Remote Working Is Bad for Startups

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Now that we've got Skype and half a dozen different chat systems, working remotely is a piece of cake. Except, argues Mark Suster at Business Insider, when it comes to startups. While conventional wisdom holds that new companies teams can get off the ground with workers in multiple locations, Suster insists that just isn't the case.

The reality is that a certain magic that happens when you’re in person is critical in a startup.  You attend five customer meetings together over a two-week period and after each meeting you replay the results in the office about what it meant.  The CEO weighs in with his perspectives, the head of product management disputes his conclusions and the marketing VP has a different take.
In the course of all this face-time, says Suster, there are innumerable intangibles and unnoticeables that wind up making all the difference for a fledgling enterprise. "In a world where 90% of communications is non-verbal," he writes, "imagine what is lost on conference calls." He also points out that "the best companies are built on common beliefs and culture--a common sense of purpose." Those sorts of things depend on human interaction, both in and out of the office. The bottom line: remote-working technology just won't cut it. "There is a core that exists in human connectedness" with which it just can't compete.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.