Monday, July 30, 2012

That Location Thing

When I'm shooting on location, you get ideas on the spot - new angles. You make not major changes but important modifications, that you can't do on a set. Satyajit Ray

A few decades ago, when the implications of the internet were first being discussed, many thought it would be a great equalizer to location. This belief perhaps peaked with the critical acclaim of The World is Flat in 2005 that argued location is increasingly irrelevant to economics.

After six years of trying to grow a medicinal biotechnology company in Hattiesburg, MS, I can attest that the world is less flat today than it was two decades ago.

The 'new' industries (information technology, nanotech, biotech, alternative energy) rely, almost exclusively, on intellectual property to be successful. And that equates to one thing - people. Smart, creative, well educated, highly experienced people.

This job posting - wanted, researcher with ten plus years of experience in gene silencing, oligonucleotide delivery or chemically controlled drug release, must have track record of NIH funding and experience working in a corporate environment, PhD in life sciences preferred - resulted in one marginally qualified applicant when the location was listed as Hattiesburg, but more than thirty overqualified applicants when listed as Baltimore.

Employes are crucial, but so are suppliers, customers, partners, financiers, consultants and service providers. They all contribute to the creation of intellectual property.

When you can walk across the street, have a beer, or coffee, or lunch with someone, it is different than talking to that person on the phone or exchanging emails. How easy is it to not respond to an email?  or say yes on the phone and then never answer again?

How hard is it to say no when face-to-face? and how hard to not live up to the promise when face-to-face everyday?

For me, it could BE different, and that is why my future writings will come from Baltimore.