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Hector Ramos
2,199 followers -
I fight for the developers.
I fight for the developers.

2,199 followers
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Hector's posts

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For the love of all that is holy, how the hell do I disable "added you to their circle" notifications? It's annoying to the point that I'm switching to using Outlook to check my Gmail.
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Made a little comic to celebrate the Google+'s new mascot. This one is for the kids! #mrjingles  
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Yearly "let's see if Google+ finally removed that annoying red badge from hell" check.

Oh shit, it's a damn bell now.
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2013-06-21
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Just checking up on Google+ after months of inactivity.

Well, look at that. I still can't turn off that notification badge that shows up whenever people add me to their circles.

It's been one year since they released this shitty social network, and I still can't get rid of that fucking badge.
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Intellectuals have a resposibility to educate the public. However,@EconRivera does the exact opposite in the chart she shares, attached, purporting to show how the US capitalist imperalists are actually taking money from Puerto Rico.

I have no argument with the numbers used on the the government transfer from the United States to Puerto Rico, which is the top half. I have not done the numbers myself, so I cannot tell you whether they are right or wrong, but I have no issue with it.

The entire 2nd half is composed of blatant lies.

"Importaciones de Mercancia" refers to $22.6B in purchases that Puerto Ricans make with their income. Commerce is trade...you are exchanging your money for some good, such as computers, software, chickens, rice...whatever. You cannot use that in the same mathematical column as the stuff that is in the 1st half of the chart. A Pell grant check is not trade. The federal government is giving you a check so you can buy stuff, education in this case. Section 8 is not a trade. The federal government is giving you a check so you can buy stuff, housing in that case. And so on. What the chart tries to do is lull you into thinking that the money you use to purchase is being taken from you. This is false.

Let's move on. The "Rendimientos de Capital" mixes two very different numbers: One are "megatiendas", such as Wal-Mart, and the profits they make here. Shouldn't that be in the "Importaciones" category already? It probably is...I can only assume this is a mistake, but a small one. It does not matter. The real stunner is "fabricas", or the manufacturing plants, mostly in this case biopharmaceutical plants. $34B of extracted capital! Wow! Now, where does that money come from. It is the magic of transfer pricing, and I'll try to make this simple:

If you are taxed at 35% in the US mainland and 4% in Puerto Rico, you will try to move all your profits to Puerto Rico, where they will remain largely untaxed. That is exactly what companies do...many times they will assign the patents for biopharmaceutical products to Puerto Rico, and as the patent holder the Puerto Rico corporations have a right to a significant share of profits. Thus a pill that costs only $1 to make by, say, Pfizer in Puerto Rico could easily be sold by Pfizer Puerto Rico to Argentina for $50. Huge profits! Then Pfizer will move that money out of Puerto Rico for productive use worldwide. You see, those $49 did not come from your or my wallets as Puerto Rico residents. They are a result of an international tax strategy, all perfectly legal, that multinationals use to concentrate their profits in low-tax jurisdictions. Yet @EconRivera implies, and later explicitly tells me in a tweet, that this money comes out of our pockets. THIS IS A LIE.

Finally, she outlines $1.5B due to cabotage laws. OK, fine. Rounding error.

Incidentally, nowhere in this analysis does @EconRivera include the operating costs of the United States Postal Service, or the Coast Guard, or the fact that Puerto Ricans have access to the vast capital pools that create cheap FHA mortgage loans, etc. She also does not include the salaries paid to Puerto Ricans (over 80,000 jobs, down from twice that many a decade back) by multinational manufacturers. The list goes on.

Note that I am not defending Puerto Rico's political relationship to the United States. There is plenty wrong in that relationship and even more broken policies in Puerto Rico's economics, much of which depends on federal policies. What I refuse to condone or allow is perverting the facts and misinforming the public. We have enough ignorance floating around...it is absolutely unacceptable for purported intellectuals and professionals to spread more of it.
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I will go beyond explaining my use of English in my online engagement: Hector did a fine job, and our stories are quite similar. I exhort the members of Puerto Rico's startup community to blog & tweet in English. This for the simple reason that the resources to create scalable startups all lie beyond our shores:

1. Investors - Do you know tech investors in Puerto Rico? I do not. However there are several hundred investors on AngelList that have the Earth within their investment scope. Are you enabling them to use your online profile as means of assessing your capabilities? Not if you don't write in English.

2. Talent - Yes, Puerto Rico has great talent. Tech talent. How many of them know how to scale like Facebook? How many marketing VPs that know how to launch a product online and drive adoption? Are you engaging these people and entering their conversations? Not if you are not writing in English.

3. Customers - So your are telling me that the target market for your great new app is Spain, Mexico, Colombia, Venezuela and Puerto Rico? VayaBroqui gets a pass here! Think through who your customers are and then think what language the speak. If you want them to find you, and the entire idea behind inbound marketing is that they do find you, they must be able to Google you in their tongue. That is not going to happen if you don't write in English.

We may be more comfortable writing like we speak, yet us startups are engaged in something else altogether. We are participating in the global innovation ecosystem and we just might drag Puerto Rico along that path. If it were the 1920s and we were physicists, we would be doing it in German. Now in 2012, we need to engage the world...the resources are not here. They are there, and the language of our ecosystem is English.

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What resources do tech entrepreneurs located outside of the US need?


Having been part of the Silicon Valley tech industry for 12 years before returning to the nascent tech industry in the tropical island of Puerto Rico 12 years ago, I'll take the question in terms of supporting tech entrepreneurship in a fully scalable way that could produce the next breakout success. I rank the needs of non-US entrepreneurs as:

Social media. It is essential to keep up with strategic innovators coming out of Silicon Valley and to become a part of the conversation. I am not talking about just techies...I am talking about business modeling, interactive marketing, customer development, etc. There is no excuse not to be on AngelList, Quora, Twitter, Crunchbase, and similar standard platforms.
Planes. Go to Silicon Valley regularly. I have dropped in on other tech scenes and there is just no comparison. Silicon Valley is inherently open to the new perspectives and new relationships. Be amused with all the people trying to get you to move into town, and focus on building relationships that you can funnel back into the social media practice (See #1).
Open Source. Participating in open source projects can be material in catapulting your networking and technical skills. A healthy percentage of the participants in an open source project I had the opportunity to help launch (http://sourceforge.net/projects/...) are now working in Silicon Valley, writing for O'Reilly, or coding remotely for companies in the ecosystem. In essence, open source is a form of social media.
Entrepreneurial Brands. In Puerto Rico, I can safely say that hosting a Startup Weekend event changed our universe, as it served to unearth the latent startup community nobody knew was there. Ever since, it has just accelerated at a startling pace. Use Startup Weekend and other entrepreneurial brands, such as the Founder Institute, This Week in Startups (Meetups), Startup Lessons Learned (Simulcasts), to coalesce the local community around brands that help bridge the gap with Silicon Valley and other innovation hubs, to drive #1.
English. You will not succeed in #1 if you write in non-English languages.


In short, stay connected and relevant. Some may ask why not blaze your own trail an succeed locally or outside the Silicon Valley infrastructure. There is every reason for you to do that! Just use the latest business practices to do so, and those are being manufactured in Silicon Valley.
Originally posted on Quora: http://b.qr.ae/ziwfzU

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