Cape Cod Technology Council — I speak

Leslie Fishlock at Genevate and the Cape Cod Technology Council has invited me to give a talk on Friday the 2nd of October.

I’m going to talk about my favorite subject — me — and my second favorite subject — Cape Cod — and my third favorite subject –geeky things.  Autographs and photographs with me will be available for a nominal donation to the Dave’s-New-Boat-Trailer-Fund.

Seriously — when I first moved here as a telecommuting “knowledge worker” in 1991 I moved into a dilapidated house with knob-and-tube wiring, short-circuiting phone lines, and things like Federal Express, fax machines, and MCI Mail e-mail were considered the “web 2.0” technologies of their day. Getting an ISDN line installed by NYNEX involved men in white coats and goggles standing on Main Street staring at my house and wondering what weirdo would want such a strange thing. In 1992 I filed a story from the deck of a Woods Hole Oceangraphic Institution research vessel demonstrating the first nautical integration of GPS with chart plotters using an AT&T laptop (AT&T once made laptops) connected to a beta cellular data modem called a Mobidem.

Working from Cape Cod was actually pretty easy in the early 90s. Running was not, and so ensued six years of Colgan Airlines and the Flying-Cigar-Tube-of-Death from HYA to LGA. The McKinsey Experiment in 2000 involved actually driving 80 miles every day to a depressing office park in Waltham on Route 128 which persuaded me that nothing in the world is as terrible to the soul than commuting to work and listening to another NPR fund drive.

The question is given all the wonder and hype about the telecommuting revolution — remember we were all going to move to the sticks and live amazing lives on Martha’s Vineyard and the hills of Vermont? — why is Cape Cod not overrun with so-called knowledge workers?

I guess I have to stand up and talk about it.

Friday, October 2nd, Hyannis Golf Course, Route 132. Fees and other info here.

Author: David Churbuck

Cape Codder with an itch to write

5 thoughts on “Cape Cod Technology Council — I speak”

  1. David:

    On your last point — I too am wondering why more of that hasn’t happened. Rich Karlgaard in his book Life 2.0 predicted that very point. I’d be interested to hear what your audience has to say about it.

  2. David,

    In general, I would say that in the early pioneering days of “knowledge workers”, they were few and the demand was high, and so the salaries were high as well. When I was a kid getting started with computers, the computer guys that came out to work on the computers at the large textile company where my dad worked (he designed textile machinery and processes on CAD stations, did patent drawings and other engineering geekery) were paid upwards of $100 per hour.

    But, as the 80’s wore on, PCs became mainstream and so did the related knowledge of how to use them and to do work with them, and by the mid 90’s, the internet, prevalence of broadband, and a generation or more of technology literate folks not only in the US, but more importantly, in India and other offshore locations could now compete as knowledge workers.

    So, with the glut in the supply of knowledge workers for non-exec level jobs, the average salaray began to fall significantly (inflation adjusted). Meanwhile, the population growth, real estate boom and build out of the last two decades have driven up the property values significantly. How much would you say the value of your place, especially the tax value has changed since 1981?

    Some places like your neck of the woods are now probably disproportionately expensive to live in due to their unique characteristics and limited availability, meanwhile the number of knowledge workers has increased thanks to the internet and the quickly rising level of competance in the global workforce which has decreased or at least averaged out the earning power of knowledge workers.

    They didn’t all move to the sticks and live lavish lives because they can’t afford it.

  3. I’m about to do the big remote technology experiment in East Lizard Foot CO. I may have to go ISDN since i don’t have the deep pockets needed for cell data–assuming they have it there. but it shoulld be fun and I am looking forward to tghe next chapter in my life with a miniature highland heiffer named “Bobbie Burns” and her even more diminutive calf called “Hamish”
    I’ll let you know what it’s like to milk a miniature cow as soon as the calf is weaned.
    Jamie Forbes

  4. Really excited to have you there, Dave! Everyone is looking forward to it. Thanks so much for taking the time – I know it’s going to be great!

    Why is Cape Cod not overrun with so-called knowledge workers? Many reasons why and I for one am interested in your opinion.

    The event is open to the public – we’d love to have you all attend!


Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: