Shame

Yesterday I attended a meet-up of tech & art folks at the wonderful The Wye and thanks to everyone who organized it. One of the special things about it was we had a group of Indian entrepreneurs from the GSF accelerator as guests. It was a small group, because most of the group had visa issues and couldn’t make the trip to Berlin.

Next week I’m supposed to meet some people from Yandex in Berlin. Maybe it will be the week thereafter, because they already wrote me they are expecting visa issues.

Last Friday AWS held a workshop for some of our CTOs. I bungled the communication so it was a bit on short notice, 1.5 weeks. One of the CTOs invited was Safa from Peak Games. Safa wrote back saying that he’s unlikely to get a Visa at that short time and alas he did not make it.

Let me tell you the folks at Peak are a lot smarter and – for what it matters – wealthier than I am. When we have a meeting in Istanbul I just hop on a flight and get a cab straight to downtown. Not quite so the other way around.

Whenever something like this happens its a sting straight to the heart. It remains a deep and recurring source of shame for me.


6 Comments on “Shame”

  1. Not too sure what your point is here – understand that VISA issues are a pain, and so is realizing you forgot to communicate something, but I’m a little lost as to what you’re trying to drive home. Just an embarassing experience?

    • berlinvc says:

      Hi Liam. Whereas as my time management is a frequent source of shame that was definitely not the point I was trying to make 😉 The point was over the recent 2 weeks I have witnessed several instances where Berlin / Germany was unwelcoming to folks we really need more of here. The other point being: I dont’t have those issues when I want to visit those folks. We are not equals in the global visa ecosystem and its painful to be reminded of it.

  2. My experience is that the process is kind of painful and long (but a few weeks is not the end of the world either), but it is generally very well possible to come here. I guess it is much easier to come to Germany than to the US, for instance.

    • berlinvc says:

      It’s definitely possible, but for me a few weeks is entirely unacceptable. I have another point though: its nearly always one-sided, I can freely travel (hop on to a flight to Instanbul right now) whereas some people that want to visit me have to go through some degrading loops to show they are worthy of entering the country – that’s the part that stings. What I would say though that for employment it is definitely less of an issue than people make it out to be sometimes. We’ve always found a way to get people a work permit. These cases were just to show we are not equals when it comes to f2f exchanges in the tech community…

      • These days a German passport is probably the best thing you can have for international travel…and imagine how it would be if there was no EU..

        btw – why do not you plug in disqus into this blog?

      • berlinvc says:

        @pawel yes i need to do that. i think i cant the way i am hosting the blog now but i need to change that. super painful now.


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