Competition is good … at least that’s what we’ve all been told by folks considered much more informed if not downright expert on the subject. And, with that in mind, we’re not about to argue otherwise.

But is the competition necessarily the guy down the street?

What brings this question to mind is a number of progressive comments made of late by surveying, mapping and geospatial professionals, in some cases at conferences or within associations, at other times on these very pages. Many, it seems, are today more than pleased to not just stubbornly go it alone all the time. Yes, they’ll willingly take on whatever work comes their way. Within that opportunity, though, they will often focus on their area of expertise and gladly reach out to a friendly “competitor” for advice if not absolute partnership in order to deliver the complete and ultimate product to the client and/or customer.

Take Kate Anderson, PLS, profiled in this month’s Solo Notes on page 24. She spoke of her enjoyment in collaborating on a recent project. “I don’t really believe in competitors,” the San Francisco surveyor added. “I think there’s a place for everyone and certainly lots I can learn from other licensed surveyors in the Bay Area. I love networking with them, and seeing what kinds of projects they’re doing and how they’re moving their business forward.” Being a member of the California Land Surveyors Association “allows me to keep up with what other surveyors in the area are doing, what new technology they’re adopting to service their client base.”

Sharing the knowledge means, of course, sharing the wealth. That is what makes this era of cooperation so refreshing. The bottom line is, well, the bottom line. Giving up even a small fraction of revenue is not an easy pill to swallow, whether you’ve got a great view from the 12th floor of your employer’s corporate headquarters or you’re toiling alone at midnight in the spare bedroom you’ve turned into your company office.

If you’re the latter, of course, you’re alone because even the family pooch has called it a night by that point.

Hey, there’s always a line. Even the most loyal can only take this teamwork concept so far.

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On the topic of teamwork, cooperation and the aforementioned Solo Notes, you may have noticed in recent months the byline of our associate editor Valerie King. The outstanding role she fulfills with our sister publication National Driller was recently expanded to include work on POB’s assorted print and digital properties, as well as our GeoDataPoint digital platform. The recognition is so well deserved; the honor to work alongside her is all mine.

Folks, I’ve been in this media shtick for more than 30 years. During that time, I have never before worked with a young professional who embraces new opportunities, new knowledge, new contacts and new challenges with such an open mind, eagerness to jump right in and downright gritty work ethic. It’s the ultimate combination.

As for that competition thing, I’m just glad she’s on our team.


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