When I moved to Austin in 1993, it was this sleepy little town that was just beginning to blossom. Some of the world’s leading semiconductor and manufacturing companies were beginning to set-up shop here in large part due to the strong work ethic that Austinites possess. A little company called Dell started to take flight and became a relevant player amongst the established regime of the computer industry. Other companies took notice and began in earnest to grow out of every crack and crevice in this city.
It was magical.
Suddenly, our sleepy little town wasn’t so sleepy any more. We had awoken with vigor, drunk on the aroma of entrepreneurship and the promise of a better, more successful tomorrow. Austin was on the map not only as the Live Music Capital of the World but also as the best place to start and grow a business.
When I travel the country, people always ask me about Austin. Whether it’s the iconic bang and bust of the first wave of Internet start-ups or the resounding resilience and outright refusal to stay down for the count, Austin has become synonymous with entrepreneurship. Who needs Silicon Valley when everything you could possibly want is right here surrounded by live music, great coffee and a mostly -free wifi. The “vibe” is electric and the people, many, if not at all aren’t even from here, come in wave-after-wave with ideas abuzz and dollar signs in their eyes.
Austin is one of the great places on the planet to live. I am proud to call it home, though honestly, I live in Round Rock, so don’t hold that against me. Austin pride flows through anyone who’s spent a single minute surrounded by entrepreneurs like Sam Decker, Brett Hurt, Michael Dell, Andrew Tull or Peter Strople. If Austin is the mecca for a musician, then surely it’s something similar for that 18-year-old college student with the next Facebook on the brain or that 60-year-old retired teacher who believes that there’s a better more efficient way to teach school.
Let me share a link to an article about Austin that inspired this love-fueled rant this morning.
Take a moment to read and be inspired by some of Austin’s next generation of success stories. People and teams that will literally change your life whether you live here in our fine city or not.
If you aren’t from here, come on down for a visit, we have excellent beer and BBQ. Get inspired by our entrepreneurial spirt, our commitment to community and our bootstrap mentality and then go home.
No seriously, our country and our economy needs more Austin success stories. We need you to go back to wherever you call home and plant your own flag, stoke your own entrepreneurial fires and do what we have done in Austin. Transform your little sleepy town into something so much more. Make it a place you can love and admire and have pride in like we do here.
Albuquerque, Nashville, St. Louis are you listening?
It can happen. We proved it can.
Now it’s your turn.