Andreessen-Incubated Teleport Aims To Make Location Irrelevant For Mobile Workers

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Is finding housing getting you — and apparently, the rest of San Francisco — down?

Then leave. Go somewhere else! Stop coming here!

(Just kidding.)

But not really.

Because that’s kind of the idea behind Teleport, a new Andreessen Horowitz-incubated startup from early Skype executive Sten Tamkivi and general partner Balaji Srinivasan.

This company, which was in stealth, put up a small teaser today. The idea is to help the globe’s knowledge workers find the jobs and places that maximize their take-home pay, or the difference between their paychecks and what they spend on housing, food and transport.

The big, broad idea is to make location irrelevant. While there are clusters of talent in cities like New York, London and Singapore, in theory, people should be able to work from anywhere, right?

“Jobs do not equal places any more,” Tamkivi wrote in a blog post today. “Millions of more people every year can live anywhere and work remotely. This started first in tech-heavy professional circles but the wave continues: already one fifth of all working people around the world telecommute.”

He added, “While your income sources have gone mobile your costs remain strongly tied to your physical location. Housing, transportation, child care, education, health care — the cost or even just availability of these services depends on where you are. More costs emerge from being too far from the people and places you want to spend time with. And don’t even get us started on taxes.”

I’ve reached out to Tamkivi, and will update when I hear back. They haven’t released any products or services yet, but they’re looking for workers that are interested in relocating.

The gist is to build a sort of “life search” engine that helps mobile workers find the best quality of life based on their pay and interests. If you stretch this thinking out, it could have all sorts of interesting ramifications for global economic development.

Imagine dispersing the tech industry’s talent to many more cities around the U.S. or the world, and what that would mean for the kinds of companies people would start if they were exposed to different living situations or cultures.

The issue is that one of the great paradoxes of modern living is that physical proximity has become more valuable even though technology and transportation have made connections across long distances cheaper. It’s called the Jevons paradox, where efficiency improvements lead to more, not less, consumption of certain goods or services. Improvements in information technology have paradoxically led to more demand for complementary face-to-face contact. And it’s turned out that densely developed cities are far more favorable to knowledge-centric economies.

We’ll have more details on this one. Stay tuned.