An extreme example of “Location is everything”

Djibouti is a country which is placed at the most sensitive and the most valuable piece of land on earth – the entrance to the Red Sea. The sea route connecting the Red Sea to the Gulf Of Aden is the main route for all oil tankers which carry oil from the Middle East to the rest of the world. Any disruption or blockage on that route will have an immediate major impact on world economy.

Just by being at that exact spot, Djibouti is at a major hotspot of world economy and politics. Djibouti is a barren land, with little agricultural and mineral resources. It has no industries to talk about and it is basically a poor country which has seen a lot of internal civil wars.

But today it is doing quite well by becoming a service based economy. Its port does excellent business because it is at a perfect spot for all ships going to and from the Red Sea. So, if Djibouti is poor, who exactly are they servicing? It provides logistical support to all the foreign military bases there , which every major country has put up in Djibouti. Each country has set up a military base to make sure its ships and consignments are safe in the Red Sea. So Djibouti has more international military bases per square kilometer than any other country on earth.

It is a blessing as well as a curse. Since so many military superpowers are stationed there, Djibouti can never be attacked. On the other hand if countries which have bases next to each other , get into a war in their home countries, then it could lead to an internal conflict within Djibouti itself and could quickly escalate into an international war.

But, to come back to the original topic – location is so very important. If you locate yourself at a place where people are bound to come, then you don’t have to worry about capturing the market or how people will find you. However, the importance of location is dependent on what is happening AROUND the location, rather than the place itself. So tomorrow if the Middle East runs out of oil, Djibouti will again become a barren land with nothing. Unlike people and companies, a country cannot change its location.

It is important to take a few seconds to think : how important location is to your skill or trade. Does it have an impact at all? Are you able to change it if needed? Or is your skill such that people will come to you anyway , because you provide something unique?



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