I don't think children alone are the problem - switching countries often means leaving behind your entire social network. From the guys you go out drinking with to the person who cuts your hair, you have to build this all over again.
It can be fun, but it can also be isolating. It's tough to meet new friends, especially in a foreign culture, where your common cultural threads - sports you grew up watching, foods you grew up eating, languages you speak - don't overlap.
For some people this is a great opportunity to meet and learn about all sorts of things, and it can be, until you're tired, sick, or stressed - and just want the voice of a familiar friend.
Moving every 3 months means this problem is only amplified - you'll never really feel tied to whatever place you've moved to. Making real friends, learning the language... why bother, if you're just going to be somewhere new in a few months?
The other thing I dislike about this article is the "advice from rich people" tone it strikes. I've seen a lot of these kind of articles - "I made this successful business and then I realized I can just travel the world doing nothing". I suppose Tim Ferris started it, but he's not the only one.
The point being you have to have a certain amount of financial resources before you can do this kind of thing.
Now nothing in the article says they are rich (and they do point out CR is cheaper). But before you can do something like this, if you have any sense, you've either got enough money in the bank or enough business already planned to cover all the changes - relocations and all. You know that it will be an international flight to meet almost any client, and that's not really a problem.
I really think that - especially in the youthful zeitgeist, "conspicuous consumerism" as we once knew it (IE, at its zenith in the 80's) is dead. So let's stop acting like the only reason people live a frenetic life of work hard/play hard in the city is all about building up money to be better than their peers, and if only we had a little more perspective we could realize we could live relaxing, fulfilling lives on a tropical beach working a few hours a week.
Lots of interesting points -- but for what it's worth, I'm the founder and I'm certainly not a "rich person". I'm a designer/developer living in Silicon Valley who wanted to experiment with new ways to build a company with the round we raised.
Tim Ferriss was one of the inspirations for the traveling. Like him or hate him, his point is "you don't have to be rich to travel, you just have to do it".
This isn't for everyone, but the hope is that it's extra-awesome for people who want to see the world and experience new cultures, all as part of a job.
To be clear, I'm not saying that traveling is a bad thing. I love it.
I myself just moved to San Francisco ~3 months ago after a lifetime of living within about a 100 mile circle of places on the East coast; a lot of these observations come from this experience. Ultimately, it's been a good experience for me, but it's not exactly what I expected from a naive point of view.
Packing up and moving your whole life has some pretty serious consequences that are easy to gloss over. There's a big difference between a vacation of a few weeks to a month and actually living somewhere else.
Being in SF, for me, meant living in an urban (vs. suburban) environment, which meant a variety of changes. Hopping in the car to go anywhere is no longer a requirement. It's also not an option if I want to get a load of groceries, unless I want to rent a ZipCar. Am I saying it's too hard to walk 2 blocks to the grocery store? No. But it's a new way of life.
All these changes to your lifestyle can be exciting and fun, but they can also be stressful; especially so if you are (as I am not) socially isolated by language and/or cultural differences.
For instance, one thing that was a hassle moving here for me, and would be worse internationally, is ADHD medication. It's a schedule 2 drug in the United States, meaning I can only ever get a month's supply, among other restrictions. So when I got here I had to get a new doctor almost immediately - and most doctors are reluctant to write a controlled substance prescription on demand.
Again, I love traveling, and if I was reading this article about a DC company (where I used to live) and I still lived there, I'd be the first to sign up.
But a lot of the differences are subtle, or unexpected, and you should realize that it can be - while enlightening, meaningful, and ultimately fun - a very stressful experience. It's sort of like the difference between telecommuting and working in the office - with google hangouts, teleconferences, etc, the communication should be the same, right? It's the same laptop whether at home or at work, right? And yet, for me, the experience is massively different.
It's like our collective interest, startups: they can be very stressful, but also very rewarding.
But there is still the matter of properly appreciating the risk, and really understanding what you're getting into, and protecting your fundamental physical security.
There's a difference between committing to long hours of hard work with possibly no reward, and plunging yourself into debt by financing your business with credit cards. So it is with travel. It's easy to delude yourself into thinking that it'll all be fine if you just work hard and have an open mind.
I think people tend to vastly underestimate the stresses of travel (Especially past college age). Of course, people coming to the US often have one of the hardest times (thanks, immigration system!), but there are just all sort of pitfalls that you'd never worry about on a week or two vacation - work visas being just the beginning.
In other words, if you do it from a naive approach - without having considered some of the harsher realities of travel - you're going to have a bad time.
> It's easy to delude yourself into thinking that it'll all be fine if you just work hard and have an open mind.
Work hard? For travel? You mean work hard to learn foreign language etc.? For me that's not hard.
There is nothing hard to work on when travelling. If getting interested in other culture and open minded to differences is something one needs to "work hard on", then it is much better to just not do it. And it is OK. It is OK not to like travelling around the world. For young people it may be uncool, but uncoolness is much preferable to self delusion.
It is ok to prefer home's bed, and to be not able to take a shit on a squatty, it is ok to stay home.
But if you travel, basic curiosity and interest in the others is largely enough. Then you just go and do not need to consider "harsher realities". After a while, you may round-trip and find yourself.
I'm sorry, but I don't really understand what point you are making. For some people traveling is not hard. For some people traveling is hard. But even for those traveling might be well worth the difficulties. Many good things are hard.
Now, personally I would argue people who say traveling isn't hard are wrong. I've traveled a lot, lived in a few quite different countries, and much as it's incredibly natural to me, it's often proven to be hard, much harder than staying in one place, in the culture most common to me...
In fact, advertising a job position as "not for people with families" is usually running a pretty big labor law risk--especially if you're currently based in the Bay Area and thus subject to California law in addition to US law. In many places it's illegal to ask about children or marital status during an interview, and to come right out and say "we don't want people with families" is insanity. You might disagree with the law, but it's hard to dispute that the law is that way in California.
> Of course, one downside is that it’s not ideal for people with families. Some of the best people I’ve ever worked with have kids, and unfortunately wouldn’t be able to do this.
I could only imagine the outrage if Wal-Mart said "this job requires consistent attendance, so it's not ideal for pregnant people." Saying "this job is not ideal for" a protected category is a strange decision. I didn't write the laws, and you might very well be correct that it's not a job for people with families, but to come right out in the job advertisement and say they're not invited? I would not want to be your lawyer.
> Of course, one downside is that it’s not ideal for everyone. Some of the best people I’ve ever worked with wouldn't want to or be able to travel. We’ll get around this eventually by hiring remote employees or setting up a SF office.
It conveys what I meant to say, without implying something I didn't.
This is oddly antagonistic. I understand that the OP's points don't apply to you, but I'd say the concept of leaving your drinking buddies behind or needing to hear the comforting voice of a familiar friend aren't foreign to vast majority of people.
Why must you be eligible to work in the US? Isn't one of the benefits of being outside the US not having to deal with the nightmare of US Visa applications, and expanding your candidate pool to those unwilling/unable to go through it?
One potential problem arises if a US company tries to pay someone with a bank account outside the US.
Due to FATCA regulations, there may be a 30% withholding on bank wires sent to foreign financial institutions that aren't Qualified Intermediaries (foreign banks that agree to submit information on any US account holders who have accounts with them).
Unfortunately, PayPal has limited capabilities in some countries.
In fact, Costa Rica (where the company is moving) appears to be a country where you cannot withdraw money from your PayPal account into a local bank account. It also looks like you can't have them transfer money to a Costa Rican credit or debit card. PayPal doesn't even have my current country (Paraguay) listed as a place where I can do anything. https://www.paypal.com/cgi-bin/webscr?cmd=_display-approved-...
I also encountered problems with other money transfer services when I first moved overseas. They had limits on how much money I could transfer per day, month, and lifetime of my account. As I started crossing certain thresholds, they wanted me to send them my tax return for the previous year, if I wanted to continue using them. Someone else I know frequently had transfers blocked by the service he uses to pay his foreign contractors. There's some new regulation, a policy changes, or just general screw-ups.
I'm almost sorry to be making this comment, but I feel compelled to. Your comment is an example of casual objectification and I really don't think it's appropriate public discourse. Worse, it perpetuates/fulfills the "boy's club" stereotype of tech startup culture.
I'm a bit conflicted because this comment is:
2) Technically a personal attack
3) Something of a call for self-censorship
However, I feel that it should be made. Feel free to express disagreement or even downmod me if I'm out of line.
1) The comment in question reinforces the idea that software teams are made up of men who are interested in being surrounded by beautiful women, which is what I'm referring
to when I mention the "boy's club". As another commenter wonderfully puts it, "It assumes a heteronormative misogynistic view of the world."
2) It also makes a separation between 'the people' and
'the beautiful CR women' (though I might be reading too much into the exact wording).
He's absolutely saying you shouldn't say "beautiful women" in such context. It assumes a heteronormative misogynistic view of the world.
Why didn't it say "the hot CR men?"
"PC" isn't a flat overboard restriction of expression, it's for advancing a mutual respect of people. Your admission of "women are open ogled" isn't something to be proud of—it's backwards and needs to be corrected by society.
Perhaps he didn't say "the hot CR men" because his personal preference is for women? If he does not find men attractive why should he (or anyone of any persuasion) be required to declare them equally as attractive?
He wasn't declaring that he loved the women. He was declaring that you, as a group of (single, male) software engineers, will love the women. Why should HN be "required" to fall in line with his preferences?
Is oppression still a thing? Seems like in this day and age  there is an awful lot of opportunity out there for all types of people to rise all the way up in society or government or anything else.
 My sister's a lesbian and a doctor. My ex's brother is from a tiny little town in Nicaragua (very poor country) now attending med school in Barcelona on a full scholarship. My country (Australia)'s prime minister is a woman. The USA has a black president. Costa Rica (my daughter's country) has women in positions of power and authority all the way up to the president and that's not at all uncommon.
I'm confused why you think these countries are in any way similar? Their cultures are vastly different, latinos adopted a lot of Spanish (etc) centuries ago and are 90+ percent Catholic, a church that has officially frowned on child-rape for over a decade.
I'm also confused why you think imposing your views on latinos, who typically love women, and as many as they can, will solve inequality in India.
I'm almost sorry to be making this [meta] comment, but I feel compelled to. Your comment is an example of rampant policing to make sure everyone is completely flat, bland, and not expressing any personal views or preferences whatsoever.
According to you, possibly all communication will consist of weird hedging sentences like "It is an excellent country, you will fall in love with the men, women, transgendered and/or ungendered communities there.", or worse, will drown out all personal emotion altogether, resulting in ridiculous sugary generalisms like "it's great!" (great for what?).
Anyway, I feel I should point this out. Feel free to express disagreement or even downmod me if I'm out of line.
it's 20 years I'm leaving in Tamarindo,Costa Rica sleeping late, fishing a little, take siesta with my wife, stroll into the village each evening where I sip beer and play pool with my amigos. I have a full and busy life... and a little boat...
I'd love to do something like this, but ideally for a shorter time (with a team), or more informally (with more people).
Renting a house in Hawaii (ideally one set up for startups; with some extra cars, high speed Internet, printer, whiteboards, etc. all set up) for a month might be a good way to do a 2-3 week project kickoff, followed by a week long vacation for friends/family.
I'd still love to find a group of (security? infrastructure? bitcoin?) startups which have a reason to be in non-USA which move to a place like NZ/HK/CH/IS/EE and operate. One of the advantages of SFBA is you can switch companies very easily. Moving for a single company to a place like Costa Rica doesn't do that.
3 months is in the range where it is long enough to feel permanent, but too short to really set things up properly, unless you have a yearly cycle among 4 different locations or something.
I'm a Software Engineer and a tico and would love to join you guys as well. I live at downtown San Jose and it's not the same as working near the beach. Know a lot of other developers willing to relocate to the Osa Peninsula.
Wow, this is awesome. I do online marketing and code in my spare time (I am a novice, but working hard at learning) who would love to do this. I understand if it's not what you are looking for now, but let me know if there might be a fit!
I know you didn't say that they are explicitly forbidden but discriminating against prospective employees due to having families is walking a fine line of violating equal opportunity hiring practices in the US.