There are lots of reasons why moving isn’t any fun. One of the worst can be not knowing what the city or area you will be moving to is really like. But if you happen to be a person looking for a startup job, there’s an app that’s here to help. Teleport turns the whole notion of moving for a job on it’s head by helping talented startup job seekers pick a place where they will be happy living and working. It actually puts location above job description in an effort to tune the equation for work/life balance for maximum happiness. Here’s how Sten Tamkivi (CEO and co-founder) explains what Teleport is all about:
“Teleport builds software for people on the move. Our long term vision is to help free people move around and have all governments compete for every citizen. As a start we’re helping startup people whose jobs allow them to be mobile figure out where they should be, and then help them get there. We have released two products to date: Bay Area Teleport web based search that let’s you find an affordable and cost-optimal place to live around Silicon Valley. And now Teleport for Startup Cities mobile app that let’s you discover and budget your next move among 100 startup-friendly cities in the world.”
That’s a pretty mind-blowing statement—having governments competing for citizens—and one that’s almost hard to wrap your mind around. It’s a new, and for me, completely unexpected facet of the technology revolution. I mean, the thought of an American, for instance, considering skipping out to another country is pretty crazy in my mind; and yet the idea makes some (kind of bizarre) sense as the world continues to get flatter. If you think about a future like you would see in Star Trek where humans identify with Earth as their home, rather than a specific country, you start to wonder how that change would come about. Perhaps it would be something like Teleport, where boundaries seem irrelevant and opportunity is paramount.
How are people making use of Teleport so far? Bay Area Teleport has seen the number of searches per session (in other words how much people are exploring and tweaking the life quality criteria they are looking for) tick up consistently since the November release.
Sten says that with the Teleport for Startup Cities app, his team is trying to build something more ambient; something that establishes ongoing relationships with users rather than seeing them open the app for a search and then move on. He says, “In this regard the one number that made us happiest in the first week was that full 70% of our new users saw enough value from our service to actually sign up for an account.”
Here’s some feedback Sten received recently from a user:
“I have stopped by the store and added a review to the app. As I mentioned I think it is fantastic, and am excited to see how the app will evolve. After working in business immigration for 5 years I have seen how geography affects employment and thus prosperity. As more work becomes less geographically focused I feel like it is tools like Teleport that will break down barriers to working wherever works best for your particular situation.”
Insights from how users are interacting with Teleport from just the San Francisco Bay Area are revealing; people are surprised how useful the app’s controls are for finding a happier living situation. “The fact that there are 7 million people around the Bay, and up to 250k new ones moving in every year means that the real estate has become really expensive, and highways more congested. In this environment a smart person can sometimes change their daily commute by mere 30 minutes and save $25,000 a year,” says Sten. “Yes, the Silicon Valley salary markets are also booming, but for an early stage startup team of 5, differences like these could mean literally 6 months of extra runway on the capital they raised, if they think carefully about where they live and work.”
That’s a pretty powerful tool that can make a real difference in the lives of startup workers and the companies they work with.
You can expect to see more features around actually making moves happen—rather than just planning a move—in the coming months. Already heading in that direction, Teleport Scouts can answer questions and solve tasks for users. Also, Teleport will be getting more group-facing features which can help families and teams coordinate their moves.
Sten believes progressive governments will be looking to attract talent joining Teleport on the “supply side” of great places to live.
In the meantime, the Teleport team is personable about helping startup people move around freely and helping them as successful as they can be. To that end, having a broadly available, pleasant and largely free search experience helps and so the team will be focused on iterating on that.