If you have read my thoughts before, you may have known that I’m a big supporter of distributed companies and remote work mentality. My favorite part of the remote work is the ability to have a higher quality of life for a much lower cost.
Many tech entrepreneurs and investors feel that remote is not the way to go. That the physical presence within the Silicon Valley is a very important pre-requisite to success. They back this with statistics that over 70% unicorns are born in the bay area, and that less than 10% are born in NYC or LA. With only 3% or so coming out of India or China and 5% from rest of the world.
Their case is strong as far as the statistics are concerned. I’m the numbers guy so there’s no basis for me to refute what they are saying. Despite that, I believe remote work is the way to go. Silicon Valley could be the present, but remote is the future. The statistics that are thrown around only reflect what is happening today, and not what could be happening in the future.
As with the COVID-19 emergency, many tech companies have decided to go remote. The list is a bit too long but here are the ones I’m aware of; Amazon, Facebook, Google, Linkedin, FourSquare, Twitter, Uber, Lyft, Zillow, Bitly, Digital Currency Group, IBM, MongoDB, Airbnb, Grammarly, PostMates, SalesForce, ShutterStock, KickStarter, Silicon Valley Bank, WeWork, Yelp etc. I think when all of this is over, some of these companies, and many other companies will have a part of their work force hired to work remotely.
Remote work is to HR what CloudFlare is to the internet. Remote employees ensure higher uptime, load balancing, no single point of failure. Remote employment means you can hire better talent for cheaper costs. Forget cheaper costs, remote employment ensures you can hire better talent from the talent pool that was previously unavailable to you, even if you want to pay identical salaries as you pay in the SV. For the employees, it’s the ability to get a serious bang for the buck by being in a high quality low cost area.
After the COVID19 is over, the world will retrospect. The world will question the ability of the US to handle health crisis. The world will question if China should be the sole manufacturer of the global goods. The world will question the open borders of the EU and the lack of systems in place to protect against a pandemic. And a small part of the world will also question how can we leverage remote work to build more durable companies.