Hi all, Pleased to alert you to another article on Hidden-Tech that I wrote for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce online magazine for members. Some of you are quoted below. best, Amy Zuckerman Hidden-Tech founder, co-chair The Rise of the Virtual Company: How Technology Is Changing the Workplace Throughout the United States, millions of entrepreneurs have ditched traditional day jobs and are working in places as unlikely as Prescott, Arizona; Devils Lake, North Dakota; and Amherst, Massachusetts, from their homes or small offices, hidden from sight and from government statisticians. These are the virtual companies that economist George Gilder described in his writings 30 years ago, and this author dubbed "hidden tech" entrepreneurs who generally work alone and boost their business efforts through advanced technology. When they need help, they hire subcontractors or form business alliances rather than bring in employees to work in-house with them. Hidden tech, virtual company entrepreneurs may appear small in terms of office space, but their outreach is often impressive. Some hidden tech proprietors have earnings to match. Clients may include Fortune 100 companies. And there are hidden techies who enjoy international reputations in their fields of expertise, according to the report Leveraging the Hidden Tech Economy for Economic Development and to Build Social Capital (Amy Zuckerman and Mike Levin, Northeast Utilities, 2004). You don't have to be a techie to operate a hidden tech company. Membership in the growing Hidden-Tech organization-a national networking organization in western Massachusetts-boasts everyone from animators and sound experts to management consultants, jewelry manufacturers, software developers, and marketing and public relations specialists. What matters is your mind-set, your operating style, and the fact that you use advanced technology to operate your company. As glorious as it is to leave office politics behind, many issues arise when you operate on your own, often in remote settings far from your market. Hidden techies have traded office politics for isolation. Generating clients and customers means being creative marketers and constantly doing the fast-shuffle hustle. There are financial issues and the need to learn to manage personnel remotely. How to handle tech support and manage growth can be challenging as well. Take, for example, Silvana Gravini, a Northampton, Massachusetts, Web designer, who believes that there's "a misconception that if you operate from a home office the quality of service may be compromised, or be of lesser value." She stresses the need to counter that misconception with a solid Web presence and plenty of visible backup help. Bernadine Solwey, who operates Tenderfoot Socks from her home in St. Michael's, North Dakota, struggles with everything from locating manufacturers for her special socks for diabetics to marketing from a remote setting on a tight budget. Yet she perseveres because she believes in her product and values her lifestyle, which means she's an inveterate marketer. Shel Hurwitz, a marketing guru who operates his business alongside a dairy farm in Hadley, Massachusetts, also believes that the secret to survival as a hidden tech, virtual company owner is to market yourself relentlessly. As an early adopter of technology, he recommends placing yourself on the Web to be easily searchable. "The last time I searched for myself on Google, I got 3,760 hits." Amy Zuckerman is an award-winning author, columnist, and principal of a strategic marketing business in Amherst, Massachusetts. She is founder of the Hidden-Tech organization (<http://www.hidden-tech.net>www.hidden-tech.net) in western Massachusetts. <http://www.uschamber.com/join>Join | <http://www.uschamber.com/proc/account/logout.asp>Logout | <http://www.uschamber.com/search>Search | <http://www.uschamber.com/sitemap>Sitemap | <http://www.uschamber.com/about/faqs.htm>FAQs | <http://www.uschamber.com/careers>Employment Opportunities Copyright 2005 U.S. Chamber of Commerce 1615 H St NW Washington DC 20062-2000 Advancing human progress through an economic, political and social system based on individual freedom, incentive, initiative, opportunity, and responsibility.