Heartland Tech Weekly: What the rise of remote work means for second-tier startup hubs

An article from Business Insider over the weekend generated quite a bit of discussion in my Twitter feed about how more Bay Area companies need to embrace remote work.

The article in question was a feature on InVision, a seven-year-old software company whose 700 employees all work remotely. The Bay Area investors, entrepreneurs, and tech workers I follow always seem eager to discuss articles involving remote working (maybe a hint that they are ready to leave the Bay Area themselves?)

Initialized Capital cofounder Garry Tan tweeted, “Prediction: Coupled with the SF Bay Area housing crisis, most startups in the next 5 years will establish remote work as a core part of their product/engineering process.” It’s not the first time I’ve seen this prediction.

I have a few thoughts on this: one, I’m all for remote work (I’m a remote worker myself!). But what I’d like to see — rather than more companies being started in the Bay Area embracing remote work — is more companies being started outside of the Bay Area.

But, I do think in this era of more distributed teams, Heartland companies will have an advantage as many of them are already used to having to embrace a distributed team. Many of the early-stage companies I talk to already keep a few staffers in the epicenters of San Francisco and New York. I feel that Heartland companies have to figure out how to run a successful distributed team earlier on than some other coastal companies.

One question I do, have though is what can cities be doing better to make themselves attractive to remote workers? I’m not sure what can be done beyond marketing your city as an attractive place to live, and one that has a vibrant business community with a lot of career opportunities. But I think there’s more to be said about this.

If you have any thoughts on what Heartland cities can do better to attract remote workers, send me your thoughts via email.

Thanks for reading,

Anna Hensel
Heartland Tech Reporter

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