Best article written on HQ2 so far!
Amazon is a company where it is always Day 1. Amongst other things that means it tends to pursue disruptive ideas, such as using drones for deliveries. Amazon would want HQ2 to be in a location that is supportive of a Day 1 company, if not outright still in Day 1 itself. What I needed was a simple test for Day 1 type disruptions, and the last decade presented us with a perfect one. Ride Sharing, and more specifically Uber.
His idea is to see how cities treated Uber to gauge their appetite for disruption. Some rolled out their red carpets, some fought it tooth and nail.
So I did a search on Memphis and Uber and discovered that in 2013 the city of Memphis has sent its police force to arrest Uber drivers. That seemed like a pretty extreme case of being unfriendly to Day 1 type disruptions, and played that back to my friend. He pointed out that was 2013, so I did a search on Denver and Uber and discovered that in 2013 the Colorado Legislature became the first in the country to explicitly legalize ride-sharing. What Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper said at the time was “Colorado is once again in the vanguard in promoting innovation and competition while protecting consumers and public safety.” And when there was some friction in the city of Denver after that, the Police Chief acted quickly to resolve it. Which makes more sense to locate the HQ of a Day 1 company in, a place that sent the police to arrest Uber drivers or one that acted quickly to accept and encourage the disruption?
So how does Austin do under the Uber test?
Both Uber and Lyft left Austin, and only came back after the state government intervened. Hmm…