Teleport is releasing the first public preview of our place scouting tech today. If you’re really impatient you could jump straight to the link in the end of this post, but first I’d love to give you some context for what we’re up to.
When we announced Teleport back in May, I shared some ideas about our vision for the mobile society. Since then, the more we’ve talked to practicing digital nomads the more we love their pioneering ways. But we also quickly learned about some limitations of this novel term.
Going forward we want to make it clear that Teleport products are not intended just for those who already self-identify as “nomadic”. We are here to make all people around the world location independent. As a start, we are focusing on the users we know best: the startup people. Let me explain why.
Startups matter. Our friend and investor Marc Andreessen famously observed that software is eating the world. Contrary to the frequent public misconception this phenomena is not driven by some anonymous machines taking over, but startups: curious, brave, explorative, fragile, fast and challenging creatures changing the world around them with technology.
Startups are people. As the legendary entrepreneurship teacher Steve Blank defines it, a startup is a temporary organization formed to search for a repeatable business model. Startup is a group of individuals in and around it: coders, product managers, designers, marketers, entrepreneurs – altogether a very special breed. Our desire at Teleport has always been to delight actual humans on the move with our software, not corporations procuring old school relocation services for them. With early stage startups this distinction virtually does not exist, our focus on people == focus on the needs of the startup they form.
Startup people can be anywhere. Our co-founder Balaji recently noted: “you can now hit enter at command line from anywhere in the world and code (if good!) gathers scarce resources for you.” Most of his Twitter followers probably heard it as praise to technologies like bitcoin and drones that let you move resources with software. We at Teleport are obsessed about Balaji’s more subtle point: startup people can be “anywhere in the world” like no other profession in the history of mankind. Weirdly, the term “remote work” has become too limiting as it suggests there is some mythical central place where “real” work and value creation happen – and then some poor souls who are unfortunately “remote” from it. This is just not true for startup people who can move bits to create value no matter where the atoms of their body happen to be.
Startup people move around. There will never be just one startup hub for everyone. Ambitious startups build products for clients around the world. Now, where their clients are might not be the lower cost places where, in startup lingo, you can “extend your runway”. And those, in turn, might not all be places where your team truly can enjoy the quality of life outside work. Or places where the cutting edge innovation you’re working on is encouraged or even legal. Then there are places where it is 10X easier to raise funding. And there are places where you can best deploy this funding to hire the talent you need to grow. If carefully and objectively considered, all of these best places where startup people need to be to win are increasingly scattered dots on the world map.
We are startup people. Last but not least, Teleport itself is a software startup and on the move. Our early team of 8 people is already spread across 10 time zones, 4 countries and 2 continents and we have someone in the air above the oceans about once a month. We travel for a week and we move our families for months or years. We look at all the barriers and hassles moving around and think “how will we fix this with software?” We are our own users.
Our approach to helping startup people is twofold: First we help you to understand if you are at the right place for the task at hand. Then we help you get to the next place, as frequently as you wish.
As a small step forward, we are opening access to our early technology preview today to search for the best place in the San Francisco Bay Area, the Mecca for startup people across the globe. If you’re passing by Silicon Valley for a brief time, we help you find co-working spaces to camp out at. If you are looking to settle down for longer, we help you surface where the jobs at coolest software startups are. As startup people we also think of commute and residency in terms of collaborative consumption and the software-powered way of living that Airbnb, Uber and Lyft, not mortgages and car ownership as our parents did.
It makes me just tingly when I look at our planned product roadmap from here, after releasing this little experiment to hear your feedback and reactions. We will help startup people around the world to be more mobile than ever. As we’ve said from the beginning: free people move.
Co-Founder & CEO