How WeWork ended up with a dev team in Uruguay

How WeWork, a top coworking space company ended up with a software development hub in Uruguay, with Diego Sapriza, Director of Software Engineering at WeWork.

How it all started? What were the different stages of the story? How is for WeWork to work with a team based in Uruguay?

We are going to address these questions and many more.

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Fabian: Hey, everybody! Fabian from Kaizen Softworks here. Welcome to The Kaizen Podcast. Thanks for coming. The Kaizen podcast is produced every two weeks for your enjoyment. Show notes and links are found at Come back often and feel free to add the podcast to your favorite RSS feed, iTunes, Stitcher, and Spotify. You can also follow me on Twitter @kzfabi. Now, let's get into the show.

Fabian: You're listening to episode number three. Today we are talking about how WeWork, the cowork space company ended up with a software development hub in Uruguay, which by the way, has just raised $1 billion dollars from SoftBank last week. So, for that, I'm here today with Diego Sapriza, who is a long time friend and he's also Director of Software Engineering at WeWork. So, welcome to the show, Diego.

Diego: Thank you, Fabian. Thank you for having me.

Fabian: Thanks for making the time today. So, Diego, can you introduce yourself to the audience, tell us a little about you, your background, your current job in general terms?

Diego: Yeah, sure. So, I am, as you said, am Engineering Director at WeWork. I manage, right now, a team that's located in Uruguay and my background is in Computer Science but I've been focused on management and process all my life. So, the story that we're going to talk today is very interesting in that manner like how a team started from working in Uruguay, working for this incredible company that's super fast paced in velocity. So, basically, that's it. In Uruguay, we are 20 people and we are in a transition to the States right now that we are going to talk later.

Fabian: Cool, alright. Great. So, just to start this and break a little the ice, I'm starting a game with my guests that I'm calling "Guess The Year" and you're my first test subject, I have to tell you. Are you ready for that?

Diego: Okay, let's try it.

Fabian: Okay, so in which year was the term "Coworking" coined? Do you know that?

Diego: If I need to guess it will be like 2000's?

Fabian: Yeah, you're pretty near. It was 1999.

Diego: Oh, thanks.

Fabian: The guy was Bernard DeKoven who was an American game designer and fun theorist, coined the term. He meant a different thing, I have to say. I was reading a post about that. I will leave the post link on the notes of this show because that's not the reason that why we're talking today but the term that Bernard coined in 1999 was the term that we use today to define the cowork spaces that WeWork has, right? So, it all started with Centra, am I right?

Diego: So, it actually started before. Centra was Centra, so we had a company that was called Strix Solutions and kind of the story started in 2008.

Fabian: Okay.

Diego: And basically, everything started like talking with a friend that... I had a friend in New York that needed to build a webpage. That's where everything starts, right? And so, we had been doing this with this friend, Javier from Cool Media, been doing services in Uruguay for people in the US and so, he contacted me with their friends in New York, and, yeah everything started in like November. Talks in April 2008, and yeah, the story started there. We can say 10 years ago.

Fabian: 10 years, wow. For how long have you been in the industry? How many years?

Diego: So, I started like working in services in general in 2003. Mainly doing a link between software development and infrastructure and that's kind of what our expertise ... We didn't start ... us, usually start building pages like development systems for companies and I usually work Nexo, but we tried to build a management system. I remember one of the first systems was a system for a school in 2003. So, we started in 2003 and we had the management of Linux services and operations and that's kind of it until we kind of make a transition into mainly software development in 2009, based mainly because of this activity with these guys from New York.

Fabian: Wow, so while I was studying IT systems, you were already working. You've been doing cool stuff.

Diego: Yeah, the journey was super interesting, at least on our side. Starting from building, learning PHP in 2009, building systems, getting my degree and start talking with clients, building systems that connect and do connection with the legacy system. That was pretty intense that years.

Fabian: So, you said you started with a friend in 2008, a friend from New York, and that was pretty much how it all started, then you founded Centra?

Diego: Yeah, exactly. That relationship was kind of interesting because I remember in 2009, well no, 2008 started this and thinking of how we can create a relationship like can be long-term, obviously because that's what we want, I wanted to generate trust with these companies. It was a mutual friend and this, Federico, David, started and they worked for an architectural firm in the US, then they wanted to build a startup. We kind of basically were the ones that were coordinating in Uruguay. We were reading those processes, like creating that software. So, that was kind of the kickoff. The interesting thing about it was it was kind of the business model. We were pursuing a job, Agile contracts. And that I think was an amazing decision because we showed them that we wanted to make this very value oriented, so if they wanted to say to us stop, we stop, and we kind of shared the risk on this project that was super interesting.

Fabian: That's the flexibility the Agile contracts offer, right?

Diego: Exactly. So, obviously, that kind of contracts work if there's a lot of trust between the parties, right?

Fabian: Yeah.

Diego: And that's kind of it. That started there and we worked for almost three or four years, two years in this startup and...

Fabian: Was that your only customer in Centra or did you have others?

Diego: We had a bunch of customers. We had 30% in Uruguay and like five or six in the US, so in this case, Case Inc. was one of the customers. And it wasn't Case in the sense, it was these guys that wanted to build a startup. Case was created later after we started working with them. And they created their company, Case started in New York while we were developing this startup that's called WHObyYOU, in Uruguay, and it was an interesting year, right? 2008, 2009, Facebook, FourSquare, APIs were all over the place, MySQL from a technology standpoint was crazy. So, everything started there, and in 2011 we started working full-time for Case because, and this is kind of the relationship that you start growing when you create a little trust and in this case, their company, we started working for their clients and delivering software for them. This happens a lot, you get into a situation where it's kind of weird. You need to ask for a quote and basically, you have one client. That's the weirder thing. And you start growing based on that client. You start getting a lot of matter expertise on what they do. And the business, and how and the processes and so, the transition to becoming part of Case was a part of something that was normal. We are kind of growing in Uruguay, hiring people and hiring Engineers mainly because we were growing a relationship with Case, and that was kind of it.

Fabian: How big was the team?

Diego: So, when it started, in 2008, we were three. And then, we kept growing. I think in 2011/12 when transitioned to Case we were 6. Yeah, we were six at that time. From there, we kept growing. One thing that's important is that we didn't grow just because of growing because sometimes, this is a very startup thing, and I'm seeing it a lot. Places just hire people because you need to show that you are growing. We were very focused on growing the team if we needed to, and we've had a very small team that was very focused and super efficient, so processes and their relationship with our clients and partners are very important, right?

Fabian: Right.

Diego: So, until like right now we're almost 20 in Uruguay, we're 19.

Fabian: So, the important thing was just to deliver good value and at a good performance and not just having 20, 30 or 40 people, right?

Diego: Right, it's about delivering what your client needs, and that's part of all the agility mindset thing and figuring out what's important and what's not. Obviously, having a good relationship with who you're working for is very important because you should be okay to say "no, that makes no sense" or "you're just doing things that make no sense". Obviously, the transition was kind of we can say interesting because we came from a relationship with a company that was fully agile to having clients in the architectural world, construction world, where agility's a different thing, right? Mainly, you can't do agility right in that world. Obviously, the contracts were like kind of waterfall things, and so we were in the, this was an interesting thing where we wanted to build agile in a non-agile world. And because, yeah you'd have a contract for a year for example, and that's it. That's kind of it, and basically, you have a lot of requirements by your team and obviously want to make the big impact first, and so it wasn't... we learned a lot on that process about agility. It's agility and it depends on the client, depends on the team, depends on how or what you're doing. You can't always execute the same process and you need to adapt. So, I think adaptation and being prepared for change is one of the most important principals a team should pursue.

Fabian: Right, so you say that you started with friends in New York, but were you looking to work for the US because of "X" reasons or was it just a matter of life?

Diego: That's a good question. So, we as a country, we are in a very good position. We have amazing talents, right? And obviously, Uruguay's amazing to live. Like living in Uruguay's amazing, but I think we were not actually looking to work for an American company, it just happened. I mean, obviously, we were talking with our partner about doing that, but what I discovered is that we have an amazing talent. We are in the right time zone, English is not a barrier at all, right? And obviously, from a taxing perspective, it's super interesting too. Like laws in general help a lot. Obviously there's a lot of things that need to be done to enable small companies of friends that just want to work for the US or different countries, but I think the environment in Uruguay helped us just do it, and obviously like creating those relationships, but the Uruguay IT environment enables companies to work with US companies pretty straightforward. In a pretty straightforward manner.

Fabian: Right. So, and you said that the talent is really good here in Uruguay, but did Centra [Case] also consider that a factor on the decision on why working with you? Did they express their feedback about the good quality of the work of the talent that they found with you?

Diego: So, that's an interesting question, so we're talking about Case, right?

Fabian: Yeah.

Diego: And I think it's not just... the important thing here is like obviously for a company in Uruguay to get talent, it's important, but it's not just talent, it's about the culture, too. And delivery and be honest, very honest in a lot of things. I think that's part of our culture as Uruguayans, and obviously, talent helps a lot. We have very good Universities for that, but it's not just the talent. In this case, the relationship happened...

Diego: ...the relationship happened and we put a lot of effort into creating a lot of trust between us and the US company. And I'm seeing this a lot. Like more and more companies are creating these relationships that can obviously help Uruguay a lot. Something that, in our case, was kind of different, it was ... Because we transitioned to Case and working full time for Case, it was not like an Uruguayan company working for a New York company, right? We were a remote team if you think about it. Right. That changed the logistics of it. Obviously... And that's what's happening at WeWork right now. You are part of something bigger than your team in Uruguay. But we have a very good culture. We have very good talent. And that's something that we need to invest a lot in culture in Uruguay. I think we have the talent. People can grow. And something that I think we need to start working more is the attitude of like... We need to grow a bit in the attitude of growth in Uruguay, right? That's kind of like taking risks in this kind of companies. There's a lot of people working from Uruguay. And there are not enough people to hire. And this is one of the main problems that I find like I discovered while I was trying to hire people, right? And so that's something that we need to figure out as a country, right?

Fabian: Yeah.

Diego: But the important thing, going back to your question, is not just about the talent. It's about the relationship you create with the companies. And I think we are in a very good position in this case.

Fabian: And you are making a lot of emphasis on trust. And I am going to ask you, how do you start building that trust with your customer with Case in this case? How do you keep building that trust?

Diego: Okay. I'm a culture guy. And obviously, I love... I manage a lot of people. It's culture first, always. And part of creating very good cultural environments is about trust, right? So how to do it? It's about a lot of talk. Face to face. Having very good expectations and understanding what you're gonna do and what you're not gonna do, right? And understanding why we are doing things. Because sometimes we are so used to engineering when a client asks for something to just go and do it, but you don't understand the why, right? Asking why we are doing these things generates a lot of trust. And at the same time in doing that and asking about the why we do things, us engineers... We can help our clients to think about things and rethink them... Rethink their strategy. We know we have a lot of knowledge on that side. So that generates trust. We need to help our clients to take the right decision. We are obviously doing this for money and because we love it, and because we need to live. But on the other side, we want our clients to be successful too, right? And if you don't get into those... If you don't follow that kind of relationship, it's not gonna work. It's a short-term relationship. And that's why sometimes you need to say no to clients or maybe you need to fire clients. Like as an owner of a company, it shouldn't be very hard to say, "Okay, client, I'm not gonna give you service you again." Because again, it's about trust. If there's no trust, there's no point to keep investing time in those relationships. That's life, right? And trust is everything. If I can't trust a client or can't trust an engineer, I prefer not to have that relationship because, in the end, we are a remote company. You're a remote team. And you want to work and you want to deliver and you don't want people to micromanage you and start asking for stuff that makes no sense or be on top of you. You just want everything to go smooth and deliver what you need in the right moment.

Fabian: I totally agree with that. So in 2011, and you already mentioned it, but Case transitioned from being a customer to buying Centra, Centra to being Case, Right?

Diego: Right. So basically we went for like just having like hours full time working for Case. That was kind of...

Fabian: Working for Case. So, not a buying decision?

Diego: It was not a buying decision.

Fabian: So and do you... We already talked about the advantage of being in Uruguay. But did Case think about any other country? Consider any other company based in any other country in South America?

Diego: Right. So, Case was interesting as a company. Young people... For example. We're like 60 people all around the world. But the interesting thing was that even in the US, half of the employees at Case were remote. Right? So it wasn't to think about we want to grow in a different country because we're very focused as a company as Case in the US. But as a company, it was very interesting to see like half of the employees were remote. Obviously, we were a remote team. But the rest of the people working for Case, half of them in the US were remote and half of them were working from New York, right? But obviously, as a consulting company, the thing about a consulting company and consultants is that while you grow and you have more clients, you need to grow people. Right? You need to get bigger and bigger and bigger. Right? And obviously, we were growing in Uruguay because we needed more engineers. But at the same time, we were growing in the US. But we had clients in England and other parts of the world. But the talent was basically in the US and Uruguay. And we have people, like remote people in different places. But it was mainly there.

Fabian: So, and after the transition to being fully dedicated to Case, besides you traveling to the US to the New York offices of Case, did the team also travel there?

Diego: Yeah. So yes. Totally. And obviously the first years that relationship was remote mainly. But then because we were actually part of a US company we started traveling. And face to face to a remote team is very important. Obviously, we usually push... Oh yeah, you're using Slack or you're using Zoom, Hangouts, whatever. But face to face is different. So when you have remote teams, you need to have that face to face at least once a year. Right? So at Case what we did, and that's something we have at WeWork, we have the summits. And so basically all employees travel... In this case, we travel, we went to New York. And then we have a summit in San Francisco. And I remember... I think we had one in Miami. So that works a lot. And obviously, for a project, you have sometimes people flying to the US because you need to go to a client's office or something because you need to sit down with a client or whatever, right? Obviously, it's very hard to do whiteboarding, even though we have a lot of technology. But you need to go and travel. So traveling was something we are used to. And that was part of the team's life you can say.

Fabian: So if you had to remember one thing the Americans at Case love about you, your company, and Uruguay, what is it?

Diego: Maybe I cannot help repeating myself. But think about the trust, delivering, and that you're doing the best thing for the company is kind of the thing. I was... I usually get involved in the business side of it and try to understand the why we're doing that and giving ideas about it. And obviously, sometimes you can do it right or do it wrong. But whatever. Learning... Because we wanted to learn the business, in this case, was a very different thing. It's not like oh yeah, you do it like a banking system or whatever. This architecture, this construction, that's something that was totally new for us. But trust I think was the differentiation in our case. And obviously taking the time to grow those relationships with our US team basically.

Fabian: Yeah. Showing interest in what they do and learning more. That's how you build the trust.

Diego: The hardest thing of this transition was basically changing the mindset of being like a remote team or a remote company to understand that you're part of a bigger thing. And because you're a remote team, you have your culture, your interactions. Obviously, you are part of a bigger thing that has its culture. Maybe it's different. Maybe it's not. But the dynamics change the way you work. And that takes time, right? There's no way of just moving to be a remote team to just, "Oh, you're part of a bigger company, just figure it out." It takes time for a team to just understand the logistics and understand the new culture, right?

Fabian: How much time did it take?

Diego: It took like a year to actually understand it. And obviously, change generates anxiety in the team always. But as managers or leaders, that's our job, right? To handle that and have your team transition and change, right? And I think it took like a year to get fully embedded in the company culture.

Fabian: Did somebody from Case ever come here to Uruguay to visit you?

Diego: Yeah. That happened a bunch of times. One of the Case... So this friend that we have in common, one of the Case owners is from Uruguay. And so he traveled a couple of times and yeah... It wasn't too much. But once a year we'll have somebody from Case in Uruguay. And we usually do it the other way around, right? We travel to the New York offices more than people travel from New York to Uruguay. That kind of changed a bit at WeWork. But in Case, that was the relationship you can say.

Fabian: And for the non-Uruguayan from Case that travels to Uruguay, what was their first impression about the country?

Diego: So I guess I like... That happened more at WeWork and I saw the impact more at WeWork. And that they love the culture. We have a culture that's super interesting. It's very different. We like... The main impact is that. The culture we have in our offices, the interactions, everything like friendship is what makes the most impact. And the dynamics of the team is different. Obviously, maybe it's too because we are a smaller country and we invest a lot in our relationships. Obviously, it's not the same. We are not talking about family. But your team is you're working eight hours a day, 40 hours a week with your team. So we put a lot of work on the culture side. So that's kind of the first thing. Like the culture, friendship, that immediately after... Like, for example. If you're gonna do like an asado or barbecue, how they call it, what happens at that moment is like the "mate", that stuff is very interesting for them. But it's not just because you drink it. It's all the cultural interactions that happen that it's totally different.

Fabian: So moving forward, in August 2015, Case was acquired by WeWork, right? In a deal that probably makes total sense for WeWork.

Diego: Yeah.

Fabian: How did this impact Case Uruguay, you, and your daily work?

Diego: That's an interesting question. So, at first, it didn't impact, kind of nothing. We just kept working the way we were working because okay, we acquired Case... Again, the story is very similar, right? You start working with a client. And then that client is taking a lot of your work and then it just happened. But in our case, we kept working because my team in Uruguay was very focused on building software for WeWork because it was a big client. So the transition kind of... We didn't realize about it in the first six months. We just kept working. And then till it clicked, it's like, dude, we are part of this huge company. And we just kept working by inertia. And WeWork is a very interesting company to work for. But it didn't click till six months later. Obviously, we start traveling. I remember our first summit in New York. That was kind of when it clicked. So in January 2016, we went with the whole team to New York. And that was it. That was the moment we go, okay, we are part of this craziness.

Fabian: How many people?

Diego: So I was... I am employee number 1000.

Fabian: 1000?

Diego: So I think summit were like 1200 something. And now we are in ...

Fabian: How many people?

Diego: I think 6000 or 5000 employees.

Diego: So that was when it clicked, right? We were part of a company that we were 60 people to a 1,000 and it was like, yeah, it's a totally different dynamic, right? And it's a different speed, and how you scale, how you work, it's totally different. And that, again, it was kind of like a leader of my team starting... Kind of okay, we need to deal with it. And let's figure out how we can evolve. And to be part of this crazy company, right? Because it's crazy. WeWork, it's very interesting. Obviously, when you are acquired, you have a culture. Again, same thing, what happened when I was working for my company. Then we started working full-time for Case, it's like, obviously the culture changed. Because you have a dominant culture, right? You are embedded in this dominant culture, and then you have your own culture. Sometimes it fits, sometimes it doesn't, so you need to evolve, right? Evolution, it's important, this, and thinking about scale. From a cultural perspective, it's a key aspect. Having happy engineers, and happy teammates, or happy people, right? But that first trip to New York was impressive. Like, yeah, it was crazy.

Fabian: So you were saying that WeWork was already a customer of Case?

Diego: Yep.

Fabian: What were the first comments by WeWork when they found out that they were working also with a bunch of guys from Uruguay?

Diego: Well, I think, right now, companies are global, right? So it just happened, we just were part of WeWork. Right now, WeWork has offices in a lot of places. We have offices, we'll have engineering teams in Tel Aviv, Singapore, Shanghai, San Francisco, and New York, right? Seattle. Obviously, we were kind of the first remote team, so that was new for WeWork. So it was a learning process. Most for us, maybe for our team, to understand how to work with this big, remote company, right? That have an HQ in New York. Because Case was different, Case had most of the team remote. But like, WeWork, the HQ was kind of the central place, and it is in New York. But now, we're all over the world, right? So it was interesting. I can't say you what exactly people said in New York about how we, okay we work with this company, and they have engineers in Uruguay. But again, again, as an Uruguayan, we kept working and showing what we do best, that's delivering value, and after we've been working for WeWork till I think... The Uruguay, WeWork Uruguay was created in December 1st, right? WeWork Uruguay was created there, then, so we can say that we have almost three years working for WeWork. It's interesting, once you start growing, and having a remote location, it's less awkward. Obviously, at first, it was a challenge. Because WeWork was not a company that had remote teams, right? Obviously, we in Uruguay, we changed a lot of our dynamics and based on that, thinking about how we can multiply our impact on our customer. Obviously, the main difference right now is, instead of working for clients, and that was kind of the big click, that we have at Case. Like at Case, you work for clients, Case clients, and now we're working for ourselves. We're building systems for WeWork, right?

Fabian: Yeah, that your own company uses.

Diego: Right. So that's kind of different, we're building stuff for us, right? And that was kind of the first change in the mindset.

Fabian: Which is even cooler, right?

Diego: That's cooler because you can do a lot of things, right? And you can take the time to think about how to do things, and you can go faster or slower based on your company, right? You can take... And then, you can take the time to think about a lot of things beforehand, or not, right? That's kind of the interesting things about building software for you. On the other side, we already said it's growing so much. And right now, we are in 22 countries, and the growth is impressive. So, the basis is huge. Obviously, that thing is different right now. Like, we were working for Case, the base depends on the client, the speed of the client. But now, it's like, when we started working for WeWork, we had one business line. It was a co-working. And now we have seven, right? That happened in less than three years, right? So the way you build software, it totally changed, right? You need to build... Instead of building for a client, that basically you build the software, and maybe you're not going to see them again, you are building things that are going to change in six months. Or you don't know. There's no way to plan for a year from now, right? Because it's crazy. And that's kind of like the way it changed the dynamics.

Fabian: So Uruguay offices of WeWork lasted for three years, right?

Diego: Yeah.

Fabian: And you are now transitioning to California. You recently moved there with your family, right?

Diego: Yeah, I'm in California right now.

Fabian: Cool. So why is this decision from WeWork to move the team there?

Diego: Yeah. So that's an interesting question. Mainly because of growth, of the teams, and giving people the opportunity to work with amazing talent. Obviously, in Uruguay, we have an amazing talent. But I don't know, my boss is from Amazon, right? And the VP is from Spotify. So it's a totally different dynamic. So this will give the Uruguayan team the opportunity to work with crazy talent, and obviously, California, San Francisco, Silicon Valley, this is crazy, right? So obviously,

Fabian: Yeah, you are growing to levels that you were not expecting, right?

Diego: Exactly. And I think that's the why. It's like, okay, we're moving, right? We are changing, we are moving up the bar, and giving the team an opportunity to see by themselves how this works. Because you have the scale and growth, and obviously hiring is interesting in Uruguay. Something that I discovered is, we have a very good engineering talent. But there's a lot... We need a lot, we need better managers, right? And engineer managers. And we don't have that talent yet, or too much. So hiring that talent is very difficult in Uruguay. You can get a lot of engineers, developers, etcetera, but hiring engineer managers, that's very difficult. Even product managers, right? The thing is, that's kind of the main reason, right? We wanted to give our team the opportunity to grow, right? And to work with talent that's crazy, right? So I don't know, right now I'm working with people that come from Twitter, Facebook, Amazon, right? And it's a totally different way of thinking. That's cool, you're working in Uruguay, growing, thinking, developing crazy stuff. But it's not the scale, you know? You need to work with people that know to work at scale, right? And that's something that the only way to do it is to actually work in person, and move the team. So this is a fantastic opportunity for the Uruguayan team to just start working in the best world, like the engineering world, or engineering place, ever.

Fabian: And is the whole team moving to California?

Diego: Basically most of them, and some of them, they're not. Some of them, they're moving to New York. Some of them are staying in Uruguay. So that's kind of it.

Fabian: So we are coming to the end of the podcast. But just before saying goodbye to the audience, I just want to mention, know your thoughts about the latest acquisitions. Well, not the latest, but maybe two acquisitions in the last couple of years by WeWork. One was Flatiron School, which you shared a post with me? Flatiron School, for those who don't know, it's coding education platform with online, and offline courses.

Diego: Yep.

Fabian: And I think it looks like WeWork is making different acquisitions related to the whole life cycle of the businesses they offer cowork spaces to. Because later in November 2017, WeWork acquired Meetup, which is a platform, pretty much used everywhere in the world, to host meetups, and manage meetups, and have all the attendees managed through that platform. So, what are your thoughts around these acquisitions?

Diego: So WeWork, it's a mission-oriented company, right? Our mission is to create a world where people work to make a life, not a living, that's our mantra. And obviously, having amazing offices is not everything. They're doing things that we have spaces, that can be used by different communities. Meetup has those communities. And you know, you and me, a lot of our friends, we'd be hosting meetups, and one of the main issues is like where we're going to host it? So it kind of makes sense, right? It's like, okay, you have coworking spaces in 22 countries, right? What if we just delivered the spaces to the communities, and we can make them available?

Fabian: That makes total sense...

Diego: Makes total sense, right?

Fabian: Yeah.

Diego: And it's like, okay, we have a company that builds these amazing spaces, and we have this other company that has these amazing communities, and the main problem on these communities is to find spaces. So it makes sense, right? And that's kind of the main reason. One of the things, we want to give our members, and our employees, a way to close the gap in different things. So obviously, at WeWork, we have different groups, right? That they're kind of like internal meetups. And now we have the technology to do it. Now all the meetup kind of community have access to the spaces. Apart from Meetup having an amazing engineering team, an amazing CEO, right, it makes sense. Like, it clicks, it fills in the gaps. Same thing with Flatiron. Flatiron, it helps us to give our members and employees, to expand the knowledge and skillset. So it's the same thing, helping our members, right? And right now, for example, I have people on my team that is being trained by Flatiron, they have been taking their online courses. So kind of the why of all this is to multiply and give our members and employees tools, right. And sometimes, the Meetup acquisition just clicks. Just oh, okay, makes total sense. Eventually, we're going to have access to WeWork's, to spaces all over the world. And then that's it. As a Meetup organizer, we are not going to have this issue about finding where we are going to host our meetup. You just will have access. So that's kind of like the why, helping our members and employees to figure out things. And making them just focus on their main expertise. Not figuring out where they're going to host something, right? Like okay, we just help you, because this is the technology, these are the spaces, it just clicks. Or just like... Right?

Fabian: Yeah, it makes sense. Well all right. I just wanted to say thank you so, so much for your time, Diego. I remember that we met back in probably 2012 when you were organizing the tech meetup events for the community in Uruguay. And also thanks to the website that we were talking about, right? And I really enjoyed all the times that we met at conferences, events. You taught a lot to me, and I learned a lot from you about the community. So I really appreciate you. I really think that you are doing a really good job.

Diego: Thank you.

Fabian: And I wish you the best in WeWork, and all of your life, now.

Diego: Thank you very much. I think the community in general, it's a key component of this. We build that at WeWork. Community and culture, and just want to help others, because by helping others, you grow a lot, right? And that's part of the why we've been doing that. The conferences, you have an amazing conference, too. I know that a lot of people is just growing a lot just because you guys are doing that. And again, the conference was a nice chapter in my life, and I'm seeing, I'm very happy. Because we kind of enabled a lot of the movement in the engineering community in Uruguay. And thank you very much for inviting me, I'm always open for these brainstorming discussions, and sharing. Because I think sharing is a way to grow. And that's very important.

Fabian: Thanks everyone for listening to The Kaizen Podcast. This podcast has been brought to you by Kaizen Softworks. Check us out at

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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