Wednesday, July 26, 2006
Fifteen years ago today I drove into the Great State of Texas in my Toyota 4x4 truck (which just six months later I crashed on MoPac. Totaled). It was about 10:00 PM when I first saw the skyline of my new town. I had been born and raised in California, but at twenty-five year old I had taken an opportunity to move to Austin, Texas. An adventure. I figured I would stay two or three years and then return to the West Coast.
But life has a funny way of working out. At the time, Austin had a small and struggling economy. The business community was dominated by the state government, the University of Texas and the thriving music industry (July 27, 1991 I first visited 6th Street!!!). Texas businesses had been hurt by the oil bust and the Saving & Loan crisis of the late 1980s. July 1991 is when the economy bounced and began to grow. I am not saying that I had anything to do with the recovery, but all I knew for the next decade was Austin as a "boom town".
The technology market exploded and the face of Austin changed. It was an amazing place to live and work during the late 1990s. Everyone you met had a business plan, venture capital money was being handed out like free samples at Whole Foods, and nobody thought it could ever end.
It ended, and the tech bust hurt Austin, but it did not bruise my admiration for the city and those who live and work here. Austin is truly a Mecca for the entrepreneurial spirit.
I got married in Austin, built a home, my two daughters were born here, we have made amazing friends and worked with incredible mentors. I have experienced a phenominal (although turbulent) career. Heck, I wrote my book based on my experiences building a network of professional contacts in this town.
I feel that I grew up with Austin. When I arrived it was the 25th largest city in the United States.....today it is the 16th largest city.
On July 26, 1991 I had no idea that I was driving into the city that I would call my home. The city I adore.
Have A Great Day.