Thursday, July 03, 2008

Take me down to the Paradise City!

..."Take me down to the paradise city where the grass is green & the girls are pretty"... Ahh the wisdom of Axle Rose such sage advice, but where is this mythical paradise? Well Richard Florida slogged through mounds of data from the BLS to determine just this place in his recent book Who's Your City.

Florida's study flies in the face of the Friedman Flat World. We have been conditioned to believe that the Internet is the equalizer, the democratizer, the profitizer & any other izer you can think of. Place to Friedman is irrelevant (as long as that place has a broadband connection of course). Which I must say I agree with many of Friedman's points (The World is Flat, The Lexus & The Olive Tree, Longitudes & Attitudes) the Internet has made collaboration possible (possibly ubiquitous) it has created opportunities in the most far flung regions, connecting the world. But Florida contends PLACE MATTERS, more than you know Florida believes place is right up there with the big decisions creating the new Holy Trinity of decisions (Spouse, Career, Place). Florida says Place should precede the others & actually has a nice little gadget (Place Finder) to help with that decision.

Alright this is no unique situation smart guy 1 makes brilliant point, then smart guy two makes brilliant counter point. So what do you make of this & how do you put it to work in you career search. Well it turns out both are useful to understand, The Flat World breaks down global economic /political make up helping us realize how to collaborate & prosper from the global workforce. However the harnessing The Flat World is only useful once you are rooted in your career & place, so Florida's research is extremely prudent now. Take a look at the following map-

As you can see industries & professionals cluster in regions. Musicians in Nashville, Winemakers in Napa, Finance in New York & Porn addicts in Louisville KY-

The laws of attraction are at work here talent breeds’ talent, ideas breed ideas & markets emerge. Florida's book won't help you determine what career to choose or even what companies to work for. But once those factors are determined Who's Your City will help you to determine what city will best suit you & the career you choose.

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