I mentioned this in my last entry, but I figure a full entry is due. To make sure we’ll all on the same page:
I live in Escazu, Costa Rica and I’ve been here for just over a year. I have a few business partners here and we run a bunch of sites related to online poker, although no gaming sites for obv reasons. Just promotional sites like PocketFives, among others. We have a bunch of employees (programmers, writers, etc), an office, managers, housing, etc. I bought my own place but the other guys all live in a bunch of houses that are behind a single gate. They’ve all been here longer than me. Some have been here two and a half years, one is closing in on two years, etc. Contrary to what some believe, I am NOT working for AP and UB just because I moved to Costa Rica. Although I do live about 10 minutes from their offices.
Anyway, that’s the general summary of what I’m doing down here. So I can’t really say too much on behalf of the other guys, but a few of them decided that they would rather live in the Caymans than live in Costa Rica. We are keeping our office here and all of our employees — we have no plans to change that. And honestly, I don’t think we could change it. Our business is reliant on many of our employees in Costa Rica … it just wouldn’t work without them. Not only that, it’s essentially impossible to hire employees in Cayman. First, they’re expensive. Second, there’s an enormous amount of paperwork. Third, there’s no one that would fit our needs skill-wise. Either way, the intent of the move was never to move offices, it was just to relocate a few of the people in upper management to a different area.
Here are my personal reasons for moving…
- To be near my business partners for discussions and general strategy purposes. I think it helps to be living in the same general area as people who are making decisions for the long-term for our company.
- Cayman is safer than Costa Rica and I can walk around at night without worrying about getting mugged or worse
- Quality of life is higher… better grocery stores, less pollution, less traffic, nice beaches, better TV options, etc. Also, before anyone comments on the grocery store thing — TRUST ME. If you haven’t lived for an extended period of time near crappy grocery stores, then you can’t comment. The ability to get good produce, healthy food and have all of the options that you’re used to is HUGE.
- English-speaking country. I get frustrated sometimes with my Spanish, but I also can’t justify the time needed to learn it.
- It gives our employees a chance to “grow up” in some ways. No, I’m not saying they’re childish. I’m saying they can “grow up” in the sense of not relying on upper management with questions, concerns, decisions, etc. We trust our upper-level employees to make the right decisions when presented with problems. And since the long-term plan was to move back to the States, this seems like a good transition step to me. So basically, I see it as a good opportunity for a bunch of our employees.
- We plan on being back in Costa Rica a few times a year anyway, so I should still be able to meet and interact with employees.
- I know I said TV above, but this must be emphasized: American ESPN. Sure, we get “ESPN” in Costa Rica, but it is not ESPN. It’s a soccer channel. No football, no baseball, no basketball, etc. Just soccer 24/7. In spanish. Aka, completely useless and boring. We don’t even get the crappy EuroSPN that you can pick up in Europe. At least that would be in English. I’ve missed the english United States feed of ESPN a ton. Cayman has it. Hurrah.
Anyway, I guess that’s why I’m moving.
On another note, I just caught up 100% with The Unit. Good show, I recommend watching it. A bit weird at times, but overall very entertaining.