I’ve grown up in
While we attract these folks, we do an uneven job of connecting them with each other. Our first task is to nurture personal connections within these industries and create open source communities.
Welcome Open Source Communities
Healthy communities are characterized by a sense of shared purpose, connections among their members, and a high degree of collaboration. Community isn’t simply measured in the number of connections; it is also measured by the quality of those connections.
Open-source’s premise is that sharing knowledge and connections allows for ideas to flourish. Individuals gain when they share because they receive feedback, which improves their original idea. In some cases, shared ideas are adopted by others who test their efficacy in diverse environments. Open-source organizations tend to be flat, highly connected and resilient.
I suggest that
Cross pollinate across communities to foster innovation
Rarely does innovation happen within existing spaces. Rather, it happens at the borders of existing well-defined spaces. When we look to our own home-grown examples, we see that Amy’s Ice Cream is a combination of entertainment and ice cream, RunTex combines community and fitness and Alamo Drafthouse combines passion for cinema with food. Our larger successes, Whole Foods and Dell, are also unique combinations. Technology is just one piece of
As we develop open-source communities by industry and topic, we should in parallel work to connect them to each other. Here again, we are attempting to connect individuals to spark novel combinations of ideas and experiences. What happens when a musician meets a technologist and they explore how to create an online system for booking bands? (Check out unlockaustin.com)
Foster and promote bootstrapping: an appropriate entrepreneurial model
As ideas and innovations occur through people connecting and sharing knowledge, the formation of new companies should be fostered. Founders should have a sound model for how to get going. Highly capitalized ventures in the mold of
Bootstrappers know that it is customers who fuel a business, and they focus on acquiring these customers by first building a demo, then selling it to the customers and finally, building the product. And our low cost of living is perfect for bootstrapping. Bootstrappers also appreciate that the constraints in the critical “
Export our innovations beyond Austin
The final step is to take those businesses that become sustainable and export them beyond