January 31st, 2009
I had the opportunity to run a session at ProductCamp Austin 2009. The event drew 250 product managers and marketers from the Austin community - representing companies both large and small.
As economic volatility increases, it has become apparent that many smart, capable corporate employees are at risk of losing their jobs. Here in Austin, we have seen thousands of jobs shed from local tech stalwarts like IBM, AMD, NI, Dell, Borland, Applied Materials and others. Even Google shuttered their Austin office.
Fear, uncertainty, doubt reign supreme in this topsy-turvy economy. This explains much of the groundswell that we are seeing at Tech Ranch of would be tech entrepreneurs looking for community and advice.
Since our launch in late November, Tech Ranch has built a network of hundreds of central Texas citizens on the entrepreneurial path. We have hosted office hours with more than 30 budding startups. We have 90%+ occupancy of our two Ranch locations in Austin and are scouting a much larger facility and we have begun to enroll entrepreneurs in our Innovation Program - accelerating their traction and visibility to the investment community.
All this served as a back drop as I presented “Jonas’ 12 Steps to go from Employee to Entrepreneur” at ProductCamp Austin 2009. It explains why the room was packed, and likely why I was voted “Best Speaker” at the event.
The simple, one slide presentation below held everyone’s attention for an hour, as we talked through the trials and tribulations of finding a passion, building a product and team, getting fired, launching and eventually scaling a venture.
Tech Ranch is currently planning a to launch a workshop around the Employee 2 Entrepreneur paradigm. Getting America’s best and brightest employees out of their corporate silos and into dynamic startup opportunities might just be our country’s best path out of our economic quagmire.