Economics/Class Relations

Austin was overhyped

September 1, 2023
Happy Friday! Beans, beans, they’re good for your heart. The more you eat them… the longer you live!

In today’s big story, we’re looking at tech workers who regret moving to Austin.


What’s on deck:

But first, everything is bigger in Texas.
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Anti-climactic Austin

Arantza Pena Popo/Insider Illustration


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.


3 things in markets

Before the opening bell: US futures rise early Friday after stocks finished mixed Thursday to wrap up August in the red.
Lucas Jackson/Reuters
  1. Wall Street’s top strategists’ predictions on where the markets are headed. After a strong first half of the year, the market faced a setback in August. From JPMorgan and Fundstrat to Jeremy Siegel and David Rosenberg, here’s how seven experts see things shaking out.
  2. More bad news for China. Net sales from offshore traders on Chinese equity markets in August reached $12.4 billion, per the Financial Times. The news comes as the country battles youth unemployment, deflation, and a property sector in crisis.
  3. New cloud leadership at Morgan Stanley. Allison Gorman Nachtigal, the bank’s former cloud program head, left for Microsoft. Now, two managing directors are overseeing Gorman Nachtigal’s previous remit.
3 things in tech
Alain Jocard/Getty Images
  1. X, formerly Twitter, wants to collect biometric data and education history. The new privacy policy update didn’t specify what it means by biometric data, but it typically includes a person’s face and fingerprints.
  2. A VC firm is giving away its AI-powered pitch deck generator for free. Its managing partner came up with the idea to help founders make their pitches to investors stronger. The generative AI-powered pitch deck builder — dubbed Elevo — will officially go live in October. But the waitlist is open now.
  3. “An exceptional metric” — Klaviyo’s cofounder is taking the startup public as its largest shareholder. Andrew Bialecki owns nearly 40% of the company, which is a rarity for founders. To grow, many startups sell sizable chunks of the company, so it’s typical for founders to only own around 14% of their startup before going public.
3 things in business
Brad Sloan/YouTube
  1. Tesla Cybertruck photos in the wild reveal the truck’s quirks. The angular design and stainless steel panels have divided automotive design enthusiasts. Some laud its futuristic look, while others claim it’s just plain ugly.
  2. Companies are making bank off people forgetting to cancel their subscriptions. In some cases, it can raise sellers’ revenue by over 200%. Paired with the rising cost of subscriptions, customers could be losing lots of money.
  3. The 20 top companies helping student-athletes make money. Name, image, and likeness has become a major business in the industry. From dealmaking to compliance, these are the top companies helping student-athletes every step of the way.

HR, AI, & more


Disasters, animals, & earnings

  • It’s the first day of September, which kicks off National Preparedness Month. The month raises awareness on the importance of preparing for disasters and emergencies. The 2023 theme is “Take Control in 1, 2, 3” and focuses on helping older adults.
  • Celebrating animals. Happy Ginger Cat Appreciation Day and International Primate Day.
  • Earnings today: Canadian Western Bank, and other companies.

Kim Jong Un banquet

Photos of Kim Jong Un at a lavish banquet that features a scale model of a nuclear missile. He was celebrating Navy Day and was serenaded by sailors.
The Insider Today team: Dan DeFrancesco, senior editor and anchor, in New York City. Diamond Naga Siu, senior reporter, in San Diego. Hallam Bullock, editor, in London. Lisa Ryan, executive editor, in New York City.

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