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.
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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.
Leaving the West Coast might seem strange for a company focused on tech ventures and related investments. It’s true that the company has benefited greatly from the larger pool of forward thinkers and industry disrupters in the tech hot spots of San Francisco and Seattle. But the best places to be in tech have now become some of the worst places to raise a family, practice a faith, or even think freely. This hurts my team and the business.
These areas are culturally diverse but increasingly monolithic in terms of ideology. In the past few weeks, radical protesters took over a portion of Seattle’s Capitol Hill neighborhood. The mood in the area was that this experiment in anarchy was acceptable and even praiseworthy. Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan even issued a statement commending the “First Amendment activities” of the occupiers.
Peter Rex is founder and CEO of Rex Teams, a tech, investment and real-estate firm.