Generation Flux Salon: How Does Technology Make It Harder To Lead, And How Does It Make It Easier?

Generation Flux knows how to roll with the rapid-fire pace of technology and take advantage of all the tools at its disposal. But are there times when technology makes it harder—not easier—to lead?

Author Maynard Webb, Hearsay Social CEO Clara Shih, TV personality Amber Mac, Knodes CEO Ron J. Williams, Percolate co-founder Noah Brier, and Girls in Tech CMO Kate Brodock are discussing technology and leadership on Fast Company this week—and we want you to join the conversation. Use the "Ask to join" button below to request an invite.

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  • Bill Southworth

    Having run a number of conventional technology startups over the years, I'm now doing another one that is very heavily using crowdsourcing and internet freelancers.  So far the results have been astounding.  We have mechanical designers in Vietnam, a spectacular software developer on the edge of Mongolia, a graphic designer in Israel, and power electronics designer in Maine.  Skype, email and Dropbox are our office. 

    The critical difference for me has been the change in management required.  I've always managed by providing wide latitude and then reigning in if the employee doesn't turn out to be a self-starter.  With crowdsourcing and freelancers, subdividing the projects into very highly defined subtasks tailored to very specialized talent is super critical. When you have two talents and your project needs some of each expertise, you just might need a third collaborator that's the moderator between. 

    This has all worked very well for engineering, manufacturing and design.  Where we've been less successful so far with the outsourcing is in marketing expertise, particularly with marketeers that are wizards at selling high tech products using the internet as the primary sales force.