An American living in Uruguay working for the US

Meet Matt Reed and Eduardo Vargas. Matt is from the US, his company Clockwork partnered with Loop Studio where Eduardo is the CEO. In order to try something new, Matt decided to move to Montevideo, the capital of Uruguay, where Loop Studio has their HQ.

How is life for an American living in Uruguay? What are his thoughts about the culture? How is it to work with a team of Uruguayans side by side? We are going to chat about this and everything you could ask Matt and Eduardo in this episode.

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Transcript

Fabian | 00:01 > Hey, everybody. Fabian | from Kaizen Softworks here. Welcome to The Kaizen Podcast. Show notes can be found at podcast.kzsoftworks.com, and you can follow me on Twitter, @kzfabi. Now, let's get into the show.

Fabian | 00:16 > Today, we are talking about how someone from the United States lives in Uruguay, partners with a Uruguayan IT company, and works for the US from Uruguay. So, for this, I'm here today with Matt Reed and Eduardo Vargas. Welcome to the show, guys.

Matt | 00:33 > Thanks for having me.

Eduardo | 00:35 > Hi, Fabian. Nice to meet you.

Fabian | 00:38 > Guys, can you tell us a little more about you, your background, job, what you do, your hobbies?

Matt | 00:46 > Sure. My name's Matt, just so you can sync up the voice with the personality. I grew up in the Philadelphia area, just North of the city. I went to school in Rochester, New York. I worked for a little bit in, I guess, the corporate sector. Realized I didn't like it, started the entrepreneur thing, which I've loved, but it definitely takes its toll on you. And then, within the last couple of years, I was like, "All right, what's the next step? Where do I want to live? Where do I want to go?" And my one partner Alex, and I'll go into detail more later, but he said, "Why not Uruguay?" and I said, "Yeah, why not?"

Fabian | 01:27 > Why not?

Matt | 01:29 > I ended up down here. I'm a big sports fan, especially the Super Bowl Champion Eagles. And yeah, I guess, I'll save the rest for last.

Fabian | 01:38 > Nice.

Eduardo | 01:39 > Hey. Eduardo Vargas from Loop Studio. About me, I realized I probably design. After that, I start to work with US and UI Design. Three years ago, after five years working with my partners on different projects, I changed my role and integrated more in the sales, and taking the place as the CEO in Loop Studio. From hobbies, I love CrossFit, weightlifting, and gymnastics. Those are on my plate.

Fabian | 02:20 > Cool. Excellent. Let's start with a game I use to break a little of the ice that I do, which I call Guess The Year. All right guys, are you ready for that?

Matt | 02:34 > Okay.

Fabian | 02:34 > Okay. I will give you the chance the both of you to answer the same question. The question is, in which year did the National Soccer Teams of USA and Uruguay play against each other for the first time? This is guess the year, so you just make a guess.

Matt | 02:54 > I wasn't sure the US still had a soccer team. I would guess-

Fabian | 03:00 > Do you like soccer?

Matt | 03:02 > Let's see, not nearly as much as South Americans do. I would go with 1955, something like that maybe.

Fabian | 03:23 > '55?

Eduardo | 03:23 > Maybe 1960.

Fabian | 03:25 > '60s? It's way back. Way back, like 1924. Uruguay played against the USA Soccer Team and won three to zero. I have to say thanks to my coworker, Ariel Erlijman, who helped me on this research. I did some on Google trying to find the historic matches of both soccer teams. It was discussions on which one was the official recognized international play against each one. But, this seems to be the accurate year of this match. I wanted to make this question because, today we have someone from the USA and someone from Uruguay. Uruguayans love soccer, so I thought this could be a fun question.

Fabian | 04:19 > All right. The reason why I'm here today with you guys, with Matt and Eduardo is because you two work together nowadays. Right? Your stories join some point in time. I wanted to learn a little more on why and how you, Matt, end up living here in Uruguay, and how Eduardo got to be the CEO of a company that works with Matt's company. So Matt, why? Why, from all the countries in the world, did you end up living in Uruguay?

Matt | 05:02 > I get asked this question all the time. I guess the story begins with my two partners, Cory and Alex. In the entity before Clockwork that they were a part of, they were running, they can be best described as pop-up incubators. It would be sometimes week long events, sometimes a weekend, where startups would come in and they would just get a crash course on different aspects of running a startup. They ran this program in New York City, and then Mexico City. It went very well, so they wanted to keep doing them.

Matt | 05:43 > Years ago, when Alex was still in the corporate sector, he actually had the opportunity to come to Uruguay, and he did. He lived here for one or two years. He fell in love with the place. He always wanted to do something in Uruguay again. When it came time to where's the next place we want to run one of these pop-ups, it was the logical choice. Why not Uruguay?

Matt | 06:06 > So, in the spring of 2017, Clockwork ran [Insiende 00:06:12]. We came down here for two weeks, and that was my first exposure to the country. That's actually where we met Eduardo's team. He was one of the-

Fabian | 06:21 > I heard that story. I was curious why didn't I notice that event? Go on. That's another question of mine.

Matt | 06:34 > The event was great. We got to connect with the team. Just like most companies, we need IT support or programming support. It was like, "Hey, we like the Loop guys. They seem sharp. They're using the lasted stack. Why not go with them?" So, that fall we started working with the team directly. And then around that time, I was thinking I'm a little over being in the suburbs of Philadelphia. Time to stretch out and go somewhere different. I was thinking maybe California, maybe Florida. And Alex said, "Why not Uruguay?" I said, "I can't really think of a reason why not." So, I booked a ticket and here I am.

Fabian | 07:22 > Nice. Nice. Matt, let's talk a little more about how you see Uruguay. What do you like the most about the country?

Matt | 07:36 > That's a tough question. What I like the most is by far the laid back mentality. People here aren't all up in everyone's business. They're very easy going. They're generally friendly. I never feel overwhelmed in the city, which to some people that's not a good thing. Some people like the New York or the Buenos Aires. These huge things that you can't really ever grasp. You just kind of go with the flow. Here, you can really get a handle on the city and figure out what you like, what you don't like. But, there's still an air of mystery to it, especially because I'm not from the country. I guess those are the things that I like.

Fabian | 08:22 > Cool. You name probably something that I wanted to also ask you. What do you like about the people in Uruguay? You say easy going, friendly. If you had to explain to other people who doesn't live in Uruguay how people are is, would you add something else to that description? Like from the cultural perspective of how Uruguayans are?

Matt | 08:51 > Yeah. I guess I would also add that they're, at least the ones that I interact with, are inquisitive. They're always interested in learning something, or seeing something different. They often ask me questions about the US and that kind of thing. I get a genuine feeling it's not just filler, they're actually interested in learning more. Because, maybe that's the next place they'll take a trip or something like that. Uruguayans seem pretty genuine, I guess, is the good way to put it.

Fabian | 09:16 > Nice. Eduardo, what do you think of Matt's comments and thoughts about our culture here and in Uruguay? Do you see yourself reflected?

Eduardo | 09:25 > Yeah. I see me reflected more than them, because he's working in our offices in this moment. I see how he interacts with the team and with the guys, every day lunches and some of that things. It's crazy. They start to develop a really good relationship with the team. People go, "Oh, my god. What is he doing here? It's a client working in the office." First it was, "Maybe it will be like a month, two months, three months." And now it's like, "We don't want him out of the office." It's like, "He's one more of the team."

Fabian | 10:04 > How do you see is there a language barrier between the team of Uruguayans and Matt? Do they speak daily in English, Spanish, what do they use?

Eduardo | 10:19 > No. I think that's about for him, in case he wants to learn Spanish. Because, all the team speaks in English to him, and joke with him. He's in an American company located in Uruguay.

Fabian | 10:34 > And Matt, not that Eduardo mentions the team jokes with you, laughs with you, do you find yourself laughing about the same cultural things with the team? Or, do you see you don't laugh about the same things Uruguayans laugh about?

Matt | 10:57 > No, no. I mean, with the exception of when the jokes are in Spanish and I just don't understand what they are. That's one of the bigger or, I guess, cooler things about being in a different culture is, humor is universal. People making jokes, it doesn't matter if it's in broken English or I'm speaking too quickly. I don't know, it's contagious almost. People just start laughing with each other and having fun. The team's been great. They've welcomed me with open arms. But yeah, nothing but good things to say about the experience.

Fabian | 11:33 > Cool. What was the first thing of Uruguay that got your attention?

Matt | 11:38 > I will go back to when I first came last year. It still, it happened again during this most recent. It's how much you guys love yerba mate.

Fabian | 11:53 > I was about to bet on what was that.

Matt | 11:57 > Not to be so stereotypical. That's probably what a lot of people would say. But, it's truly incredible. I mean, in the US, you see people carry a coffee cup, just in one hand they have a coffee cup. Here, they have to have a thermo under their arm, and then the mate. And then to drink it, you've got to use two hands and do that whole motion. I was very impressed to see how many people are that committed. But even more so, when I go to the gym here, people are doing cardio workouts drinking mate in between sets, which it's like picturing the British sitting tea between lifts or something. I don't think anyone else does that. That is truly something else, drinking mate while working out.

Fabian | 12:40 > And it's something that is really, really typical from Uruguay. For example, mate is around the region of South America. A lot of countries have mate, like Argentina, Paraguay, whatever. But, Uruguayans are probably the only ones that go out to the streets with their mate, with a thermo and all that. Yeah. I remember one funny story of a friend that was walking with his thermos in the United States and got stopped by a policeman, to ask about what are you carrying in that? Because, the thing that goes inside the mate is green. What's all about it?

Matt | 13:29 > Maybe just light it up. Yeah. Definitely.

Fabian | 13:33 > It's funny. Probably that's the first thing that a lot of people got the attention of a lot of people that doesn't know about Uruguay. How different is the Uruguay that you found from the Uruguay that you were picturing before arriving?

Matt | 13:53 > I guess most people when they picture South America are thinking of Brazil. Yeah, usually Brazil, because we see the lively videos.

Fabian | 14:02 > Carnival.

Matt | 14:03 > Yeah. Crazy stuff happening. Whereas here, it's very subdued. It's very calm, quiet. I guess that's really it. People go out late at night, but it's not a loud place. I guess that's what. It's very different some South America. It's more European, I think, than it is South American. Or, at least my perception of the country.

Fabian | 14:26 > Cool. What do you think about, do you see Uruguay in that picture?

Eduardo | 14:32 > Yeah. I'm in the same way that him. If you go to a club, if you go to other streets in Latin America, there would be more craziness. Here, the quiet place. You can handle the people easily. It's a better place to take people.

Fabian | 14:53 > We seem to be more quiet.

Eduardo | 14:55 > Yeah. More quiet.

Fabian | 14:58 > All right. And Matt, how well developed do you see the IT industry in Uruguay?

Matt | 15:07 > The way I perceive it is it's, not to be fishy, like a hidden gem. In that there's very solid organizations and groups writing code here. I guess it's mostly coding. But for the most part, people don't really know about them in the US. When people think of outsourced IT or dev, they immediately go to India or Eastern Europe, really. Those are the two main places. So, South America in general isn't really seen as doing that.

Matt | 15:43 > But here, I've come to learn while living here, and especially working with Eduardo, who's involved with the Tech Council and that sort of thing, is there's a lot more companies than I was aware of. And it seems like the government is encouraging it from their end, which is very smart. Because going from agriculture to tech might be a big leap for some places. We see it in the US, where people are freaking out about coal jobs and that kind of thing, and clinging to them.

Matt | 16:13 > But here they're saying, "No, no. We want to start this industry up. Let's help it."So, in terms of it being developed, I think it's far more developed than people realize. But it's still in the early stage, because again, not everyone is immediately coming here right away.

Fabian | 16:30 > Right. Would you say there's a lot of opportunity to grow here?

Matt | 16:38 > Yeah. Right. I think there's a huge amount of growth still that's going to come.

Fabian | 16:40 > Cool. Cool. It's good to see that perspective from someone that is not from the country. Do you think that the quality of the tech talent that you find here is at the world class level? Or, what do you think? Do we still need to keep working on the education side?

Matt | 17:08 > I can only speak about the Loop guys. But yeah, the people that work there are at the level that I would expect them to be at. They know how to problem solve. They work with modern technology. I can't speak for the universities, so I don't know what type of preparation schools here give.

Matt | 17:32 > I went to RIT, which was a much more, I guess, it prepares you for work more so than say other large universities, which are more focused on research and theoretical. RIT, we would work with more of the latest stuff in labs and that sort of thing. So, I can't speak to the schools here, if they are more RIT-like, or more traditional university. But, I can say that the people I've been working with, there's never been a moment where I'm like, "Maybe I should find someone else." They've always been on the ball, understand the issue that I'm asking for, and figure out a way to make it work.

Fabian | 18:06 > Cool. And so, Eduardo, now that Matt says that he doesn't know so much about the education, universities, and all that, what is the background in education terms of the team that you have at Loop Studio? Where do they come from?

Eduardo | 18:24 > That's a good question. They come from different universities in Uruguay. For us, the hardest job was to train them in the technologies we work. They come really prepared in how to solve problems, logic, mathematics, that kind of stuff. But, if they don't have the knowledge of where we work in Ruby on Rails, we work in React. So, for us, hiring sometimes junior devs, we have a long term training program for them. It's like, "Okay, you already went to this school, to college. Now you have three to six months training with Loop developing new skills."

Fabian | 19:14 > So, Eduardo, why would you say that the IT industry in Uruguay is able to compete at the world class level, and deliver to customers in the US, like for example in the case of Loop Studio? I know that your company also works for Europe, and also Latin America. But how, for example, is your company able to compete in those markets?

Eduardo | 19:39 > At this moment, we're working only for America. Because, yeah, in the past we worked, like you said,

Fabian | 19:48 > Europe, Latin America.

Eduardo | 19:50 > For Europe, Latin America. Why we compete in these markets? I think it's because the market opened the doors for us, for the new companies. We found a lot of old companies in Uruguay developing and giving really good services and put in the name of, okay, Uruguay IT is really good. We can trust in these guys. So, a lot of the clients who arrived to us, they were looking, "Okay, I want Ruby on Rails Uruguay." So, they arrived here, they arrived to our webpage. I think the level of the team and the level of the schools here give us the opportunity to give that level of skills.

Fabian | 20:35 > Excellent. Excellent. Great answer. So, Matt, tell me, and you already probably answered this question, but I want to get into the nitty gritty of it. How is it to work around Uruguayans on a daily basis? Do they tend to bite you, like [inaudible 00:20:55] does, or what?

Matt | 20:57 > Only twice, but I've caught on now. I'm ready to avoid it. I guess two of the bigger differences I've seen, at least in the Loop office. I worked in IT mostly in the sysadmin side of things, not the development side of things, for two or three years. While there, and in college, engineering school, IT, there were next to no women in the office. I mean that there were, on the last corporate job I held, there was not a single woman on the team.

Matt | 21:36 > Whereas the Loop office, it feels like it's close the 50/50. If it's not, the girls there more than make up their voices heard, so it feels like there's a larger presence. Maybe it's Uruguay, maybe it's just Loop, but there seems to be more women in tech here. And then, in the office, when they get loud, everyone gets very loud at once. It's like it comes in waves, where someone cracks a joke and then everyone starts piggybacking off that joke. Then it quiets down again. Then it starts back up. Those are probably the two interesting aspects of working with Uruguayans.

Matt | 22:18 > That, and the mate etiquette. I learned in an office setting if you're sitting next to someone and they're drinking mate, whereas in social settings, they typically pass the mate around. In an office, no, it's their mate.

Fabian | 22:34 > My mate.

Matt | 22:35 > Yes.

Fabian | 22:36 > Do you drink mate? Do you like it?

Matt | 22:38 > I like it. I don't really like hot beverages, so mate is hot tea.

Fabian | 22:45 > You don't drink coffee, tea?

Matt | 22:48 > I love coffee. That's definitely been an adjustment here, because coffee's not that common. But, I like cold brew or iced coffee, that kind of thing. So, I make mate how you'd make iced tea. I do like that a lot. But in the office, no, I usually just drink coffee.

Fabian | 23:07 > Now that Matt brings to the table the topic of women in tech, and he mentions he sees kind of 50/50, and their relation in Loop Studio, which I have to say that the number in Uruguay, the average number of the percentage of women in technology is something between 33 and 35%. So, Loop Studio is above that, for sure. Do you agree with that? Are you at the 50/50, or close to it?

Eduardo | 23:46 > Yeah. Yeah. We're really close to that number. It was like, when we started the company, we said we want 50/50 team.

Fabian | 23:56 > You wanted that.

Eduardo | 23:58 > Yeah. Yeah. We think it's good. And now, on the daily basis, look at the teams together, working, and the relation they have, and the opinions they receive between each other, it's really good. It's a comfortable group. We have a little afraid what would happen if the girls start to grow, or more guys, who will confront. But now, it's really good. The girls come to me and say, "Hey, Eduardo, do you know why the girls code better than men?" I'm like, "Why?" "Yeah, we code cleaner than them."

Fabian | 24:45 > I don't have the number of the proportion of women in technology in USA. Do you know it?

Matt | 24:50 > I do not.

Fabian | 24:51 > I think it's a little below the number that we have in Uruguay. I don't exactly remember how much. Maybe I'm wrong, but I would have to check that. Okay, comparing the United States with Uruguay, probably there are hundreds if not thousands of differences between the countries, because we are a really small country. But, what would you say are the top two differences you see between these two countries?

Matt | 25:30 > I'll try and not pick something so obvious. The first, and this doesn't apply to exported services, this is more like restaurants or stores here.

Fabian | 25:42 > Okay.

Matt | 25:43 > Unlike in the US, here the customer is not right. So if they make a mistake or something, you will pay for it. If they gave you too much of a product or something like that, there's no, "All right. My mistake. Here, it's on the house." It's, "All right. Let me fix that. And I'll rewrite this." Here, in specifically the restaurants and things, the customer is not always right. That, and pedestrian traffic. Montevideo is a very pedestrian, I should say is a walkable city, in that things, are pretty close. But, the cars here do not stop, and in fact, they will speed up to hit you. There's no pedestrian has the right of way at a stop sign or anything. So, yeah, the-

Fabian | 26:35 > How bad of a city we are, man.

Matt | 26:37 > Yeah. That might just be South America. At least compared to the US, there's not as much respect for pedestrians.

Fabian | 26:46 > I will share my comments on that. About the first one, the customer is not right. I think I pretty much agree with that, in terms of restaurants, and maybe clothes stores and that. I think that also, there is a tendency to change that mindset with the arriving of new stores that are more international, kind of like, we have now three Starbucks, or for example, H&M, which opened pretty much last week. Harbor Café is probably arriving, I think, by the end of the year. Yeah! I was waiting for that arrival for so long. Likewise, with Starbucks. I hope that changes at some point in time.

Fabian | 27:45 > Then about the traffic, I don't know how we are going to fix that. I totally agree with it. I see that the problem we have is that in the last five years probably, the amount of cars sold to the market were a lot. That started to go down the last year or maybe year and a half. But, there's too many cars for the size of the streets. So, we are starting to have a problem with that, and people get crazy, because they are not arriving in 15 minutes to every part of the city like we were used to. So nowadays, it takes you 40 to 60 minutes to arrive pretty much anywhere here in the city, and that's totally different from what the city was like 10 years ago. I was just about to say 10 days. 10 years ago. That probably gets a lot of people mad. What do you think of Matt's comments?

Eduardo | 28:48 > Yeah. I agree with both of you, and more when you said the arrival of different American chains or European chains to Uruguay. That will improve the market in relation to customer services. And yeah, about the cars and pedestrians, that's a problem.

Fabian | 29:11 > We have a problem there.

Eduardo | 29:12 > Yeah. More with motorbikes.

Fabian | 29:16 > Yeah, there's a lot of bikes out there. Yeah, totally. Matt, if someone from the United States asked you why they should come to Uruguay and visit, what would you say to them?

Matt | 29:34 > I would say definitely.

Fabian | 29:36 > Good.

Matt | 29:37 > Yeah, it's definitely a place I think everyone should visit. Because it has a lot of uniqueness to offer, and experiences that you'd be hard pressed to get in other places. I mean, you can get similar things in other South American countries, but I don't think it comes in the package of Uruguay, where getting back to it's a manageable country. Whereas if you go to Buenos Aires or something, you might be overwhelmed.

Matt | 30:03 > It's the perfect place to dip your toes in to South America. It's very stable, laid back. And then, this can't be undersold. The meat here is probably the best meat in the world. Everyone, at least in the US, for sure, should come down here and have an asado.

Fabian | 30:25 > And why companies from the United States should do business with Uruguay, like your company?

Matt | 30:33 > As I said, it's very stable here. There's no question of, or at least right now it's very stable, the question of the government enacting some crazy law or anything like that. We have a great relationship with Uruguay, I should say the governments do. Similar time zone, so depending on the time of year, because the US does daylight savings time, off by an hour or two. And then, as such, there's not a huge cultural difference, because we're still in, I guess, the Americas. Versus, say a company that's in India, or Eastern Europe.

Fabian | 31:15 > So being that you were born and raised in Philadelphia, what does Montevideo have to learn from Philly, besides the cheesesteak? Which, when I was there, I visited Philadelphia this year in March, I loved it. You mentioned to me last week that I didn't eat it in the right place. So, I have to go back.

Matt | 31:40 > Yes. You have to go back.

Fabian | 31:42 > But, what does Montevideo have to learn from Philly?

Matt | 31:47 > I view them as very similar cities, in that Philadelphia has New York to the North, and then DC to the South. And Montevideo has Buenos Aires to the West, and then a little bit further up in Brazil, Sao Paulo and other major cities. It's kind of this, not to say forgotten, but this smaller city in between these two major world cities. I think that, I guess, did you want Philadelphia? What they can learn from each other, I should say?

Fabian | 32:21 > Yeah.

Matt | 32:22 > Is, stick with what they do well. If you want New York, you go to New York. You don't go to Philadelphia for New York. You go to Philadelphia for Philadelphia. And I view the same way as Montevideo. I don't want to come here, or maybe I'll stay here, I don't want to see in the next 20 years, massive skyscrapers being built or anything like that. Keep the feel of your town, and just keep making yourselves better. If your goal is to get more people to come here, though, it'll naturally happen if you just keep being you. I think both cities would do well to do that.

Fabian | 33:02 > Cool. Excellent. Are you staying here, your life, for the long run? Do you see yourself returning to the States in the short term?

Matt | 33:14 > Nothing is decided. I'm just going with the flow. I have a lease on my apartment, so at least until then. We'll see.

Fabian | 33:21 > How long have you been living here?

Matt | 33:23 > Since February.

Fabian | 33:24 > Since February.

Matt | 33:24 > The beginning of February, yeah.

Fabian | 33:26 > Cool. I'm getting a little more, I want to get to know a little more about your company, Clockwork, and your company, Eduardo, Loop Studio, before closing this podcast. All right? Matt, can you tell us a little more about your company? What's your pitch?

Matt | 33:47 > Sure.

Fabian | 33:48 > I think I know that you are not the one that goes out there doing the pitch everywhere, but you probably also know how to describe it.

Matt | 33:57 > Yeah. Clockwork provides services for investors, specifically private investors. We don't do stock market brokerage or anything like that. Specific areas that we provide these services are investor due diligence, portfolio management, and I guess, deal sourcing and finding opportunities. That's what Clockwork does.

Matt | 34:32 > Specifically for due diligence, we've done over 500 deals. And I believe the total value of those investments are over a billion dollars now, in a myriad of different US states and a few different countries. We've seen a lot of companies come across our desk, and we have a good feel of what works and what doesn't work.

Fabian | 34:57 > Cool. How did you get to those numbers? Because, those numbers seem to be pretty interesting. Right?

Matt | 35:05 > Yeah. Most of it comes from our clients. One of them in particular is a crowdfunding platform. It's called Republic. It's similar to Kickstarter, except Kickstarter, you just start pre-ordering whatever the thing is. Republic allows you to invest in the companies that you're interested in. It's a pretty exciting concept. It was made possible by this Jobs Act that was passed within the last five years. So, most of the deals come through there, and the other ones come from private investors.

Matt | 35:39 > Of those 500 deals, I think about 75 of them have been crypto. During this big crypto boom, wrapping your head around that. We've done a lot of deals with crypto, which has been, again, interesting to say the least. Because, there's, unlike the equity deals, which are more traditional, the crypto ones seem either boom or bust. There's not really an in between for this.

Fabian | 36:04 > Your slogan of Clockwork reads like Value Over Vanity. Why is that? It's prevalent in your website. When you enter byclockwork.com, it's boom, Value Over Vanity. Why is that?

Matt | 36:22 > There's, many believe, a bubble in the startup investment world. It's companies getting millions upon millions of dollars for what we would describe as more vanity metrics, which is users on a webpage, or I don't know, anything like that. Something that maybe is based upon former raises, the investors they have, maybe they were in the first, in Uber or something like that. So, it's all this vanity stuff. Like, "Oh, we're getting investment from these people," not really looking at what is the company, what do they do, where's the real value? So, Clockwork, what we do is, we're cutting through that vanity and going straight to the core of why-

Fabian | 37:06 > What's the value that you're offering, right?

Matt | 37:07 > Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Fabian | 37:09 > We say it's helping investors. You are also building a platform to systematize the review of investments. Right? Can you tell us a little more about this product?

Matt | 37:22 > Sure. The way we're able to handle over 500 reports-

Fabian | 37:26 > There had to be the magic there, right?

Matt | 37:29 > Yeah. We've been developing this platform we call Clockwork Universe. Right now, it's focused specifically on doing due diligence as a team. You have analysts, and then you have, we call them project managers because doing due diligence is kind of like a project. The system helps divvy out the work, keep track of who's working on what, collect the research and all that data. And brings it into one centralized location so that the investors can A, keep track of where the project or the report is at, as well as dig into the data.

Matt | 38:05 > Because once, if you're a company that has over 350 deals evaluated, maybe you want to filter all those deals and say, "What crypto deals have we looked at?" Or, "What about soy farmers in, I don't know, Kansas? Have I looked at any companies that are working in that space?" And they can filter through. So, we're taking what used to be a more, I guess, PDF or paper based system and bringing it into the 21st century. We're doing that with the help of Eduardo's team.

Fabian | 38:40 > Cool. Now, that brings me to talk a little about Loop Studio. Eduardo, can you give us a short intro of your company and the service offering?

Eduardo | 38:52 > Yeah. Yeah, Loop Studio, it's a software factory. Young, I can say, because we founded this in 2014, with my two partners. We started being like, both of three being developers and designers. With time, we start to provide more services to United States, some services to Norway, Brazil.

Fabian | 39:16 > Oh, wow.

Eduardo | 39:18 > Yeah. For little short times.

Fabian | 39:22 > You say you are now more focused on the USA.

Eduardo | 39:25 > Yeah.

Fabian | 39:26 > Why is that?

Eduardo | 39:27 > In this moment, we're focused on USA because the time zone helps us a lot, to give better service to the client.

Fabian | 39:36 > Cool.

Eduardo | 39:38 > They feel us really near. When they call, it's like, "Okay, I'm a 9, you're a 10. It will be easy." In a meeting, they'll help us a lot at handling and the knowledge of the technology teams. In this moment, we are providing more staff implementation, because there are a lot of teams that we help them, giving the team and that kind of stuff. Working in the back end and front end. But now, we're trying to develop the full product design, and help the startups to develop all the product with us.

Fabian | 40:15 > Cool. Excellent. Do you only work with Ruby on Rails? And let me tell you why I ask that. Because, when I enter your website, the title of your website says, "Ruby on Rails Shop," or something like that.

Eduardo | 40:31 > Yeah.

Fabian | 40:31 > So, my first question, the question that comes to my mind when I realized this is, do these guys only work with Ruby on Rails, or do they also work with other technologies?

Eduardo | 40:41 > No. We work only with Ruby on Rails.

Fabian | 40:45 > You got to be experts on that technology.

Eduardo | 40:46 > Yes. Since we start, we say, "We work some languages." One of my ex-partners come from a Ruby on Rails company, so we start to develop a team. And we say, "Okay, let's do this. It's open sourced. It's easy to learn. Let's go for this way." With a time, we changed, we learned other technologies. Now we are working a lot with the React Native, also with XGS-

Fabian | 41:17 > You have to keep up with the new technologies, right?

Eduardo | 41:21 > Yeah, but also we work in API.

Fabian | 41:24 > Right. But still, Ruby on Rails, why I think of it, is that it's a technology that a lot of startups are working with. Are startups one of your target customers?

Eduardo | 41:39 > Yeah. You know, something interesting in past happened at the first years of us, most of our clients were startups working with Ruby on Rails. In this moment, we have a lot of more corporates looking at this language because a lot of startups are changing to [inaudible 00:41:57] and that kind of stuff. We are trying to learn new languages, and trying to keep, okay, maybe for startups we would have Ruby on Rails and [inaudible 00:42:06], and more for corporates.

Fabian | 42:10 > And besides Clockwork, what other customers do you have? You said you have startups. Now you have corporates. Can you name a few, or point us where they are from, the sizes, the industries?

Eduardo | 42:30 > Yeah. One of our first companies was a really big corporate corporation, SDI. They have like 16,000 employees in the world.

Fabian | 42:41 > Cool. Nice.

Eduardo | 42:43 > We started to work with CRM, ERB, that kind of stuff. Now we are working with some manufacturing companies in California, Salt Lake City. Also, we have to startups, when it's like college application for sports. Another one is a startup with payments in New York. So, we have different types of projects. Little types of projects, a quantitative client in our story. We are working with them since we start. We can say we were working long relationships.

Fabian | 43:25 > Excellent.

Eduardo | 43:27 > That's what we do.

Fabian | 43:28 > All right. So, this is pretty much the end of the podcast. I just want to say thanks a lot for your time, guys, to get to meet past week, chat a little about what we were going to talk about today. I really think that what we have come with is a really interesting topic we discussed today. A really, nice, and good point of view of Matt, and also the opinions of Eduardo. I really enjoyed also learning a little more about your companies, of course. I just want to say thank you. Do you have any additional comments you would like to add to the listeners we have?

Eduardo | 44:14 > Thank you very much, Fabian. It's really good what you are doing with this podcast. Teach the world what is happening here, because we have a beautiful IT industry in Uruguay. Thank you very much.

Fabian | 44:27 > Matt?

Matt | 44:29 > Thank you for having me. Yeah, if you're listening and you're in the fence about coming to Uruguay, or doing business here, definitely give it a shot.

Fabian | 44:40 > Thanks everyone for listening to the Kaizen Podcast. This podcast has been brought to you by Kaizen Softworks. Check us out at kzsoftworks.com.

Fabian Fernandez | CEO

Fabian Fernandez | CEO

I’m a tech guy that loves business and coding, turned CEO of a beautiful company with great people; speaker and community builder.

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