Why You Should Only Work With “A” Players

Sometimes, you need to move where the talent is.
November 12, 2013

One common refrain of today’s entrepreneurs is that it doesn’t matter where you live. Thanks to connected online communities, the artist in Nebraska and the artist in New York City have equal opportunities to be seen. In an interview with The Creativity Post, author and academic Enrico Moretti makes the opposite case and suggests that who you surround yourself with is just as important as talent. And sometimes, this means picking up and moving to where the action is.

The reason academics are so obsessed with who their colleagues are is not just prestige: it is productivity. The person that we hire and sits in the office next door influences our creativity and our thinking. This extends to private sector research.  

Imagine trying to be a biotech company in the middle of a state where there is no strong research university, you would feel completely cut out of the creative process. Even if you can go online and have access to the same publications as everyone else, and see the same patents, you will still miss out on the element of the human conversation and exchange of ideas.

The difficult choice of location is bubbling up more and more as we become increasingly mobile. On the one hand, collaborative tools make it unnecessary to be in the same room as colleagues and coworkers. On the other, the importance of in-person relationships are only heightened when the entire world is an email away.

Read the entire interview here.

This article was originally published on 99u.com.

Sean Blanda is the managing editor of 99u.com.

Photo: Shutterstock