There’s a lot to gain by staying in smaller cities
Wollongong: a perfect blend of mountains, sea and city. I’m a Wollongong local and I founded Devika right on the sands of North Wollongong beach. It’s a large regional centre yet it pales in comparison to Sydney, just 70 km north. So naturally I’m always being asked, “when are you going to move your company to the Sydney CBD?”
“When are you going to move your company to the Sydney CBD?”
I visited Silicon Valley a few years ago and realised that no matter where your business is, you’ve still got the same four walls. What’s more important is how you grow your business, how you lead your team, the standard you hold everyone to and how to provide an environment that people cherish and want to stay a part of.
Wollongong has provided Devika with a solid foundation to build upon through its strong community of developers. As an IT graduate from the University of Wollongong, I’ve experienced the community first-hand and seen other software developers emerge from the vibrant seaside city over the years.
When I founded Devika I decided wanted to fill the company with passionate people and Wollongong’s software development community is a great place to find them. I've always wanted to actively engage with the Wollongong community and it's been deeply moving to see how Devika has been welcomed by the region’s developers.
I strongly believe that you reap what you sow, and we want to reap the rewards of local developers by giving back to the region and sowing Wollongong’s future. This includes hosting events like Global Game Jam, giving internships to UOW students, providing work experience to local high school students, collaborating with the UOW on project that require emerging technology services and assisting with hackathons.
Besides the relaxed lifestyle and passionate development community, there are also key operational advantages to being located in “the Gong”. Operational costs are much lower than major cities and by not having as many local sales opportunities means we’re forced to think global. From day one we’ve been pushed towards international clients which have grown us exponentially. This strategy is common for technology companies from small populations (such as New Zealand) where they need to think globally from day one. It’s entirely possible to build a successful company outside of capital cities: you shouldn't have to leave your city of origin just because you’ve grown or because you want to grow.
As long as your company thrives and your team is happy, why does it matter where you’re located? Just keep doing the things meaningful to you and your business and it won’t matter where you are.