Friday, June 18, 2010

Face-to-Face Contact is Becoming a Scarce Resouce, Which is Good for Cities

When I submit consulting proposals now, I always include a section on what the face-to-face component will be. The reason I'm doing this is because I've seen how with cheap communications, the value of physical contact has grown. On only one occasion can I recall flying out to meet a client or prospective client being a complete waste of time. If you look at the industries with strong job prospects, like nursing, teaching, etc, they all depend on people interacting directly with others.

Cities are doing much better now than they were 30 years ago, when face-to-face contact wasn't such a scarce resource, but one minute on a long distance phone call cost more than a postage stamp. So rather than throwing out hundreds of millions of dollars to recruit some "cool" biotech lab, perhaps cities should be encouraging more interaction among their own residents.

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