Austin Is Building a Mini Silicon Valley


Bloomberg: Austin Is Building a Mini Silicon Valley, With Some of the Same Problems

The heart of the Lone Star state is looking like a real tech hub, as Amazon, Apple, Facebook, Google and Juul make plans to expand.

Austin’s population increased 23 percent from 2010 to 2017, growing faster than any other U.S. metropolitan region, and far outpacing the national rate of 5 percent, according to data from research firm Statista. It’s slated to expand the size of the downtown area by half, based on projects under construction or planned, according to Austin’s economic development department. As a result, the city is becoming less affordable and driving longtime residents out. In other words, it’s starting to look more like the Valley in less desirable ways, too.

One draw for businesses is the local tax incentive program, which takes into account job creation and environmental impact. The technology industry is one of the biggest drivers of growth. And the city isn’t over-reliant on one employer—unlike, say, Arlington, Virginia, which Inc. plans to call its second home. In the past few years, Amazon, Apple Inc., Facebook Inc. and Google have established large Austin outposts, and each recently signaled plans to expand there.



That’s my bet. Downtown like SF, and NW Austin/ Suburbs like SV. It would have better nightlife + entertainment than SV because of The Domain, Arboretum, and Gateway.

More affordable housing, a higher quality of life, relaxed business licensing rules and the absence of personal state income taxes convinced Haynie to come to Texas, he said.

Show this article to your wife, now or regret later.



You can’t even convince @BAGB, who proclaims to hate California, to move to Austin with you. :smile:



Love California, hate excessive regulations. Bad people should leave, not the good ones. We need to keep some good people here to slow down its demise, Connecticut and NY will be ahead of us. We can watch them and calculate our days

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All I know is to stay at well known, well developed, competitive areas to grow. Twenty five years before my friend and I landed in bay area, but twenty years before he parted to Texas, and I stayed here. Now, my NW is at least 5x of his NW, only because of opportunities and bay area real estate. Tax is high at bay area, Risk is high in bay area and also reward is high in bay area. Over the past 25 years, Few people left bay area to Boston, Atlanta, Houston, Dallas and eventually later returned to our place. Some of the people who went out of country (lay off or otherwise), still longing to come back, as they spent most of their savings, unable to come back to bay area.

I am not telling Austin is bad or other places are bad, but competitive places grow healthier and they are growing by the same standard.



NY even said that without their tax break packages businesses would all go to Texas. They admitted they can’t compete.

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How many tech startups will IPO this year in Texas? How many in Bay Area?

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You’re focusing on companies started 5-10 years ago which is a lagging indicator. Most people invest for future gains. Also, how many of those have offices in the other tech cities? Uber, Lyft, and Stripe all have offices in Seattle.

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YC moved to SF. That’s leading indicatior for you. Companies that will IPO five years from now are the unicorns of today. How many are outside of Bay Area? Do you honestly believe Texas or Seattle will unseat Bay Area?



Focus on the future :grinning: Your friends didn’t buy Index fund? Or MSFT?




It’s not about unseating. It’s about who will have a faster growth rate going forward.



Bay Area is still growing the fastest.

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Same way MSFT, AMZN has offices in bay area too, but keeping HQ in Seattle.

Even for future, I do not really see any issue with bay area, lot of people gushing in always since from gold rush period.

Most of tech companies start HQ in bay area, but they need other cities in office, say NY, TX…etc all states, all countries.

Even focus on future, Bay Area is as equal as Austin or any other cities.

For real estate, I follow my realtor advice, I consider this is best advice, buy a rental property well within your driving distance wherever you are, you must be able to take over management/fix issues on your own.

At one time, there was a water leak in my rental, my property manager told me to replace roof (which costs appx $15000) while I asked my own handyman to look at to find the issue is Flash Rain Collars replacement which costed me $800.

Remote management is really an issue. I would rather buy REITs than remote homes elsewhere.



You are probably the only one here :slight_smile: Btw, you use to quote in miles :wink: “driving distance” is vague, to wqj, is 3-4 hrs :smiley: Concorde to West San Jose.



Driving distance is not vague, but generic. It depends on your age, condition and willingness to drive to take control of the property at cost effective way.

Recently, my friend , being in bay area, wants to buy a property in San Luis Obispo, as he considers driving distance. He used to go every weekend to that city 3 years. Where as I consider Santa Cruz or San Francisco driving distance, but not even comfortable. Same is the case someone feels Stockton or Sacramento driving distance.

It is basically “when things falling apart, where you can drive and take control of the situation - both comfort (Mindset) and cost effective matters”.


  • Of the large metropolitan areas, those with population greater than two million, Austin-Round Rock, TX (6.9 percent) and Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, WA (5.2 percent) had the largest increases in real GDP. Increases in Austin-Round Rock, TX and Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, WA were led by increases in wholesale and retail trade.

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For comparison, see here

SJC, SFO, Austin and Seattle are almost same growth rate, job market etc.

Keeping four city equal, you get a higher return by the higher mortgage leverage we get out of bay area.

My friend bought 250k home in Texas, that is doubled in 10 years, same here for me in bay area with higher mortgage leverage. The net-worth , in high value areas, shoots up drastically with economy.

Here is the some CEO home came to sale, but I do not know what price it finally sells, but it was built with 4.1M (even if it is 6M, ROI is higher) listed at 17.5M, just four folds in 20 years. (This is extreme example to show the difference)



Your friends could buy 10 houses with 250k each with very good cash flow. He would be better off than someone who only owns one house in SJ.

I’m surprised that the appreciation rate is the same in Texas as Bay Area.

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In real estate, fixed mortgage leverage is the best for higher returns

If full cash is used, real estate is not good, I would rather put it in stocks, get a better return like warren buffet.