Maybe The Recession Wasn’t So Bad

by Abhishek

via Elance Blog RSS Feed by Guest_Blogger on 7/14/09


What is "Cloud Commuting" and what does it mean to business owners and skilled professionals like you? Gene Marks, online columnist and author of the best-selling Streetwise Small Business Book of Lists, gives us his take on the rise of the cloud commuter, the recession and its impact, and how his business and others plan to adjust in this new age of online work.

Hmmm, maybe the recession hasn’t been such a bad thing after all.

Prices have been kept in check. Many of my competitors are either struggling or out of business entirely. Industries that have been failing for decades are now reorganizing themselves. Our bankers are picking up the phone when we call them. People have stopped buying useless crap on its way to the landfill. Being a cheapskate has even become vogue.

And business owners are no longer vilified for outsourcing. In fact, it’s not even called outsourcing anymore.

It’s called Cloud Commuting.

Cloud Commuting is a refreshing upgrade from the loaded term ‘outsourcing’ which suffered from a bum rap. For years, enterprising business owners like myself have been outsourcing work and subcontracting jobs to others in order to keep our costs as low as possible and to find the best people. In fact, ‘Division of Labor’ has always been right there on the top of the syllabus for Capitalism 101, right after "Lemonade Stands" and just before "Global Expansion".

Like every red-blooded opportunist, all we’re trying to do is to produce quality products and provide excellent services as cost effectively as we can. Once upon a time we faced the scorn of the media and others who looked down their noses at us. Well, a few quarters into the Great Recession, it’s now considered virtuous for business owners like us to do everything we can to keep our fixed costs low. And those same pundits who accused us of not employing people are now embracing us for bootstrapping our way back into the game by hiring our “cloud commuters”. Go figure.

Cloud Commuting is obviously a play on the buzzword “Cloud Computing” which is how the server-room nerds are unsuspectingly describing their ultimate obsolescence as more and more technology and data gets hosted by secured and reliable central servers in the sky. But, those server-room technicians will have the last laugh, as just as the technology is migrating to remote parts, so is the work. Configure a database from Maui? Aloha!

Talk about liberating. I’ve already started telling the world that my people are “Cloud Commuters”. Even my kids think it’s cool. Maybe they’ll even let me watch “The Hills” with them. OK, maybe, not.

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