National attention shifted to Austin late Friday afternoon when news broke that Oracle is relocating its California headquarters to Austin.
The shift from Silicon Valley follows a recent trend of tech giants moving to Austin and other parts of Texas, including Tesla founder Elon Musk and Dropbox CEO Drew Houston. The industry's biggest companies are also planning expansion efforts here, including Apple's $1 billion campus under construction in Northwest Austin as well as downtown office acquisitions from Facebook and Google.
But the Oracle announcement prompted the largest response yet, putting Austin into a significant national spotlight. Here is a roundup of reactionary coverage from major news outlets:
- Employees from Oracle will be in familiar company should they relocate here. Business Insider reports about a Slack channel for founders of early-stage startups who relocated from San Francisco to Austin. The channel had to be capped at 150 users because "there were too many people."
- The tech industry's movement toward Austin is, in part, caused by the lack of available space to expand in Silicon Valley. Box Inc. CEO Aaron Levie told the Wall Street Journal that his company's Austin office, which opened six years ago, now employs more people than his headquarters in Redwood City, California—the same city that Oracle called home since the 1980s—because "there's a finite space in the Valley."
- The hyperbole about a tech "exodus" from Silicon Valley may be overblown. Axios talked to major players in the industry who aren't concerned about Texas overtaking the San Francisco area as the center of the tech universe. In fact, data shows that tech growth is still mostly concentrated in coastal cities.
- Google delays returning to Austin offices as COVID-19 spikes ... ›
- Austin ranks in top 3 of tech job markets in U.S. & Canada - austonia ›
- Austin reigns as top Tech Town for the second year in a row - austonia ›
- Headlines from Austin: country music legend dies - austonia ›
- Game on: Retro gaming sees a comeback in tech-savvy Austin - austonia ›
- Austin's 'boomtown' growth may be cooling, U-Haul data shows - austonia ›
Lately, the crypto market is looking shaky.
The price of bitcoin fell by more than half from its high, the digital currency luna crashed to $0 and a type of so-called stablecoin TerraUSD has been described as dead.
Reporting from the LA Times notes that experts seeing a correlation between traditional markets and the cryptocurrency market is high right now, with plunges in one being followed by a plunge in the other. On Wednesday, stocks had their worst day in more than two years with the Dow Jones Industrial Average falling 1,164 points.
Crypto’s volatility has long been questioned, especially after SXSW this year was filled with Web3 enthusiasts and displays.
With 8% of Texans owning Bitcoin and many others involved in the local crypto and Web3 scene, what are they feeling amid the crash?
In a written comment to Austonia, ATX DAO said a positive with the downturn is that “most of the speculative moneygrab type projects get washed out of the market, and the quality projects that deliver real value remain and gather more attention.”
The group went on to say it could work to their advantage as they carry out their latest project: a mural at Native Hostel that will have an NFT version. They’ll use sales toward donations to HOPE Outdoor Gallery, a local nonprofit that supports artists and creatives.
Meanwhile, Yagub Rahimov, a founder of an Austin-based Web3 company explains that they aren’t really impacted by the crash.
Since the company known as Tested Web functions as a Web3 online reputation marketplace, it is utilizing blockchain technology without tokenizing.
“We are a share to earn marketplace. That means that any activity that users have on tested web.com, we will be rewarding,” Rahimov said. “Those rewards are coming in the form of rewards points. And every quarter they can opt in to receive either a gift card or a check. We are not issuing any cryptocurrency. That's one of the important elements that I believe we got it right that way.”
With recent developments at Tested Web, Rahimov says he “couldn’t be happier.” After struggling to find tech talent in early spring, he’s had a hiring spree in the last 10 days and received a $1 million grant and partnership with Silent Notary, a blockchain-powered validation provider.
But his recent business success aside, Rahimov is noticing what’s happening in the markets and predicts that the correlation between the crypto market and traditional one will be broken.
“The way Bitcoin was introduced back in 2009, it was as a reply or response to the 2008 market crash,” Rahimov said. “And it really feels like we are in 2007, 2008, actually, early, early days of the market crash. And if it becomes that way, very likely that the winner is going to be those of decentralized parties.”
- Local investors create ATX DAO, where crypto meets community ... ›
- Austin announces crypto-friendly initiatives ahead of SXSW - austonia ›
- Austin City Council hesitantly embraces studying crypto - austonia ›
- How crypto is being used to support Ukraine - austonia ›
- Crypto-curious? Here's Austonia's mini-guide to getting started in ... ›
- An Austin group is exploring new territories in crypto by providing ... ›
- Austin leads in Texas crypto job market - austonia ›
- Difficulties in incorporating crypto in Austin: risk, inclusion, energy ... ›
Barton Springs Pool is on a condensed schedule while the city tries to fill out its lifeguard roster.
The popular pool is currently closed on Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays while it navigates a lifeguard shortage. The city is offering bonuses to new applicants who can start by early June.
Austin Parks and Recreation Assistant Director Jodi Jay said there are 207 lifeguards ready to work and 100 incoming but the department needs 750 to be fully staffed.
Zoom out: The pandemic has had a lasting impact on hiring—in 2019, the city was able to hire 850 lifeguards. The Aquatic Department has been unable to match those numbers since it reopened training classes in spring of 2021.
Why it matters: The city needs at least 400 lifeguards, plus 30 with open water certification, to open pools on a modified schedule by June 4. Without hitting that mark, some facilities could limit hours or close.
The job pays between $16-19 an hour, anyone over 15 can get certified and there are bonuses on the table:
- $500 bonus if you get certified and start working by June 6.
- $500 bonus if you work through August 14.
- $250 bonus if you get advanced certification.