Back in 2007, I visited Austin for the first time with Jeremy Wright for SXSW. I fell in love with the city and have come back for every SXSW since. The truth is, as I’ve since realized, is that Austin is better when it’s not SXSW time and I have spent the past few months coming back and visiting this city every month for a week or more.
As of this past weekend, though, that has all changed. I live here now. I have a job here now (which I will announce more about when it is formalized this week). I have a girlfriend here. I have a built in community here.
In Austin, there are plenty of startups. Besides the one I will be working with, it claims startups like Other Inbox and Gowalla. The sense here is that people feel empowered to be entrepreneurial.
This is a far cry from DC where only a small subsection of people felt entrepreneurial, but most opted to work inside the governmental complex of agencies, NGOs, contractors, non-profits and public affairs. While that is all well and good, I have always believed that the human spirit is a creative one that can only be satiated by creating things, and that is the essence of entrepreneurship.
I have no love for DC. I have lived there for the last year and a half and before that, I spent most of my life 45 minutes up the road in Baltimore. I am not sad that I have left. In Austin, I look forward to resetting life and starting over. The last time I did not share my home with someone else was in 1999. The last time I had to start from scratch and buy everything new in order to make a house a home was… in 1999. Fortunately, I’m in a better position to do that then I was 11 years ago.
I made mistakes in DC that I don’t intend to make in Austin. A year and a half ago, I entered a city and approached it from a social stand point. While I made good friends, they were rare instead replaced by hundreds of acquaintances. The people with enough depth of character and heart to be truly friends can be counted on one hand.
In Austin, I refuse to play the social game. I’m diving deep. I’d rather have a dozen people in my circle that know me well and I know them well, than have 100 people that know me enough to be my friend on Facebook but are mainly just acquaintances.
Lessons learned from before. This is a chance to start over. I plan to take it.
Honey, I’m home.
Photo by Visualist Images.