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July 31, 2007

A Great Fall

Normally, you would think that a 14-year old kid would not want summer to end.  And, I am sure that my kids are really enjoying their summer.  But, today my son pointed out that he really is looking forward to the fall.

Even though he'll be starting high school this fall and will, undoubtedly, have more home work than ever before, my son is really looking forward to the Patriots season and now, the Celtics, too.  He also holds out hope that the Yankees will make the playoffs and atone for their early-season woes with a World Series win.

No matter what the Yankees do, I am sure we'll have a good time at the Patriots and Celtics games this fall.  Maybe my son will work on his homework while we drive to and from the games...

July 30, 2007

Celtics to get Garnett?

It's widely reported that the Celtics are getting close to trading, finally, for Kevin Garnett from the Minnesota Timberwolves.  The Celtics have to clear out their roster to get this deal done (reportedly, trading Al Jefferson, Theo Ratliff, Sebastian Telfair, Ryan Gomes, and 2 draft picks -- wow!).

The Celtics will then have three All-Star caliber players -- Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett, and Ray Allen.  Their other two starters are likely to be Rajon Rondo and Kendrick Perkins.  They'll also have Glen "Big Baby" Davis and Tony Allen, among others.  They quickly become much more of a veteran team.  They'll have a decent chance of making it to the NBA Finals from the still-weak East.

They'll also probably be over the salary cap.  And, they'll only do this deal if they get Garnett to commit to a few more years on his contract, meaning that they'll be in salary cap purgatory for a while.  So, they'll have to win with these stars and a bunch of role players and/or young players.

I love this deal.  I don't like seeing Jefferson go.  But, only because some day he may become as good as Kevin Garnett.  I don't see him ever being better than Garnett, and never as good as Garnett defensively.  Al is significantly younger, but Garnett isn't yet that old.  So, this trio should keep the Celtics competitive for 5 years or so.  That's a heck of a lot better than more years waiting for the kids to mature.

Update: I was wrong when I mentioned Delonte West as still being on the Celtics when I wrote this originally.  Delonte was traded to Seattle as part of the Allen Ray deal.  I updated the text above.  Beyond their Top Trio (can't say Big Three as a long-time Celtics fan), the Celtics are pretty thin.

July 27, 2007


I'm going away for the weekend, visiting some friends at their cottage in New Hampshire.  And, there is no TV, no broadband, and barely cell coverage.  So, I am unplugging for the next couple of days.  I don't do this very often, even when I go away.  So, we'll see if I get the shakes before I come back.

I'm told that you can survive such bouts of unplugging, but we'll see.

July 26, 2007

Daily Show was on fire last night

The Daily Show had several great segments last night, including pointing out how ridiculous Alberto Gonzales's testimony is:


Rob Riggle 

And joining in my disgust at the current state of sports (gotta love Lewis Black):

Enjoy the videos.

July 25, 2007

Is Your VC Crazy?

Bill Burnham has a great post which tries to explain the sometimes irrational behavior that a VC can exhibit on a Board.  Definitely worth reading if you've thought this to yourself during a Board meeting...

What's going on in sports?

It's been a long time since I realized that the world of sports isn't full of squeaky-clean heroes.  Sometime when I was a kid, I realized that athletes had all the failings of 'normal' people.  Maybe it was the Fritz Peterson/Mike Kekich family swapping incident in 1972?

But, just in the past week or so, three major scandals have been the latest to burst onto the scene:

Michael Vick, Atlanta Falcons quarterback, is in trouble for organizing dog-fighting on his property with grisly stoires of dogs fighting to the death.

Tim Donaghy, NBA referee, is in trouble with the FBI for betting on basketball games, including those where he was the referee!

More cyclists have dropped out of the Tour de France due to blood doping charges.

These stories make the sports pages look more like the police blotter.  Did all this stuff happen before, and we just didn't find out about it?  Or, has all the money involved in sports driven people to compromise their values?

I hope that all the commissioners of these sports come down hard on these folks of they are proven guilty.  It looks like that's happening as Vick is banned from practicing with the Falcons and Donaghy has retired.  But, everyone else needs to know that they will be dealt with strongly if they are caught doing something else like this.

Bring the focus back to the field.  Luckily, the Yankees look like they are going to make me regret my early surrender as they are definitely in the wild card race and still have a shot at the division race.  And, the Patriots start camp this Friday.  I love the Patriots because they don't tolerate any troublemakers these days.  Sports is more fun when you just worry about the results on the field.

July 24, 2007

Happy Birthday, Ben!


Denise made a wonderful cake!  Yum!

Do newspapers have a chance on the web?

Thanks to Greg McHale of Good2gether, I saw this article on the share of Internet users who visit newspaper sites.  A staggering 37% of Internet users visited a newspaper site during Q2 2007.  Although there are many sources of news on the Internet, newspapers are uniquely positioned for the hyper-local content that you can't get anywhere else.

The problem is that the revenue model for newspapers has to change.  The online revenue they are generating doesn't make up for the loss of print subscribers that has been their bread and butter.  Online revenue is growing fast, but not fast enough.

I am a newspaper junkie.  I read the Boston Globe and Wall Street Journal every day.  I also scan articles in the New York Times regularly.  But, my kids don't even think of reading the paper.  They get their news from the Web, to the extent that they pay attention to news at all (other than my son's love of sports!).

Newspapers have to focus where they have unique content -- hyper-local.  Someone on the Web has to provide the local news that only someone local can generate.  This is the natural advantage that local papers have.  It seems like users are looking to them for this content.  Now, they just have to figure out how to make money supplying it.

By the way, Good2gether is going to be taking advantage of this hyper-local content on local newspaper sites.  Stay tuned.

July 23, 2007

Venture Bubble

As VentureBeat reported yesterday, VC investing is at a six-year high.  Yes, things have 'recovered' back to pre-9/11 levels.  I don't think that this is necessarily good as there is lots of evidence that the venture industry is in a bubble, particularly in Silicon Valley.

First, some good news:

  • Cleantech seems to be one of the growth areas.  I think that is a good thing, overall.  There are some subsectors of cleantech, like solar, that are overheated.  But, overall, this is a new sector that deserves some new investment.  Every VC firm I know is thinking about investing in cleantech if they aren't already.
  • It's also good that some of the big overhang of funds raised gets invested.  As there has been so much money raised, it's better to see VCs making some bets rather than sitting on the sidelines.

The bad news:

  • Silicon Valley grows while most other regions are flat or down.  This makes me think that the Valley has to be in a bubble.  Anecdotally, I see quite a few Valley start-ups getting funded that seem to be the 8th or 10th players in their market segments.  That can't be good.
  • New England is down dramatically, which is consistent with how this region feels.
  • Company creation is down and later stage investing is overheating.  The average deal size is now the highest it's been since 2000.  That also can't be good.

I would hate for another VC bubble to burst as cycles in the venture business are long -- it takes a while for a bubble to inflate and the impact of its bursting is also felt over years.  We need a VC Greenspan to give us a soft landing.

July 20, 2007

Brad Paisley

I'm not a fan of country music, but I happened to run across the video of Brad Paisley's song Online.  It's on his web site, or you can download it from iTunes.  Funny, and with an all-star cast!

Brad Paisley - Online lyrics

Google slowing down?

GigaOm has a nice opinion piece on Google's recent investor conference call.  It's inevitable that Google's rate of growth will slow down.  They are going to start to face the challenges of other businesses where they have to figure out where their revenue growth will come from.  In the past, it has seemed that they would have rapid organic growth that would power them for years.  However, they are facing competition and, although Google is still a great company, now is the time when we will see if they have great management.  There are many times when Microsoft, Intel, and Cisco have dealt with strategic challenges and bumps in the road on Wall Street.  This may be the first time for Google.

Free Patriots Preview from ESPN

ESPN Insider, normally a paid service, has a nice free preview of the Patriots training camp which starts next week.  No real news here, but a good summary of everything the Pats have done this offseason.  They look to be in pretty good shape.

Good joke from Bessemer

I liked this joke that I read this morning from Dave Cowan of Bessemer.  It's paraphrased below:

A CEO was forced to leave his job unexpectedly for personal reasons.  As he was departing, he left his successor three sealed envelopes to open each time she found herself at a complete loss as to what to do.

In the first envelope, the note reads, "Blame me."

In the second envelope: "Cut your burn and re-structure."

In the third envelope: "Prepare three envelopes."

July 19, 2007

Hey, Venus

I'm not a big tennis fan, nor am I a good tennis player.  But, last night we took in the Boston Lobsters in World Team Tennis.  We went because they played the Philadelphia Freedoms who had Venus Williams playing.  World Team Tennis is small-time pro sports, but they get top players to play a few matches each season.  This was one of the matches that Venus was playing.

Venus Williams

Well, she dominated the field.  And, it was effortless.  You could really appreciate how good she was as she was relaxed calm, and easily dispatched her opponents in all three mini-sets (first to 5 wins).  The rest of the players on both teams were at one level, and Venus was one or two levels above. 

I couldn't really figure out why Venus and other top pros bother to play World Team Tennis.  It can't be the money as this was not a money-making event (small crowd in a small venue, limited TV exposure).  Maybe it's the love of the game, but I am more jaded to believe that.  Venus says in the Globe that she likes being part of a team.  Hmmm.  I bet that she and the other top players view this as practice, and they get paid to do it...

July 18, 2007

Whither early-stage VC?

PEHub has a blog posting on the shift to late stage investing by VCs.  However, the data in this posting is really about funds-raised, not funds-invested.  I've always been wary of measuring the VC industry by quarterly fund-raising.  I think that you have to look at annual trends.

Fund-raising is a very lumpy process.  Firms can spend 6-18 months raising money, and the market is still relatively small that you can't read too much into quarterly ebbs and flows.  Also, it's no surprise that on a dollar basis that late-stage VC is dwarfing early-stage VC.  Later stage rounds are bigger, so the funds that invest in them are likely to be bigger.

I think that it is more interesting to look at new company creation.  There is some sort of lag in reporting to things like VentureSource, but you can look at this retrospectively to find some trends.

I did a quick search on VentureSource for all types of IT companies in New England.  Here is the number of companies reporting a first financing in each year:

2007 (to date)       17

2006                    38

2005                    39

2004                    34

2003                    40

2002                    36

Now this isn't 100% comprehensive or precise, but I believe it to be directionally correct.  And, it says that early-stage IT VC investing in New England is pretty steady. 

Remember how dead it felt in the market after September 11, 2001?  The number of new companies created has been steady since then.  It may be pretty scary to think that this is the total number of deals done per year given how much money and how many 'early-stage' VC firms there are in the area.  That is probably why these funds are now doing more later stage investing and sometimes raising separate later stage funds.

What does this all mean?  There is quite a bit of late-stage money being raised, but who is funding lots of early-stage companies for these late-stage investors to pick?  It seems to me that this is out of whack.  I continue to think that despite there being lots of money out there, very few New England investors are willing to do early-stage deals.  The number of early financings done in the past few years seems to back this up.

July 17, 2007

What Do You Do All Day?

Today's Wall Street Journal had a good article on explaining to our kids what we do all day (subscription required).  The main point of the article is that many of us spend all day talking on the phone, staring at a screen, and maybe in meetings.  What the heck do we really do?

I remember trying to explain what a VC does to my kids.  When they were very young, I told them that "I work with different companies to help them grow".  As they got older, I introduced the shareholder dynamic, explaining that I "invested money (mostly not mine) into a company and worked with the company to help them build their business so that my investment would be worth more".  What my kids saw was playing with my computer, talking on the phone, and lots of meetings.

I guess this reinforces that our daily tasks are sometimes pretty far from the big outputs of our job.  I am sure we all could cut some of this out so that we spend more time on what really matters most.

I like some of these quotes from the WSJ article:

The way Ms. Kelly's 6-year-old daughter sees it, her mother travels to a big building, sits in her office and fools around at a computer.


Because kids' impressions aren't wrong, technically, it can cause a little introspection. George Reinhart is the director of associate service for New England at the Conference Board, a business-research and peer-networking organization. That means he sells information and, like any salesman, makes lots of phone calls, not all of which go as planned.

It also means, as his 14-year-old told him so succinctly two years ago, "You're always rejected and you always have to apologize," he recalls. "You could take away from that, God, what a loser you are. But I don't think she meant it that way -- at least I hope she didn't mean it that way."


Mr. Keith explained to his boys that his job is to "make money" for food and shelter. So, when they drove four hours last year to visit Washington's Bureau of Engraving and Printing, his son noted, "That's why you're so grumpy -- because you have to drive all this way to work."


Chelsea Clinton reportedly used to describe her father, the former Commander in Chief this way: "He gives speeches, drinks coffee, and talks on the telephone." Yo-Yo Ma's son thought his father worked at the airport because the world-renowned cellist was always rushing to one.


Gary Grote's six-year-old daughter has figured out the skills required for a bank vice president of corporate lending: typing, talking and going to lunch a lot.

Mr. Grote can't argue with that. "When you boil it down, that's pretty much the deal," he says. He, too, could understand his father's job, grain-elevator owner, easier than his kids can understand his. "You could see and touch the grain moving through the elevator," he says. "I've worked at the bank for 15 years. It's been 14 years since I touched a bit of currency other than getting it out of my own account."

Asante should show up

Yesterday the deadline passed for the Patriots to sign Asante Samuel to a long-term contract.  For those of you unfamiliar with the vagaries of the football salary structure, the Patriots have the exclusive rights to Samuel this season as they placed the 'franchise tag' on him.  This means that Samuel will make $7.79M for this season, which seems to be the highest salary (and salary cap hit) on the Patriots.  Of course, Samuel wanted a long-term contract with an upfront guaranteed bonus.  He and the Patriots couldn't agree on this, with the speculation being that they are something like $10M apart on guaranteed money.

The way that the NFL system works is tilted toward the Patriots in this case.  If Asante doesn't sign the one year tender for $7.79M, he has to sit out the season, earning nothing and losing a valuable year toward his NFL pension.  He can sign the tender and not show up.  In this case, he won't earn money until he shows up, and will also lose the pension credit.  In this case, he would probably show up by the 10th week which would cost him $5M in salary and preserve his pension credit.  This is what Asante threatened during the negotiatons with the Patriots on a long-term extension.

What I think he should do is to sign the tender and show up for training camp in exchange for a promise from the Patriots that they not use the franchise tag next year.  By some accounts, this is what the Patriots did for Adam Vinatieri before he left for the Colts.  Although they don't have to, they would probably make this agreement here, too.

The Patriots invested too much in this offseason to let this issue keep Asante out of 10 games.  Asante is determined to hit free agency to get his big payday.  It's clear that he and the Patriots don't agree on how much guaranteed money he can get.  If they agree to play this year, Asante will make some good money this year and will get a chance to test the market next year as a true free agent.  The Patriots get one more year out of him at a full price which they can fit under the salary cap.  And, they get one year to figure out how to replace him as they seem unlikely to sign him, particuarly after this situation.

I hope that the Patriots get this behind them before training camp starts so that it does not continue as a distraction.

July 16, 2007

Facebook for business

Facebook is huge.  There has been a lot written lately about the explosion of Facebook activity, particularly in light of their API which has led to a lot of new applications being written.  My Facebook profile is here.

But, many of my contacts don't use Facebook.  They lump it together with MySpace, and, as parents, we've been told by our kids' schools that MySpace is evil.  I don't think that MySpace is evil, but I do think that it is trashy.  I have a MySpace page, but I never use it.

The evilness comes from people using the Internet for nefarious purposes.  They could use MySpace, Facebook, email, spam, spyware, chat rooms, etc.  Kids need to understand how to use the Internet safely, what to post about themselves, who to communicate with, etc.  The problem I have with MySpace is that it doesn't do much for me.  I'm not that interested in indie bands who use MySpace for promotion.  And, I have no interest in hooking up with strangers.

The social network I use the most is LinkedIn.  It really captures business interactions, relationships, and makes it easy to search your extended business network.  Since early 2007, I've seen a huge number of my business contacts get active on LinkedIn.  And, I use it to track my contacts and find and meet new people.  My LinkedIn profile is here.

But, in the past two months, a lot of my contacts have been using Facebook, too.  Facebook really captures social interactions.  It lacks the richness of business relationships that LinkedIn has.  But, it is fun to see what people are doing throughout the day.  There are a bunch of Facebook groups I have joined, but I can't say that I have gotten alot out of the content.  Facebook could become a great business collaboration platform over time, but it isn't there yet.

For now, I think that Facebook is 'interesting' for business.  I am not sure that it is 'useful'.  There are so many new applications out there that I have not been able to try very many.  Most of them are still in the vein of showing people what you are interested in, sharing that, and finding others with a common interest.  That has an analog in the business world, but I still mostly see business people playing with this rather than relying on it.  We'll see how this looks within 12 months.  In the meantime, I like tracking what my Facebook-savvy friends are doing, to the extent they want to broadcast that to their network of friends.

Five days of leadership

Institute Logo

The main reason that I have been offline for the past week or so is that I participated as a facilitator at the Wooden Institute for Men of Principle on behalf of my college fraterntiy, Beta Theta Pi.

Now, I know that some of you are snickering about fraternities.  And, there is no doubt that the Animal House image of fraternities has a kernel of truth to it.  But, today's kids are different than the people I went to college with in the late 70s and early 80s.  At that time, there was still a reverb from the anti-Vietnam War/Free Love/Drug Experimentation culture of the 70s.  We were at the beginning of what has become a more conservative shift in the country, but there was still an expectation that 'boys will be boys', even at MIT fraternities.

Today, young men and women are more conservative, more academically oriented, and more independently minded when it comes to partying.  Beta has tried to focus on the values that our fraternity was based on when founded in 1839.  And, we've been public about those values since 1879.  I'm not naive enough to think that today's kids don't party.  But, I also believe that many of today's kids don't form all of their social relationships and base their values on partying.

I'm proud to say that my experience at the Institute for Men of Principle was extremely satisfying.  I co-led a group of 11 men out of a total session of about 75.  These guys were serious, thoughtful, fun, and dedicated.  We had a blast, including all sorts of activities, community service projects, and discussions of improving their fraternity chapters.  You get pretty close to people when you spend about 17 hours each day with them for five days...

I got a lot out of my college fraternity experience, beyond the social activities.  I made great friends that I had a lot in common with.  And, I got valuable experience in leadership roles as we ran our own show in our house.  That's some of the best aspects of this experience, and it is as applicable today as it ever was.  In fact, based on the men I met, they view this as a key part of a fulfilling college experience.

This experience was all consuming.  It kept me from my email and other communications for the better part of a week, counting travel.  So, if I have been slow in getting back to you, I apologize.  I should be caught up by today.

Congratulations, Craig!

My nephew, Craig Powers, graduated from the Coast Guard rescue swimmer program on Friday.  If you click through and read more about it, you'll learn about how demanding this program is.  There is a combination of both grueling physical training and simulated rescues at sea.  Craig was one of only 3 graduates from his class of 11.  And, there are only about 330 rescue swimmers active right now.  These people save lives when there are accidents at sea.  Thousands of people have been saved to date.  If you are ever unlucky enough to be in distress at sea, you'd be lucky to have someone like Craig there to rescue you.

Here's an article on Craig's graduation from The Daily Advance.

There's an article featuring Craig in the August 2007 issue of Motor Boating magazine.  This is available for sale now, but the articles aren't yet on their Web site.  This article has some awesome photos Craig in action during his rescue swimmer training.  When the article is online, I'll post an update.

Back and Catching Up

Dear Reader (as Stephen King says when addressing his audience):

I apologize for not posting for more than a week.  I've got a flurry of posts coming this morning, including some information on what I've been doing.  I've fallen behind in all aspects of my life and am just now coming up for air.  But, it has been a great week.

July 05, 2007

On the road

I am on the road in Oxford, OH (home of Beta Theta Pi) helping to facilitate a leadership seminar for college undergraduates.  I'll be mostly offline for the coming week, but will try to post from time to time.

iPhone apathy

Several people have expressed surprise that I wasn't one of the first people to buy an iPhone.  I'm certainly interested in the platform, but I'll wait before I buy one.

First, I already have two cell phones.  I have a RAZR on Verizon Wireless that is my primary cell phone.  It's small, works well, and has a decent browser to access information and email.  Unfortunately, Verizon Wireless doesn't have an open network, so I can only access things that Verizon lets me.  This doesn't constrain me too much, but hurts when I want to try out new things.  I mostly keep this phone out of inertia and due to its small form factor.

When I struck out on my own, I decided to buy a Samsung Blackjack on Cingular to have a smartphone which would let me get better email access.  I wanted Cingular in order to have some network diversity and because Cingular has a much more open network than Verizon.  And, I wanted to play with Windows Mobile, which is a highly functional, although quirky, platform.  And, Cingular's XPressMail works pretty well, but is also quirky when using it without a Microsoft Exchange server (it uses software from Seven, which is OK, but not great).

With these two phones, I didn't want a 3rd phone.  I like the idea of the iPhone to integrate the phone and iPod, and I may end up getting one eventually.  But, I also don't like buying the version 1.0 of anything.  There are bound to be bugs, and I'll wait for at least one software update.  I don't have more time to figure out why things don't work.  I also wonder if the iPhone will be good enough for me to get rid of one or both of my existing phones, and/or my iPod.  It has lots of memory, but not as much as my video iPod.  So, it just may be another device to drag around.  I'm not ready for that...

Another plug for Open Coffee Cambridge

I've touted the Open Coffee networking event in Central Square Cambridge a couple of times.  Last week's was one of the best yet, with a great turnout.  I didn't even get to talk to everyone I wanted to.

I can't make it there today (10 AM - Noon, Andala Coffee House) as I have some things to take care of before traveling again over the next several days.  But, I'll be back there next Thursday.  I hope to see you there.

That didn't take long

I've been offline in terms of blogging for the past few days due to some travel, lots of work, and the 4th of July.  So, I'll try to catch up on a few things today.

In the Wall Street Journal on July 3rd (link here, behind their subscription wall), there is an interesting article on the second thoughts about outsourcing technology jobs to India.  In short, wages in India have escalated dramatically, in many cases eliminating the cost difference between India and Silicon Valley.  Here are a couple of quotes:

Silicon Valley has helped power India's outsourcing boom by shifting technology jobs to that country. Three months ago, Munjal Shah reversed a bit of that shift.

Mr. Shah, who leads a California start-up called Riya Inc., had opened an office in India's technology capital of Bangalore in 2005, hiring about 20 skilled software developers. The lure was the wage level: just a quarter of what experienced Silicon Valley computer engineers make.

Then Indian salaries soared. Last year, Mr. Shah paid his engineers in India about half of Silicon Valley levels. By early this year, it was 75%. "Taking into account the time difference with India," he says, "we weren't saving any money by being there anymore." In April, Mr. Shah shut down the Bangalore office and offered half of its engineers a chance to move to San Mateo, Calif., with work visas.


Several years on, the forces of globalization are starting to even things out between the U.S. and India, in sophisticated technology work. As more U.S. tech companies poured in, they soaked up the pool of high-end engineers qualified to work at global companies, belying the notion of an unlimited supply of top Indian engineering talent. In a 2005 study, McKinsey & Co. estimated that just a quarter of India's computer engineers had the language proficiency, cultural fit and practical skills to work at multinational companies.

The result is increasing competition for the most skilled Indian computer engineers and a narrowing U.S.-India gap in their compensation. India's software-and-service association puts wage inflation in its industry at 10% to 15% a year. Some tech executives say it's closer to 50%. In the U.S., wage inflation in the software sector is under 3%, according to Moody's Economy.com.

Rafiq Dossani, a scholar at Stanford University's Asia-Pacific Research Center who recently studied the Indian market, found that while most Indian technology workers' wages remain low -- an average $5,000 a year for a new engineer with little experience -- the experienced engineers Silicon Valley companies covet can now cost $60,000 to $100,000 a year. "For the top-level talent, there's an equalization," he says.

That means that for a large swath of Silicon Valley -- start-ups and midsize companies that do sophisticated tech work -- India is no longer the premier outsourcing destination. While such companies make up just a fraction of India's outsourcing work, they had been an early catalyst for the growth of India's information-technology business and helped the country attract other outsourcing clients.

So, the market forces work quickly.  I was never overly concerned about outsourcing to India because I expected this sort of normalization to occur.  In my personal experience, start-ups haven't gained real advantage from outsourcing unless they could identify a team with a specific talent, had a pre-existing relationship with a team that gave them some loyalty, or managed to find a team in a market that was not growing quickly.  For example, one company I work with has an outsourced development team in Russia that has very specific technology skills.  This team is loyal to the US entrepreneur and probably has few options for other jobs.  So, the market for their talents is more constrained.

Everyone rushed to India, and competition for talent became fierce.  Also, turnover in Indian outsourcing firms can be very high.  An investment in training can be wasted as the people will switch jobs for a large increase in salary.

Bottom line: Don't blindly outsource.  Instead, develop a relationship with a unique team that will stick with you and are not as likely to be poached by others.  Make them part of your team.  And, don't be surprised if their wages have to go up faster than their US counterparts.  Also, expect to spend some significant time and travel in managing this remote relationship to ensure you continue to get value from your up-front commitment.


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