Remote work, the rise of underdogs

Sinan Ata
Sinan Ata
Nov 16, 2019 · 2 min read
The ultimate underdog figure. Mohammad Ali, before greatness — then known as Cassius Marcellus Clay

Your company will prefer working with highly skilled underdogs from around the world simply because underdogs fight harder and have less to lose.

Remote work is serving as a globalization accelerator for over a decade now. With the arrival of high-speed and affordable internet around the globe, it is transforming the way we work faster than ever these days. My personal trick for monitoring trends is looking at software investment being made around that specific topic. Look at Notion, Airtable, Tandem and thousands of others.

Today, most of the high tech money is living in the US. Some of the hiring managers and business owners tend to believe the US talent is superior to global talent. This thought system is not special for the US, I was born in Turkey and I know at least 20 business owners from Turkey who believe Turkish talent is superior to others. Based on experience, after meeting hundreds of senior software architects from the Middle East, Eastern Europe, and Latin America… Sorry guys, neither of them is true. It is scientifically impossible.

So you decided to go remote, limiting your talent denominator to a specific location is shooting yourself in the foot. Let me explain why remote work is meant to be global:

  1. The US population is only about 4% of the world. After meeting hundreds of senior software engineers around the world, I can say talent is equally distributed. While there are great cultural elements and colors, there is no US-Turkish-Russian-Romanian-Brazilian greatness in software talent.
  2. It’s exciting to see how people from emerging markets could educate themselves by leveraging internet connectivity. It’s all about how much time and effort you put into a single topic, led to opportunities for working on real products.
  3. People from the emerging markets collected serious experience working with companies from the US, Western Europe, and the UK for a long time now. They are ready to be leveraged.
  4. The injustice of salary levels between cities is massive. Your city might have brand value but it does not make you a better developer or a marketer. It’s great to see people started asking questions about this.
  5. Regardless of the profession, the future of employment is strictly tied to personal brands and skills. In the past couple of decades, living in New York, San Francisco or London was your unique value, prepare yourself for change, this may not be relevant in a couple of years.

As a result of these facts and market dynamics working, you will start seeing a lot more high-quality books, movie characters, and other cultural assets.

By 2022, I believe the buzzword of “remote work” is going to disappear and we’ll refer it simply as “work”.

Sinan Ata

Written by

Sinan Ata

A seasoned digital marketing executive. Enjoys reading and writing on remote talent management, growth hacking, and the future of work:

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