We are at the tail-end of RISE week here in beautiful Austin. If I was an aspiring entrepreneur, I would take a vacation during RISE week and attend as many sessions as I could. I was happy to do my part and present on fundraising both Monday at Austin Ventures as well as Tuesday along with panelists from CTAN (the Central Texas Angel Network). And, overall, it has been another great week for Austin, with TechStars announcing their launch, which I wrote about in this Lucky7 post.
SXSW has long come and gone in this beautiful city - that was, like, weeks ago! Like years past, it reached more epic heights this year and companies and investors were spending more on gaining attention than ever before. And with SXSW, the typical, "how is Austin doing at tech entrepreneurship?" question was asked again and again. But out of all of the articles written, the one that I personally heard the most about was this one by PandoDaily: "Will the Austin startup ecosystem ever live up to its promise?"". It stirred me up to read it, no doubt. And it lead me to write this post to share my own thoughts - as an insider - on the state of tech entrepreneurship in Austin.
Yesterday's post on why I named my blog Lucky7 in honor of my mom and my resulting Twitter batter on our company's name with Sam Decker reminded me of a few stories about how I came up with the name Bazaarvoice.
I remember the day I came up with the name Bazaarvoice like it was yesterday. Rachel was just six months old and we were in Cabo San Lucas in April 2005 using our last few weeks of vacation at Coremetrics before I left to take the plunge to start Bazaarvoice with Brant Barton. I was reading Chapter 4 of The Cluetrain Manifestoand it hit me - big time. That chapter moved me more than almost anything I had ever read. The "voice of the marketplace" - it was perfect. Like the name Coremetrics, it described exactly what the company did. It was a bit of an irreverant name, likely to be confused with Bizarrevoice but that was actually a good thing in this case. There was meaning in that - the voice of customers would indeed sound "bizarre" to all of the corporate types that had been locked away in their towers instead of walking their store aisles like Sam Walton, the founder of Wal-Mart, used to do to "keep it real" and then taught his children in his book Made In America.