I am Station Houston
Why does the Station Matter? John is the Station. I am the Station. SURGE is the Station. Station is not a place but rather a movement of people that believe in the future of this city. And I call all others that are Station Houston to follow suit and write why you are Station and why it matters.
There is a revolution taking place in Houston. The generational crew change is happening within the entrepreneurial tech community. And while I always envisioned there to be a formal passing of the torch between our forefathers to us, the laws of Darwin are naturally playing out. In other words, the Gen-X'ers and Millennials are planting a flag in the center of the city and rallying the new and emerging technology startup community.
The New York Times is proclaiming Houston as our country's youngest city (more millennials than boomers). And they are in love with our diversity and culture...it must be true considering the New York Times has consistently scoffed at this provincial fly over port. Houston had the largest percentage increase in the number of college students aged 25 - 34 moving here in 2012 as compared to 2000. Most of these college graduates came to work in the energy industry as the price of oil surged past $100 per barrel. Now with ~$30 oil and a wave of clean conscious millennials, this city either needs to adapt or it will face the same issues as Detroit. Harvard economist Edward Glaeser echoes my sentiment about Houston's current leadership responsibility: “The most successful economic development policy is to attract and retain smart people and then get out of their way.”
Why am I Station Houston?
- I believe that there is a great race for the sun and we should own it
- I believe in Houston's future
- I believe in SURGE's future
- I am an entrepreneur
- I have given more than I have taken
- I believe that the future leaders, the Millennials, will make Houston great and do it with their own panache
- I believe that Houston has selfishly profited from its resources while not investing appropriately into its future
- I believe that our current leadership needs to give back by mentoring and letting the young bloods create their own rhythm
- I believe that when this city thinks big, it can rival anyone
- I believe in Station Houston as a key platform to make Houston the New Energy Capital of the World
I moved back to Houston from Austin over 5 years ago to build a community of like-minded entrepreneurs, customers, experts, and investors that share the same core purpose: to solve the world's energy problems. It was my belief then and even more today that a thriving ecosystem must be built by entrepreneurs for entrepreneurs that share in the same vision. This city will not be able to revolve into a thriving tech and new energy hub without the successful entrepreneurs moving back and the new entrepreneurs diving in to solve our world's largest problems (and the data is clear: we need the tech to keep the economy soaring and we need to own the new energy economy because we actually care, it is the growth story, we naturally understand it, and we can scale it globally).
But none of these entrepreneurs will commit without a shared purpose. Unfortunately, Houston does not have one. What do we want to be in 2050? I believe Houston could be and should be the New Energy Capital of the World. We should lead in thought, word, and deed in how to sustainably produce and consume energy including the development and commercialization of the technologies that will empower this change. Where will this transformation take place: Station Houston.
We have all read that Houston will be one of the mega cities of the future...but to make this happen, we need to rally our amazing assets around a shared purpose and enable this purpose by having a platform..."And larger cities not typically regarded as national innovation leaders but on the demographic cusp of becoming a mega-city – Dallas, Houston, Miami and Phoenix — may increasingly find their innovation prospects improved at the expense of regional hubs that have smaller or declining populations." Again, we are on the cusp...Station is a critical necessity to move Houston over the hump, in order to prevent another innovation decline, and a destination to rally the pilgrims.
It has taken 5 years of my and this community's blood, sweat, tears, laughs, and real cash in the game to build SURGE. SURGE's foundation is strong...BUT THIS IS NOT ENOUGH. We need to move faster and bigger. SURGE will have a new and exciting story to tell soon...and it will be taking place inside of the Station.
As I have witnessed, purpose drives density, density drives momentum, momentum drives milestones, milestones drive revolution. I am Station Houston because I believe in this city's future. Houston is one of the greatest places on this earth...and it is time to invest and make it ours!