Dreaming of founding a startup to make the location independent life and remote work real for the mankind? Don't have a specific product idea to work on yet? Here, we’re not shy about spreading good ideas!
It has become a tradition on our Free People Move podcast to ask all our guests about the most burning problems that they’ve come across while building their companies and traveling the world. It’s time for our first written roundup report of stuff that needs to be fixed!
Alexey Komissarouk / Hacker Paradise
The first issue we got out of Alexey is housing being a bit of a mess for travelers - team Hacker Paradise has had way too much trouble getting accommodation for members of the group that request for it. The whole shebang involves time consuming negotiation processes plus worrying about time and losing the deal. Speaking of deals, pricing can be a pain as well - the offer for a group deal shouldn’t be three times the local price.
Secondly, we talked about a general visa situation issue - members of Hacker Paradise usually go into countries on tourist visas, which most countries are a-ok with, but there are still issues with defining what can and can not be done in the situation that remote workers and other travelers are in. Digital nomads are living in a grey visa area and there needs to be more of an understanding of the visa situation.
Bruno Haid / Caravanserai
Bruno brought up the idea of abstracting existing necessities of being a nomad - where do you found an entity for yourself, how do you pay taxes, how do you get accounts up and running. Basically, we want to abstract the existing legal and financial system to solve questions everyone moving all around the world have - how do I pay my taxes, what’s the entity I’m building my customers through, and so on.
Thomas Schranz / Blossom
One of Thomas’ main concerns is what a pain it is to hire people globally - in his experience it has been ridiculously challenging and complicated. As an European, he feels privileged to be able to travel more freely (even though there are still issues with it as well) but still fully realizes that there are some countries where it’s extremely complicated to change location without gross amounts of paperwork and regulations.
The other issue he’s come across in his travels is telephone numbers. A lot of nomads seem to be stuck in a neverending circle of having to redirect your own number to new numbers and get prepaid cards which then expire, forcing you to rewire them again. This can not only be time consuming, but also needlessly expensive. It would be great to have just one subscription that gives you worldwide good data access. It is happening, but not fast enough - this is your chance!
Gillian Morris / Hitlist
Gillian brought up the issue of education and building an alternative to college - her best lessons have come from traveling rather than going to school. Learning abroad is not a bad option at all, but Gillian feels there should really be a whole new type of educational system that is more self directed and location independent, while still having the network ties included in the deal.
On a more practical level, we talked about smart clothing. Gillian likes to travel light (who doesn’t?) but it’s complicated to decide what to take with you if you want to feel good and look versatile while not dragging around three suitcases full of stuff. Smart fibres that clean itself, modular clothing that can transform to several outfits - some of those things do already exist, but we want more!
James Richards / Teleborder
James is a lawyer, and we all know what kind of reputation they have. However, he genuinely swears on official record that tax people are worse! Most of the problems he’s encountered in global work have been tax related rather than legal, immigration or HR issues.
Do you get confused when reading tax codes or regulations? Probably - James said that to him it feels like reading something drafted by an entire weird subculture that communicate to nobody else but each other - like it’s a virtualized environment that nobody else understands. If someone could figure out a way to make international tax simple, they would be the next best thing since sliced bread and make a lot of people very happy!
So many ideas! However, we’re always interested in hearing more. Which points do you agree or maybe even disagree with? What other things can you think of or what else have you encountered that needs a quick fix ASAP? Let us know in the comments or drop us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org!