A conversation with Neil Giarratana about high-tech business in small-town New England

For this week’s ITConversations show I spoke with fellow Keene resident Neil Giarratana, a software entrepeneur whose 12-person company reverses the usual geographic pattern. A number of folks around here, me included, operate as remote outposts of companies located in metropolitan areas. But Neil’s company, Lucidus, is headquartered here, with field offices in larger cities elsewhere.

In an era of accelerating migration to cities, this counter-cyclical pattern fascinates me. As Neil candidly admits, there are tradeoffs. But thanks to ever-improving telecommunications and the evolving decentralization of work, it’s feasible to combine a high-tech career with the lifestyle advantages of our quintessential New England town.


  1. I think you are a bit mistaken on what “More than half of population living in cities” really means. I think most people have taken this out of context.

    if you really did on the UN site of what counts as a city you eventually get to this page:

    “Because of significant national differences, there is no internationally agreed upon definition of urban and rural that would be applicable to all countries or even to all countries within a region.”

    the linked PDF shows how this apply to the US. “Places of 2,500 or more inhabitants and urbanized areas”

    so really the report released is not talking about cities they way we think about it.

  2. “the report released is not talking about cities they way we think about it”

    Wow. Nice catch! Thanks Stefan. I wonder how Stewart Brand’s notion of city:


    corresponds to that UN document.

    I’d love to see a visualization with a population slider that you could move from, say, a thousand to a million, and see, worldwide, what qualifies as a city according to that variable definition. Also, while we’re wishing, a time slider that goes by decades for a thousand years or so.

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