To gain value from living in a big city, a big part of your life should be centered on one of the major themes that drives life in the city.
In Austin, the principal themes of the place are Texas government and politics, college life (particularly at the two large state schools), independent film and music, the outdoors, and technology (particularly disruptively innovative startups). My work in this town has always revolved around protecting the people who invent great technology. As a result, Austin gives me more than most people ever get from the places where they live. I work for people who are changing the world, and that work gives me a sense of purpose, even when the ride in the technology business is rocky.
To cheer me up after a layoff at an Internet advertising startup in the last decade, Gail Papermaster, a lawyer in town who has represented startups for a couple of decades, told me that, “IP Guy, you’re not really an Austinite until you’ve been laid off by a tech startup or played in a rock band, and you don’t know how to play guitar.”
Gail was right. I became an Austinite in that layoff.
I love this town because Austin is full of people changing the world. My job is to protect them as they grow. On my best work days, I write patents describing the future for companies that both dream and do. Writing patents for tech companies in Austin is one of the best gigs in town, and this is one of the best towns in which to be writing patents. Austin is one of the top five cities in America for patents per capita. The pace and scope of innovation are amazing, and I get to play in that world.
I also love the outdoors. On my best days, I get to spend time at Zilker Park or in the Barton Creek Greenbelt with my daughters. If you look at my Linkedin profile, you’ll also discover that I’ve done some things that are political and had a little involvement with higher education philanthropy. This town fits for me.
Why stay? Because Austin is a great place to do what I do and be who I am. This blog will be about patents, and it will be about Austin. Hopefully, it will be both informative and fun in the process.