When I started out in business, I was at first flattered by all the attention I got from vendors who wanted to sell me stuff. They found me before I found them or, in most cases, before I even knew I had a need for their services. Of course, by and large, I soon figured out that it was their job to find me and try to sell me any manner of thing that I did not need.

 

I still get those calls, of course, but now I get just as many calls asking to provide me with the services that I provide already: as a programer I get all kinds of requests to outsource my work, companies all over the world want to do my web projects for me; they want to give me cheap graphic design services that I can resell at a profit; they will take over every aspect of my business so that all I am left with is providing them clients.

Now, this business model might work for some, and it is true that the kind of work I do can be done almost anywhere. But it is not my model. For one thing, I'm not just a sales department, I like to get my hands dirty. More importantly, I'm a strong believer in local culture.

What do I mean by local culture? Even as our culture becomes more globalized and we rely more and more on mass produced items that can be built anywhere, geography still dictates a lot about who we are and what we value. It might seem too sublime to matter, but as someone from New England currently visiting the midwest, there are plenty of distinctions between what I think and value and the people I meet and converse with here. This isn't a matter of snobbery: it's a matter of distinction that I enjoy. It's one of the things that makes traveling so much fun. To get the opportunity to see and hear how other people people think and act, and to experience their values in their environment is one of life's joys. When someone from outside of my area gets to visit me, I hope that they are equally enriched by the experience.

While the advantages of globalization are vast, I hope that people realize that maintaining a vibrant local culture that is both dynamic in light of the changing world and yet retains strong core values is important for the human condition. We all must get along with each other, but we should not all be identical cogs in one vast machine.

Which is why I am a strong business in doing business locally. As a part of my local community, I feel that I have a better understanding of the needs of other businesses and individuals doing business in my area. Even if I do my work very well, which I believe that I do, I don't think I'd do as good of work for someone whose culture, needs and values I cannot understand. Likewise those people in far off places that want to do my work are likely very good programmers, graphic designers and social media gurus, but getting them to understand and develop the vision in my head can lead to mediocre results. Getting anyone to understand a vision is difficult and the more disparate the culture, the more so.

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