Geographic location shouldn’t dictate an individual’s economic potential but it has for the entirety of human history. We are on the brink of this decoupling and it will be the most liberating financial event in history.
Two things sit at the forefront of this, both are driven by technology — cryptocurrency and hyper global connectivity. The former redefines standard economics and divorces the necessity for debt to generate growth, the later enables you to participate in a truly global economy no matter where you are based. Banks are no longer required intermediaries needed for economic transactions to be guaranteed, governments no longer dictate monetary policy which detrimentally effects specific regions in the world and people no longer have to move to certain areas in order to receive inflated wages to pay for obscene living costs.
Technological liberation enables physical freedom
It lets you pick and choose where you are located and to participate how frequently you wish. That enables people to live in cheaper regions and work fewer hours to support their lifestyle if they choose. It lets everyone live in whichever city they choose, anywhere in the world and work jobs that would historically only be available to people living in a few select cities. The benefits are felt not just in the pockets on the people able to earn a salary, but also the environment where individuals commuting hours to work every week no longer have to own a car or waste their lives in a metallic coffin on wheels.
The benefit of a new global currency reserve ensures no specific national currency underpinned and controlled by a third-party government exists to make participation unappealing. Currency fluctuations will still exist, but the protection for workers around the work is intrinsic to the security of the network. Picture a remotely located worker being paid in Bitcoin operating from Venezuela. They exchange Bitcoin for local currency when they need to purchase something, helping them avoid crippling hyperinflation scenarios.
Why is this so important?
If the best mind in the world in sales is an 18-year-old woman from Mumbai you should be able to hire her immediately. If the best mind in partnerships is a 75-year-old man from Korea he should have access to global opportunities. Neither should have to relocate to operate a job that is 100% virtual in terms of inputs and connections. Almost universally, we work the entirety of our lives using a computer. Laziness has permeated the workspace in ways we could never have foreseen, have you ever picked up your phone and dialed a colleague working in the same building rather than walking through to talk about a problem? I know I have. There is no difference whether you are located in the same city or on the other side of the world right now. This will allow companies to hire A* talent irrespective of situation or location.
Which highlights one issue. We may now be enabled to this extent but are we willing to embrace that opportunity? Similarities became a de facto heuristic because diversity in terms of geographic location wasn’t possible. It now is but we still pattern match by the same standards, why? Laziness. We must overcome internal bias and cognitive dissonance with respect to where we imagine the most talented people in the world come from.
The smartest people in the world are not located in one region no matter how hard they try to convince you they are. There may be a higher concentration of people capable of creating world-changing products but they are mostly focussed on A/B testing that increases DAUs.
Know where the smartest people I know live? Around the globe
Know what they have in common? Almost nothing at all
The problem is it’s incredibly hard — within the confines of government regulation, taxation, and ownership structures — to truly decentralize access to talent.
That’s what’s on the brink of occurring. That’s what technology is enabling, it’s our choice whether we realize the potential of this opportunity.