From the bypass of Favoro in 1967, to the satellites of Satellogic, an Argentine company that went to the stock exchange in Nasdaq on January 26, 2022, there is a huge journey of talent. Free Market, Ualá, Mural, Auth0, OLX and the eternal row of up and coming starts that are going to be unicorns in the next 5 to 10 years.
We are one of the countries with the most cryptocurrency adoption in the world. Almost all teams that are developing projects on Ethereum have at least one Argentine member.
The talent is spare, so the question is: why are we doing so badly?
We live in two realities: that of the country and that of the technological metaverse, in which a programmer earns eight times the average salary of the rest of the population.
The weight is worth less and less, and the few who earn in dollars decide that living in the United States or Europe is a better idea. And politicians, beyond the flags they raise, seem to have no idea which side the future is left for.
I do not believe that a state can be handled as a startup, because there are structural issues that it has to attend to and cannot ignore, but I do think there are many things that it can imitate.
When a country is ruined (sounds loud, but... 50% poverty), has to choose asymmetric investments. That is, investments that do not require too much capital, but can return 1000 times the same.
Technology is not just the future, it is the present and, as a country, we should be training programmers. Of the five most valuable companies in the world, four were born as technological startup (Apple, Microsoft, Google, Amazon), and all are desperate to hire programmers.
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There are companies, like Henry, that teach people how to program without any experience or prior training. People come in without knowing anything, and in six months they go out on schedule. Henry doesn't charge students anything until they get their first job. On average, graduates multiply their salary by 4 and, more than 90%, get work in 6 months.
I cannot think of a better example of upward social mobility and I see no reason not to replicate initiatives like this from the public sphere.
Entrepreneurs find their way around, always, even in countries like ours.
Let us look at another example: the economy. With inflation forecast of 50% or more in 2022 and little access to foreign currency, how Argentines do not throw the fruit of their work away. The answer that technology brings is cryptocurrency, difficult to regulate, but especially difficult to stop.
Companies such as Buenbit, Belo, Lemon and others allow Argentines to access the crypto dollar and buy all they want. They then give you access to the world of decentralized finance at Ethereum, where you can invest at rates of up to 18% a year in dollars. And, as if it wasn't enough, they also give cashbacks. The wallets reintegrate you in bitcoin, ether or dai 2% of everything you spend on your card.
For their part, companies such as Ualá, Mercado Libre and Brubank, greatly improved the experience of having a bank account.
In short, technology improves our lives for all of us.
But where are the entrepreneurs who generated all this priceless value for the country? In Uruguay, in Spain, in Brazil, or in the United States.
They live in countries that encourage their activity because they understand that they are indispensable for prosperity, not only of the small percentage that program, but of all the rest, who will work in administrative, creative, support or even entrepreneurial areas, increasing their sales with platforms such as Rappi or Ordidos Ya.
Argentina has only one opportunity to change its history and, without a doubt, it is through technology and startup.
Those who want to take advantage of this opportunity must regulate for a more pragmatic education, a tax regime that is more friendly with startup and with a view that understands that, from technology, an entrepreneur can create the best school, find treatment for a disease or revolutionize the economy.
(*) the author is an entrepreneur and entrepreneur.