TUESDAY, MARCH 13. AUSTIN, TX. SXSW
Not organized by what we do, but by where we were, is how the panel I sat on was organized. Location, location, location focused on the debate and idea of how virtual you can be, and how important physical location is to the success of your business in this high-tech world. Moderated by Berlin-based writer David Hudson (Rewired), Dallas-based DotComGuy, Raleigh-based Steve Champeon (hesketh.com), Paris-based Axel Ronsin (Cinetic Design), Seattle-based Jon Staenberg (Staenberg Venture Partners) and I all offered our various perspectives. You may be familiar with DotComGuy's year-long experiment of living in a house without going outside once. He utilized firms in Dallas and elsewhere to get what he needed - all online. Steve heralded Raleigh for its quality of life and close proximity to other major metropolises. Axel mentioned that his command of the English language helped him land a job in London, shutting out many larger UK firms because the French firms are less costly. Jon's point of view was to "stay local" so he could really manage and work with his ventures. Et moi? Well, I like to travel all over so I can see the activity going on. While based in one city, I find it's easy to work across borders and boundaries in a digital landscape. And yet nothing replaces the essential human connection of a face-to-face. Another major point made that night was the advantages and disadvantages of telecommuting and its true success in the work place.