Started coming to Ho Chi Minh City in 2009 when I launched Lift9 and established a team of social media analysts here. After selling Lift9 to a UK company a year later, I founded TenPoint7 and built another office here. This time around data science and cloud analytics.
Hey, one of the benefits of being an entrepreneur is that you can build your company in places that you enjoy visiting or living. Sure, it has to make business sense. In our case, Vietnam graduates more computer science and math majors than any other Southeast Asian country. The infrastructure has vastly improved since 2009 and the Vietnamese have great work ethic.
But all work and no play makes me not so productive. I love the food here (actually, I just love food). I call it the Vietnamese Cleanse when I eat local foods at local portions. Tasty, flavorful foods always garnished with fresh herbs and vegetables. I usually feel great by the time I’m ready to leave… only if I could avoid those pizza slices when I get home.
Anthony Bourdain, one of my life heroes, makes it clear that Vietnam is his favorite destination for food. Remember when he was kicking it with President Obama enjoying bun cha at a dive joint in Hanoi?. What I would have given to have had a third seat. Right? Later, President Obama came down to HCMC and visited our co-sharing office, DreamPlex, to witness the thriving startup ecosystem here.
Of course, there’s more to Vietnam than the food. There’s so much energy and charm in a place that is changing so fast. The optimism of the youth is contagious. Anyway, I’ll share those observations in following posts.