Localization · Advisors

What is the problem with localism?

Ryan Weldon Founder/CEO at Breakable

January 3rd, 2016

Recently came across this article, Bad Advisors: The Problem with Localism and was curious how others felt. What is the main problem with localism and why?


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Chuck Blakeman Founder, Chief Transformation Officer, Crankset Group

January 4th, 2016

This article is an advertisement for a lawyer using the same types of data-avoiding arguments he would use to defend a guilty client. Two big, dumb claims he makes:

1) Local generally means lower quality, lousy service, etc. - Just a claim with no data backing it up. And he uses the farmers market as his example, which is full of people with agendas that go well beyond being a good local business. Most of the great businesses in America are local - restaurants, dentists, doctors, financial planners, insurance agents, shoe repair people, violin makers, and yes, technologists - we can find the best of the best locally. I rarely find what I want at Home Depot, but a local plumbing company nails it every time - they get us.

This guy has to make the "local sucks" argument to support his advertisement of himself as a non-local answer to "local sucks" - "I said it, therefore it must be true." Since all local lawyers have lower quality and lousy customer service - he must ride in on a white horse from afar, and save us from all this Podunk Junction backwater, low quality mindset. Classic lawyer stuff - no facts, just emotionalism that plays on baseless fears. Self-serving at best.

2) Companies that go big are better for the local economy. Again, no basis in fact. The data actually shows quite the opposite, that local economies that focus on giant corporations and giant big box retail never benefit in the long run, only in the short run. In the long run, giant businesses are bad for local economies - that's data (including professional sport stadiums), not baseless huffing and puffing. The lawyer is huffing and puffing, and you're supposed to believe him because he's a lawyer.

All politics is local, all economies are local, and it doesn't take a giant corporation to deliver great quality, great customer service, and products/services tailored specifically to that locality. Yes, some industries (very few) benefit from giant businesses (airline industry, maybe a few others), but almost all business is better off when done locally, including technology (see Zappos in Vegas, Menlo Innovations in Ann Arbor, etc.)

David Austin Relentless problem solver and innovator.

January 4th, 2016

Agree with respect to advisors ... having one that is local or isn't local doesn't matter much.  Co-founder however ... that's seems another story to me.  How important is it to have a local co-founder when you need to be pretty much tied to  them at the waist at critical junctures.