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Austin, TX: America’s Most Impatient City

This is a fun one, reported in Forbes today:

Column: Marketing, Games, Speedy Towns – Forbes.com

This data is courtesy of eBay Express, so of course, regular readers know my bias as a unwavering member of the eBay Express team.

I had the pleasure of living and working in Austin, TX during the summer of 1995. One of my good friends had been tapped, as part of “Trilogy University 1995″ (the first) to help build a Human-Computer Interaction group at Trilogy Software. As an intern, between my Bachelors & Masters degrees in Computer Science, I was one of the lucky inaugural members.

I remember a lot of fun things about that summer:

  • The amazing energy and camaraderie of the small (but growing) Trilogy team
  • Fun nights out at the Copper Tank, 4th Street, and who knows what else
  • The fun of spending a summer living in an apartment complex with a large number of other fun, energetic and brilliant software engineers from Stanford, Carnegie-Mellon, and MIT.

The energy of the summer was contagious in the tech industry. SGI was hiring 5000 engineers. Netscape went public. Windows 95 was about to release. Yahoo was a real, growing entity. Amazon vs. Barnes & Noble was a real debate. I even remember a fun, passionate argument with CEO Joe Liemandt about the future of Apple Computer (in all fairness, Joe was one of those burned PowerBook 5300 series users…)

The collection of talent that Trilogy attracted between 1993 and 1998 is a really impressive in retrospect. Trilogy was a case study on the power of human capital in shaping a company. Joe really had a vision of the type of people, and the type of company he wanted to build. It permeated who he recruited, how he recruited, and what type of experiences he tried to provide for new hires at the company. It permeated the culture, the compensation, and the way the company designed and built product.

That generation of employees is dispersed now, but the amount of raw horsepower of that talent pool was amazing.

Austin, TX is a great city, and was a lot of fun. Although I am a native to the Bay Area in California, I found the city easy to love.

Hard to believe it was 11 years ago already.

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