High Tech

March 13, 2015

Volume 36, Number 49

Were in a worse tech bubble than in the old dotcom days.”  Huh?  You mean the days when dotcom companies cratered and Austins economy suffered bigtime?  That bubble?  Yeah, that bubble.  Well then, who said this?  The highprofile outspoken Texan who sold his dotcom company in 1990 for $5 billion just before the 1990s bust, thats who.

Known for being the owner of the Dallas Mavericks pro basketball team and for his appearances on the Shark Tank TV series, Dallas billionaire Mark Cuban is also known for his knack of making shocking comments.  But shocking though his comments may be, Cuban is a guy who has been-there, done-that, so his views need to be considered.

Here’s how Cuban views the situation.  He seems to think it was better back when the inflation of the dotcom companies occurred in the public markets, where investors could buy and sell their stakes.  Now he says most of the money being raised by new tech businesses is happening in the private markets, such as “angel investors” or “crowd funders.”  Here’s what Cuban wrote:

“I have absolutely no doubt in my mind that most of these individual angels and crowd funders are currently under water in their investmentsAbsolutely noneI say mostThe percentage could be higher.”  Well, of course that could be true, notes a senior tech writer in the Silicon Valley, Cromwell Schubarth.  He notes that “the average failure rate for angels and VCs is greater than 90%.” Read more →

February 27, 2015

Volume 36, Number 47

 Austin this week was ranked #1 in the world for tech companies.  In the world.  Savills plc., a Londonbased global real estate provider with operations worldwide, made that proclamation, saying Austin was a small city that is a big hitter on the global stage.”  This is huge.

In recent years, Austin has been at the forefront of a number of state and national rankings as “Top This” or “Top That.”  All that is well and good.  It has enhanced the reputation of the area in many different ways.  Now comes a ranking the likes of which youve not seen before.  You’ll see the Top Twelve cities in just a minute.  But, right now, here is how Savills says it came to name Austin #1 in the world:

“The Savills Tech Cities research programme aims to understand the many diverse drivers that make good cities for the tech sector.  The firm has identified the 12 global centres at the forefront of tech.  All have thriving and growing tech industries and are at the top of global shopping lists for tech companies looking for space in which to locate.

Access to human capital is a key driver in locating tech firms, and vibrant cities are where the talent wants to live and work – factors ranging from access to venture capital, through the quality of a flat white available at the neighbourhood café, are all included in the metrics,” Savills noted.  (Translation for the non Brits:  “flat white” is a type of latte.)

Read more →

November 21, 2014

Volume 36, Number 35

The Texas Miracle,” otherwise known as the Texas economy, is no one trick pony.  Oh sure, the oil and gas boom is getting the headlines rightfully so, because its impact is huge.  But attributing the states success to the energy sector alone ignores The Lone Star States economic diversity.  And the Austin area is Exhibit A supporting this assertion.

The CEO of The Dallas Entrepreneur Center Trey Bowles correctly noted that “smart policy, entrepreneurship and economic diversity have been the keys to Texas achieving the nations largest economic growth, four years in a row.”  And the Austin area’s economy perfectly illustrates this.  Some examples:

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported Texas created more jobs than any other state last year.  The Austin economy has been a jobcreation machine for several years now, drawing oohs and aahs from all around the nation.

Texas is the fastestgrowing state for technology jobs.  Hello again, Austin.

There is no end in sight.  Moody’s Analytics expects Texas to have an annual job growth rate of 2.7% over the next five years the fastest in the nation – ranking it #1 on Forbes’ annual Best States for Business Study released this week.

Bowles points out that “about two-thirds of the new jobs in Texas come from two million-plus small businesses located here.”  In addition to Texas’ impressive job growth, it is also expected to have the secondfastest economic growth rate over the next five years 4.1% annually. Read more →