|Come to Austin, they said. It’ll be fun, they said.
In the same way South Florida attracted Wall Streeters and crypto enthusiasts, the Texas capital became the place to be for those in tech during the pandemic.
Austin was already a city on the rise before COVID-19 due to favorable tax laws and a lower cost of living. But workers’ ability to be remote sent things into overdrive.
Three-plus years later, some Austin transplants have regrets, writes Insider’s Ben Bergman and Jordan Pandy. From a climate that can easily climb above 100 degrees to overcrowding, Austin hasn’t lived up to the hype for some tech workers.
What’s even more interesting is that Austin’s thriving tech scene is a bit of a misnomer, according to some transplants.
High-profile companies like Oracle, Tesla, and Facebook have all dedicated resources to building a larger regional presence. But actual tech roles aren’t always the priority.
For example, only a quarter of Apple’s Austin employees are engineers compared to roughly half of its staff in the Bay Area, according to an analysis of LinkedIn data. And while Tesla moved its headquarters to Austin in 2021, Elon Musk announced plans this year to expand the company’s engineering headquarters in California.
It also doesn’t help that Austin has become wildly unaffordable.
For what it’s worth, Miami has faced its version of a comedown after the highs of the pandemic, due in part to the crypto crash.
But there are still those who are happy having relocated to the city. One Austin tech founder told Ben and Jordan the city’s tech scene still has time to mature as early-stage startups become more established.
“As those companies grow and stay in the area, that dynamic obviously starts to shift a little bit,” the person said.