What do I mean? In our business, internet advertising software, the Bay Area hosts a large group of innovative companies that, while small, push the envelope every day on what is possible to achieve using internet advertising.
We all know each other and talk to each other all the time, which keeps us in the flow of new ideas. The business environment for internet advertising in general and search marketing in particular moves so fast that if our company were to remove itself from that flow it would create significant risk and we would miss out on important opportunities. For example, when we recently decided to add some significant features to our conversion tracking and automatic campaign construction approach we had ten expert people we could validate our ideas within a few minutes from our office.
The employees trained in these companies and available for hire have the skills we need to turn these ideas into reality. More importantly, they have the risk appetite to work on issues where the ultimate outcomes are often highly uncertain and unpredictable. Risk taking is a well-developed element of company culture in Northern California, but is less developed in many other areas of the country. For example, we recently hired a senior-services person from one of our larger competitors. We didn’t need to move her from across the country, she was just down the street, and she was excited, rather than being put off, by the notion of moving to a smaller, higher-risk firm with big upside.