One of our favorite technologists explains #WhyAustin
As part of an ongoing series, we’re exploring the business culture and environment in Austin. Everyone knows that over 100 people move to the city every day. Every. Day. So, instead of talking about how Austin graces nearly every desirable Top 10 list ever published, we’re asking some of the most relevant names in business to opine.
Instead of crunching numbers, we’re taking an honest pulse of what makes Austin great, but what some of the challenges are. To do that, we’ve interviewed company founders, politicians, startup investors, programmers, artists, musicians, and so many more.
Rocksauce Studios rocks the city
Rocksauce Studios is a well known app development team in Austin that proclaims working with them is like “lightning in a bottle.” Their brand is edgy, modern, and so very Austin.
The leader of the pack is Q Manning. Yes, he goes by the letter Q, which I’m assuming probably inspired Cher and Madonna to pare down their names, too. But when you’re a self-taught designer and developer who has led creative teams at LinDigital (RMM), HBMG, and WhisperWire, later to found your own company, you’ve got the chops to go by a single letter.
Q is a creative leader we have a great deal of respect for, and in his own words below, he explains his take on #WhyAustin:
Q, when did you move to Austin? Why did you come here?
Austin sits firmly on the apex of my passions: technology, film and art. After graduation, there was no other city which came close to winning my affection compared to Austin. From our people, to our food, to our technology and culture, Austin offers the best of life.
What is the most attractive part of doing business in Austin?
Doing business in Austin is a wonderfully relaxed experience, that at times feels blessed by the gods of serendipity. On any given day, one can be getting a taco at El Chilito or grabbing a drink at Easy Tiger, and bump into countless people who would be great business associates. We keep things easy here in the heart of Texas, and our friendly attitude means never being afraid to approach someone who can help us, or who we think we may help.
How does Austin’s quality of life compare to elsewhere?
With never a boring day or night, Austin’s quality of life is delightful. With the exception of our traffic problems, which many larger cities equally suffer, one can always find something new and exciting to occupy their time. From festivals to restaurants, cultural events to live music, Austin is the city that keeps us on our toes.
How is the business environment in Austin unique?
Considering our strong community spirit, Austin often feels like a small town with all of the amenities of a bustling bigger city. Austinites get to know the names of people we bump into, and we are always happy to pass on an acquaintance which may help a friend or someone we just met.
Plus, there’s no other city where you can walk into a business meeting and see a decision maker wearing a t-shirt, flip-flops and cargo shorts seated next to their partner who is dressed in a tailored suit.
Have you ever considered relocating your company?
Austin is the city we feel will serve us best. We’ve never considered relocating, as our company culture is as tied into this city’s pulse as it is to our employee’s beliefs.
Is Austin as small business friendly as all the polls proclaim?
An atmosphere of local appreciation means small businesses have a great opportunity to attract customers. Austin has a strong sense of community which prompts major support for buy local initiatives. As a culture, we seem to frown upon franchises or chain, while lauding the local businesses which are serving our community.
What are the biggest challenges when hiring talent in Austin?
Austin is exploding with talent, but we are also a town which is full of amazing companies who are tapping into that talent. Finding the right talent can often be frustrating, as great people are typically engaged with other companies, and must be sought after.
Are Austinites are among the most generous with their Rolodexes?
Absolutely, the people of Austin are always willing to recommend someone to assist or a fill a position. This ties back into the community nature of Austin.
Which is brightest: Austin’s past, present, or future? Why?
Future, without a doubt. Austin is only becoming a more wonderful place to live as each day passes.
Is calling Austin the “San Francisco of the South” accurate?
Austin is the San Franciso of the south, with a heaping helping of friendliness that no other tech-hub can match.
What is the local or state government’s role in Austin’s growth?
Government’s job is to ensure that Austin continues to grow, that it’s culture is up to the standards of a major city, with amenities, parks, and an approach that continues to allow participation within the community.
Is Austin’s level of innovation ahead of the curve?
Austin as a city has some cutting edge innovation – from B-Cycle to its usage of TopShelf, Uber, Lyft, Favor and other services. We need to continue down the road we’re traveling.
Austin’s a college town – how does that impact the business ecosystem?
Great colleges mean a great resource for internships, to make sure that fresh ideas are brought into companies, and that students learn valuable skills. Educational institutions mean a constant source of amazing fantastic talent.
How do you feel about Austin being on nearly every “Best Of” list?
Austin’s placement on most “Best of” lists is a testament to the talent, skill and community we’ve built. This draws in more talent and businesses that want to be part of this experience.
Thank you, Q!
A special thank you to Q for opening up so candidly above. Q looks, sounds, and acts like Austin and like most locals, has a positive outlook on the city’s future.
We’ll be exploring the city from outsiders’ point of view next, so stay tuned!