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100 Superheroes

"Remote" reminds us why Jason Fried is a superhero

Jason Fried, our friend from 37signals, is re-imagining what it means to work once again with the release of his new book, “Remote.”

The concept of remote working obviously isn’t new. But with recent moves by companies like Yahoo! to ban remote working, Fried is indeed a superhero for standing tall and arguing in favor of a movement that has for decades been seen by many as an unproductive model aimed only at cutting costs.

Every semester at UCSD I give a lecture called “Stop Doing What Works.” I always show a clip from 1974 of futurist Arthur C. Clarke where he predicts the ultimate implications of the future of the web. He says:

It will enrich our society because it will allow us to live anywhere we’d like. Any businessman can live anywhere on earth and still do his work.”

As Fried points out, companies have grown too accustomed to the 9′ to 5′ cubicle, and despite us knowing since 1974 that the web sets us free, far too many companies remain chained to ‘doing what works.’ If ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

True, ‘what works’ isn’t broken. But it certainly isn’t ideal, and it’s essentially applying old rules in a new world. As author Eddie Obeng says, it’s “acting rationally in a world that no longer exists.” It’s simply not sustainable.

“Remote” does a fantastic job making the argument for why companies should set their workforce free, whether it be to save costs, improve work/life balance, increase productivity, find better talent, enjoy life more and the list goes on.

You can change the world from anywhere

The concept of remote working fits into X-Team’s core beliefs, namely our belief that you can change the world from anywhere.

And we embraced this idea because it meant everything we do and everything we believe in would have to be rooted in trust in order to work. Remote working, or any form of global collaboration, simply cannot work without a mighty foundation of trust.

Our team of 25 developers dedicated to FOX Broadcasting work from 11 different countries every day. There’s no one looking over their shoulders. There’s no one monitoring how long their lunch breaks are either.

But because we trust each other, because we each know we can’t provide world-class quality without completely believing in one another, our remote teams are the most well-oiled machines I’ve ever known.

The power of trust

The most rewarding benefits of being part of a remote team all stem from the power of trust. It allows you to truly become selfless. It’s why we naturally became superheroes over the last eight years of remote working.

Trust means you have a community of people who believe in the same mission.

Trust means your team naturally produces respect, and with respect comes the most rewarding, productive and collaborative environment, empowering voices that in any traditional workplace would have never been heard.

Trust is the Spartan who remembers his shield before his sword when going to battle, as without his shield he cannot protect the soldier next to him.

Trust is the core of everything humanity aspires to be. To be truly good and worthy of purpose.

This is why Jason is a superhero. To defend the remote movement means to fight for a better world, which is a truly noble cause.

We’re paving the road for a generation that will command their own destiny. A generation built on trust, freedom and borderless collaboration.

Let’s build the future together.

For more on why we believe in global collaboration, read Collaboration Without Borders next.

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