first thoughts on buenos aires
My first journey to Buenos Aires was in end of January 1999. It was a memorable trip for many reasons. The reason for the journey was for an off-site with Starmedia.
At the time, Starmedia was one of the biggest portals in South America at the time and it was a Flatiron Investment. Think Yahoo of South America. All of the smart ideas in the USA, at that time, were being replicated in SA. In many ways, if was a no-brainer if you understood the culture and had the contacts. Yet, the demise of Starmedia is a story on to itself which I will pass on today.
Fred and I came down to BA a few days prior to the group activities. The heads of each country running Starmedia converged in BA and then to Uruguay for the finale. Intel was an investor and the woman who headed up the investment was someone I became fast friends with. What was so invigorating about the trip was how we were all being swept away by charting new territories and the people in the company were smart and exciting. Most were from SA themselves but had gone to some of the best universities in the USA and were bi-lingual. They had a different view of the world and to me, it was intriguing.
We spent only 3 days in BA taking in the city. After, we flew to Puente Del Esta where we beached it for a few days. Each beach had a different customer. One for families, one for singles, etc., and there were advertisers for each beach. The trip was about building a brand.
The last morning of our trip, Fred went to a meeting and I went to the local galleries. I bought 2 paintings which I still love and we still own. Fred wasnt too happy when he returned to the room and saw 2 large boxes we had to bring back with us. He got over it quick and we got them home easily.
Im glad to be back in Buenos Aires with the whole family. We will be here for about 6 days which gives us time to explore and really take in the town. I'm sure a lot has changed in 10 years and am looking forward to seeing it was a pair of fresh eyes.
please do tell us the starmedia story, it sounds very interesting
Just a sad story of greed, really. Stupid behind the doors financial stuff.In the end, it killed the company, the valuation and I thought, somethingthat was truly special. As always, mistakes are the true lessons in life.
having lived in the dominican republic since 2001 i can say that sounds like a typical story of latin american investing.
Ha! Actually most of the other investments were very very successful.Starmedia should have been the most successful, hands down. Ego and greed.
Be sure to hit up the Sunday brunch at the BA Four Seasons…one of my all time favorite brunches— great food and the people watching is always fun!
A lot has changed since the 2001 crisis. I just spent a month there for a class and it was hands down the best month of my life.