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Ben Kepes is a technology evangelist, an investor, a commentator and a business adviser. His business interests include a diverse range of industries from manufacturing to property to technology. As a technology commentator he has a broad presence both in the traditional media and extensively online. Ben covers the convergence of technology, mobile, ubiquity and agility, all enabled by the Cloud. His areas of interest extend to enterprise software, software integration, financial/accounting software, platforms and infrastructure as well as articulating technology simply for everyday users.

More about Ben here.

31 responses to “Sarah Lacy Pans a Nation, Self-Importance Anyone?”

  1. Pishabh Badmaash

    This is funy. Sara is the worst fluffy writer in the valley. She herself lacks any skill but likes to ride on glories of other ones.

  2. Vladimir

    As a Brazilian myself I’d like to add a few things:
    1) Sara should have know better than trying to get a visa in such a short period of time. This is true for Brazil, the US or any other country that requires a visa.
    2) The Brazilian policy of tit-for-tat is silly. There are very few Americans interested on illegally immigrating to the country. The visa requirement hurts our business environment and, especially, our tourism. And it is very unlikely that such a policy will change anything about the way the US government treats Brazilians.
    3) Regardless, Sara´s beef has with our government is not an excuse for her to insult our flag. The flag represents the whole nation, not the government.

  3. WesleydeSouza

    Agreed, if she asked these entrepreneurs to go to her instead of her coming to Brasil, not only some would come but they would pass through a harder process and NOT ARGUE at all, because we are used to this when going to the US.

  4. RG

    Anyone who has had to deal with visa issues in Brazil can relate to Sarah’s ire. A visa is a visa is a visa. They are a pain to get wherever you go, and the idea that you can’t complain because you come from a country with a strict visa system is absolutely ridiculous. Brazilians are hyper-sensitive about criticism of their country, and since this was a pretty straightforward criticism, the attacks on Sarah were to be expected, though some of them were completely unwarranted.

  5. Indignant

    Ok, now just wonder, just in a crazy thought, that it was *we* doing that to *her* flag. Yeah, surprising or not, I’m a patriot, and I respect my flag. As well as I do with the ones from other countries, Sarah Lacy. Maybe you should (re?)-learn …some manners.

    Oh, and btw…every decent traveler in the world knows you should plan your trips way ahead. Tough cookie. It’s your own damn fault (really pissed off)

  6. Babi

    Hey, Ben, nice piece. I am Brazilian and live in USA for almost two years and Ms Lacy article caused very strong feelings about it (and her). I could put in words all my frustration and how I am outraged by her prejudice, lack of respect for our people, flag and Government, but I won’t as I think she is an easy target. I appreciate your words, coming from someone – I guess non-Brazilian – who sees through the glass and notices she was full of herself – and she was the one to be blamed for her own frustrations.

    I didn’t see threats at the comments, but I didn’t read it all. But she brought that to herself. In only one (brief) article she managed to imply we are violent, poor, incompetent, stupid, to name some.

    To illustrate (and I know a lot of people already did as an answer to Ms Lacy word’s), we waited months to an appointment that we had to be in person, in line, under rain and after under burning sun, just to get in the consulate, being humiliated from beginning to end, thinking what we should do not to get kicked out for no reason. My family visa was one of the easy ones: we had a Microsoft letter asking the visa. I saw tourist visas being given to three people in a family of four, and the fourth being rejected (the boy wasn’t even there and he was 14). No (already paid) trip to Disneyland. I could go on.

    Setting foot at USA, at Customs, my son who was 18 months old, had to be taken off his stroller because the guy refused to look down to see his face. And so many annoying things that we have experienced (and still do, even holding Greencards). We try to breathe in and out and move on.

    One can only guess Ms. Lacy, as you already brought it up, feels she is superior. She also seems in need of a personal journal, you know, the kind a teenager has to let all her “problems” out and state how “life is unfair”. Maybe I will buy one and send it her way, then she can be more focused in her book. A personal blog would do too.

  7. Richard Delahur

    Hey everyone. Great post and great comments.

    Guessing by the educated responses from your readers, I already assume you all know that her opinion doesn’t represent all US citizens. I am a US citizen myself and I love traveling and learning from other cultures, and I believe her post was extremely disrespectful and incompetent on her part. More than anything, she showed us all that she is extremely ill-informed on many aspects outside her “specialty”, if you can even call it that.

    Have some respect, lady.

  8. Indignant

    What made me so pissed off wasn’t even the text. Although being unbelievable self-centered, arrogant and disorganized, she’s entitled to have her (dumb) opinion, and write about it. I’m with Voltaire on this one. But doing that to the flag is so absurd and disrespectful that it enrages me. She’s not complaining about a country’s government, she’s offending an entire nation’s pride. If she had used the symbol of Brazilian Immigration Center, or the symbol of the Embassy, whatever, it would be douchey but still tolerable. But what she did is unforgivable. Same, exact same principle of why they get so mad at Muslims burning their flags in public. What she did was just as bad.

  9. Rogerio Sampaio

    Who tha hell she think she is?
    Sarah please do not come to Brasil! We do not want to see you or meet you. I lost a great opportunity to be cool and to respect the laws of my country.
    You are not welcome!

  10. Andrey

    Sarah Lacy not deserve the slightest respect for the Brazilians…

  11. RC

    Absolutely ludicrous, not to say appaling. Quite frankly, saying one will invariably get mugged and/or kidnapped is not only offensive but shows a misguided and prejudicial ethnocentrical view of the world. Even if those remarks were about Iraq or Afghanistan, deeply politically instable countries, they would be no good. Also, who travels to another continent with days (if so) to spare on their preparations? That’s just a very, very bad idea, for any nation that is.

    Despite feeling offended -as far as it is reasonable for the internet- as I’m brazilian, I truly hope Ms. Lacy is able to come here and have a great stay. As with anyone from anywhere, she’s more than welcome to enjoy the best the country can offer. And I believe those feelings are mutual for most brazilians.

  12. Babi

    @ RG : Really? Complaining is different of being disrespectful. You can complain and still be very polite, even when sarcastic. Complaining words do not need to have prejudice, arrogance and narcissism inspiring them. Sometimes I get the feeling North Americans as Ms Lacy and you, Mr RG (I supposed because you are all hurt by the comments and have the same way of thinking as her, you are a US citizen), think free of speech and criticism walk side by side with prejudice and freedom to shoot to anyone, anything. It *is* a two way road: if you treat freedom of speech and criticism as such, you will have the same result. I can see a hyper-sensitive guy in your words myself…
    O velho “você colhe o que plantou”. 😉
    One inserted in such a strict system should at least expect the same process. And I would change criticism in your comment by attack. It would make more sense.
    Sarah Lacy teve um caso de rei-na-barriguite aguda, febre do espírito suíno, com ataques de diva, tratada com cocada preta (tentando virar rainha)…

  13. Babi

    (see, I was polite, used light sarcasm and yet, I didn’t offend your flag, people or Government…)

  14. jonathanit

    seriously i totally disagree with her, but how you people say childish things can help things?

    i apologise for this people, there’s childish people like Sarah in Brazil too

  15. Nath

    She thinks she´s special because she´s an american girl. We don´t care about it, but now we don´t want this “special” person, poor american girl here. Stay in your good and efficient country that made the hole world fall in a depression. We´ll aprecciate it.

  16. Indignant

    Babi, couldn’t have replied to that comment in a better way. Mr RG, maybe this will work as a good lesson (for you *and* Ms Sarah Lacy) on how to express disagreement/being irate without being disrespectful. A hooray to freedom of speech, but also one to intelligence/good use of words/good manners coming from the crib.

  17. ThisTCPostDoesNOTRepresentAllAmericans!

    Great comment Babi.

    I agree with all those who said the article itself was ignorant but it was the defacing of the flag that really took things to an even worse level.

    I have to wonder though if Sarah Lacy had anything to do with the flag defacing and if she even knew about it in advance, or if whoever publishes the postss added that image? Either way I found her article offensive and the flag defacing even more so.

    If TechCrunch doesn’t apologize for the flag I think they really mark themselves in a bad way permanently. Doing it is one thing but if they don’t step up and admit that it was wrong and denounce the flag defacing, that would imply that they think it was accetpable and appropriate. And if they think that then I have a feeling they aren’t the kind of site many people will want to support.

  18. Fabio Seixas

    I would like to add a little opinion of mine.

  19. edmuller

    just a stupid and arrogant post by Sarah Lacy. Maybe doesn’t even worth all this debate

  20. Names are for tombstones

    Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva has issued a law giving tens of thousands of undocumented immigrants legal status… how nice.

    I don’t know who Sarah Lacy is, and frankly I don’t care. I discover she existed yesterday.

    But the truth is: she should be ashamed to go into this fucking country (and before you say something, I was born and raised here, but I was never proud to be brazilian).

    So many people (myself included) are trying to leave this shit and she is complaining because can’t get in? C’mon!

  21. Ani

    Sarah lacy “misunderestimated” giant Brazil. Stupid Brat!

  22. jake

    Excellent post and right on-topic.
    Sarah had second thoughts and never had real intentions to leave for Brazil last week; here’s the story:

  23. Chesterton

    Don´t you have shrinks in the Silicon-Valley?

  24. flabbergasted

    I am a Brazilian who voted with one’s feet by self expatriating. I have businesses in both the US and Brazil.

    What Sarah experienced is Brazil in a nutshell: a lot of talk, followed by utter failed execution.

  25. Carlitos

    Sarah, I believe you will have a very good time in Brazil when you finally get your visa. I bet that even the Cab drivers will remember you. Good luck!

  26. Daniel

    Hey! Did you hear about the 2 british girls convicted in brazil for for trying to do the insurance con… quite funny isn´t it? Maybe Brazil is sooo terrible that’s even contagious…

  27. Ricardo Morales

    Poor Brazil… they have the government they like, and the bullshit reciprocation, having nothing in their own hands and want to be great TUPINIQUIM. I’m brazilian and need face their shitty allover. That’s why I left the country, but still need to face BR people in their embassy. Want to cry. But Sarah, don’t worry, it not happened only with you.
    About the fingerprint… another bullshit from brazilian reciprocation! They are not being attacked or in war, for what ink fingerprint people on arrival? USA only want to be a bit safe on their own country, something what BR can not do with their own citizens