Last week I pulled up to our family ranch in Northern Wyoming with a bit of trepidation. Like many of you, I’ve been on a tight work schedule. The ranch is amazing, but it is remote — 80 miles to the closest town.
Historically, we’ve had very slow and unreliable internet service. First, it was the copper telephone wire that even with a phone call the background noise makes it almost impossible to hear the person on the other end of the line.
Ten years ago we moved to a HughesNet satellite system. Every year, the speed would improve but only incrementally. And, it would shut down if there were too many users downloading stuff that month.
As I arrived at the ranch there was a shiny, new little dish attached to the roof — a Starlink. Certainly, you’ve all heard about Elon Musk’s low earth orbit satellite system that promises to be much faster than the latest broadband you can get at your home or office.
So, I fired up my computer, and sure enough, the connection was blazing fast. It was even powerful enough for high-quality zoom calls and wifi calling.
As I sat there working away, it dawned on me that these kinds of technologies are what make the future of work and the open talent economy possible.
I’ve been working remotely on and off for more than 20 years now. Whether it’s been on the side of a mountain in South America or at my surf shack in Mexico, I have wasted many hours trying to figure out how to get connected. In fact, when I was writing my first book in Mexico in 2001. I found a fellow surf bum selling illegal satellite dishes. I paid him $6000, poured some cement on the roof and viola I was connected.
It feels like Starlink is just the beginning of making work more accessible for all. No doubt there will be countless other technological advancements that will only accelerate the growth of the open talent economy. I’m excited to see what happens.