In an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal Peter Reed, founder and CEO of Reed Teams, declaims:
I’m moving my business headquarters off the West Coast. We tried San Francisco. We tried the Seattle area. Both were wonderful in their own ways, especially in natural beauty and personal friendships. But both have become hostile to the principles and policies that enable people to live abundantly in the broadest sense.
That’s why my company is in the final stages of purchasing office space in Austin, Texas. By the end of the year, I hope to move dozens of employees to the Lone Star State and to be ready to hire hundreds more. While uprooting a big part of a billion-dollar company isn’t easy, the decision to move to Texas wasn’t hard. Our staff and their families will be able to flourish to a much greater extent.
I’ve talked with many entrepreneurs in California, Washington and Oregon who have encountered similar issues. Most aren’t sure how to respond. Generally, the amount of tech talent and funding on the coast leads them to conclude that they have no choice but to stay put and stay silent.
I reject that answer. The biggest talent pool in the world doesn’t matter if the ocean that surrounds it is intellectually shallow. If a business is based in a place that expects social and political conformity, then innovation will falter eventually, because it depends on pushing the boundaries. And if our people find it hard to flourish in every aspect of their lives, then the company will struggle in the long run. I think that as the West Coast becomes more insular and exclusive, other parts of the country will become the biggest drivers of tech innovation.
That’s why we’re leaving the West Coast and heading to Texas.
I was reminded of Davy Crockett’s famous snort, “You can all go to Hell and I will go to Texas”. He isn’t alone. In raw numbers Texas and Florida lead the country in net domestic inmigration while in percentage terms Idaho, Nevada, Arizona, and South Carolina lead the pack.