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Leapfrogging the U.S.: Transportation in Sao Paulo

Sao Paulo, Brazil—This city, where I spent the last week, is massive—much bigger than New York. Traffic can be terrible, from the main thoroughfares to the winding and complicated back alleys even locals struggle to navigate. Cars are extremely expensive, and mass transportation is underdeveloped.  

So logically, transportation and delivery apps are hot topics of discussion and development in the city. After several conversations with locals and people in tech, three major themes are stuck in my mind.

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This trip has underscored that a lot of the trends that people are excited about in Silicon Valley are actually more interesting outside of the U.S. In some cases technology conquers all. It is always a bad idea to bet against companies that have access to the greatest nexus of technical, product and design talent in the world; however, there is a lot going on regionally here that feels quite powerful.

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My experience in Sao Paulo reinforced my view that Uber isn’t necessarily a natural global monopoly and that investors should value them as a company that will dominate markets where they are already entrenched, like the U.S.