Tech and Entrepreneurship In Unexpected PlacesWritten on January 1st , 2020 by Justin Lewis
Telling stories of building opportunity from unexpected places
Built From Here is curated content about the people who build professional opportunity in the less populated parts of the world. We are technology focused but not afraid to wander into areas that support an understanding of the greater ecosystem.
We're creating our own opportunity
A promise of technology has long been to enable more flexible work opportunity. The common narrative has focused on the possibility of working from home therefore enabling companies to have distributed teams while individuals have greater flexibility. As remote work has increased new opportunity arose from people pioneering their way to create thriving opportunity in small communities around the world.
While there’s no doubt that urban centers boast higher densities of entrepreneurship, workers, and jobs the promise of technology transforming the professional landscape is being realized often in unexpected ways. It’s no longer a requirement to live in a large city to build a professional career or even build companies. More and more people are finding it possible to live in more rural communities for the quality of life and/or proximity to family (among other reasons). While many attribute this to being empowered by urban centers through working remotely in many rural communities people are actively building local opportunity that is less reliant on those urban centers. In other words people are creating their own jobs.
Shaping the ever changing landscape
Historically populations ebb and flow in small towns as work opportunity is discovered and then either exhausted or automated. Long ago people migrated to the countryside for opportunity. Farming, mining, forestry, and ranching where dominant industries for those outside the big cities. As the mines ‘dried up’ and automation replaced jobs many towns once prosperous declined. Still today many rural communities struggle with a lack of jobs. Those that have managed to turn that around have done so by either getting swallowed by growing urban centers or creating new industry. In more recent decades tourism is often the pioneering industry in rural areas which helps to build an economic foundation. As technology empowers people and companies to have more flexibility these towns can start to diversify employment opportunities. With time we are seeing many communities strengthen their economies by adopting growing technology trends. A surprising shift has been the growth of new entrepreneurship in many of these communities where many have thought it not possible.
Startup communities are born
One of the more exciting aspects of the changing entrepreneurial landscape is the growth of StartUp communities across small town U.S.A.. That may sound funny to many of you. We often think of places like Silicon Valley, New York, or Boulder/Denver as places for StartUps. But now we are seeing the rise of not just these types of companies but also investment funds and support networks to help. You can see other example of this from groups like the Rise of the Rest who talk about smaller cities that are paving a path towards entrepreneurial growth. In these communities the economic diversity that is taking shape is enabling people to build opportunity that didn’t previously exist. But these opportunities aren’t just for the founders. These companies often create new jobs and therefore economic strength to towns who benefit from increased economic diversity. They enable teams to form and more effectively build companies and products. They support the ability for builders to build.
We build because we must. We build because we can.
Builders are the creators of the world around us. They are the people who turn ideas, plans, and material into a form that supports our existence. For small towns there are new types of builders creating their own opportunity. They build clothing, outdoor recreation gear, renewable energy systems, marketing brands, software, and more. These are the stories we want to share with you. They are the stories of the builders who create from the more rural places. The stories of those that enable entrepreneurial growth through their craft. The stories of how it gets done from the place they call home.