downtown PanamaCity, is the right place to begin with.

City of Knowledge PTY

City of Knowledge PTY

Stay tuned how this project goes along.

Better weather

In 2000, Dr. David Viner, a climatologist with CRU said: “Snowfalls are now just a thing of the past.”

CNN today, 15 years later: “Boston has its snowiest month on record.” (since 1872)

Panama today: Another fine day, 30C/86F and sunshine.

lonelybeachumbrella

Could be your place to relax or to develop some ideas. All year round. Walking the beach is my preferred activity to think about issues and come up with fresh ideas.

Or take a small plane, head South over the Pacific Ocean and enjoy Las Perlas Archipelago views and beaches after less than 30 minutes. There are 7 airstrips on different islands to choose from.

Las Perlas island

Tropical lifestyle comes with a much better and healthy work-life balance.

And, don’t worry about snowfalls.

Headstart into 2015

As our concept is taking shape, we are going further now and are on Twitter @luckxinvest and with #exPANAMAnding as hashtag, which means the Silicon Valley. Earlier posts should have given a first impression about it and we’ll continue to work it out.

A German saying goes like “better poor and healthy than rich and sick”. What stupid alternatives. Everybody would rather decide for “better rich and healthy than poor and sick”, and even add some more positives.

So it is with some things around Silicon Valley.

Imagine, being a young software developer and to solve the immigration problem, you are supposed to live on a cruiseship out in the Northern Pacific. Really? Maybe nice for some days in July and August, but definitely not today, not during the last 5 months and not during the next 4 months.

The alternative is tropical Panama, surfing and margarita season all year round. That’s a productivity booster, believe me. So the immigration issue gets solved not by sacrifying, but optimizing.

IMG_8568

There are some other problems better to be solved by optimizing instead of sacrifying. Some are mentioned in earlier posts.

If you like this approach, please follow and share and comment.

Thank you.

Earthquakes here and there

Tuesday morning at 4, a swinging movement woke us up in our 11th floor condo. For about 30 seconds the ground was shaking, smooth but very remarkable. 6.7 as USGS told us and 280 km away.

The first one we’ve experienced in Panama 2009 was pushing harder and moved us newcomers out. As the only ones.

In the meantime, earthquakes like in Colombia and Guatemala have left asking ourselves if there was “too much alcohol last night?” or “not enough water this morning?”, before USGS gave the true reason for the dizzy feeling.

So our earthquake experience during 6 years in Panama has been tranquilo. Confirmed by, yes, USGS again. Here’s the picture:

usgs_seismic_panama

Looking good, whereby the diameter stands for strength and the data begun as late as of 1973.

Same timeframe for California looks like this:

usgs_seismic_california

Well, there has been more action, right where the action is – Silicon Valley area. This, by the way, has been a selling point of Texas-based Rackspace.com in their early years and worked out nicely: Put your servers where there are no earthquakes.

How about your talents?

First things first

What a coincidence: While our friends told us about the first first 25 cm of snow near Toronto today, the Playa Blanca Airport had the first arrival of a Sunwing 737 from Montreal.

From now on, the Playa Blanca Airport (MPSM) will receive 2 Canadian charterflights per week and a third one from Quebec is scheduled from mid of December. Just the right time to get out of the cold.

Also this week, United has announced a new service from Denver to Panama City (MPTO), starting December 3. Becoming more and more easy to come to Panama.