Tag: Austin

Ebook to Softback: The Digest for Students of Entrepreneurship

SBF 2016-2I’m excited to announce that a revised and updated 2016 edition of the Naturally Caffeinated ebook is now available for download.

Further, the ebook is now a “pbook” — a “physical” book, printed as a softback, that you can buy for $10.

For an author-signed copy, send me an email using my Contact page. I’ll send you a link to a secure Paypal page.

A lot has happened since the 1st edition of the ebook was published a year ago.

May 2015

The ebook, sub-titled “Addicted to Entrepreneurship,” was first made available for download, with a new, dedicated Naturally Caffeinated blog for communicating updates, events and more.

We were grateful for the early support and reviews like these:

“I’m flattered to be included. I do wish Steve tremendous success with both the book and the Community!” -Guy Kawasaki, Author, Speaker, Entrepreneur, Evangelist 

“Your Ebook is now in my iBooks! Awesome pieces of advice!! So many are hard learned.” -Dr. Steve Elmore, Doctor of Business Administration (DBA) and Head of Customer Success, Convo, Inc.

“…very well written and seems to hit all the high points of the subject. I applaud your effort and am sure this will be useful to many, many readers.” -Ben Dyer, Entrepreneur-in-Residence, The University of Texas at Austin, Cockrell School of Engineering

“A refreshing and effective guide to help jump-start your new venture.” -Dr. Lynette Reed, Doctor of Ministry (D.Min.) and Author, Researcher, Consultant

June 2015

The Community Edition of the ebook was launched, in collaboration with the online publisher, Weeva.

A “pay it forward” project from the beginning, the book’s goal was always two-fold:

  1. to provide lessons learned and stories of inspiration by experienced entrepreneurs for students of entrepreneurship and first-time founders
  2. to donate any proceeds from books sales and other fund-raising raised to programs providing entrepreneurial experiences and education among teenagers

nc-authorsBy soliciting men and women founders from around Austin and the world, we were able to capture the experiences and stories of more than 70 entrepreneurs, with insights in every aspect of new ventures.

July 2015

We agreed to publish two version of a hard back edition of Naturally Caffeinated, combining the original ebook content and the contributions from guest entrepreneurs like Jimmy Treybig, Jan Ryan, Admiral Bobby Inman, Kerry Tate, and many many more!

This edition is available for purchase on Amazon and at the Weeva online book store, where you can also download an excerpt from the hard back edition.

August

We announced that TEDxYouth@Austin – the country’s largest licensed TEDx event focused on young people – would be the first recipient of proceeds raised with the book.

September

PwC, Bridgepoint Consulting, Concepture, and Powershift Group hosted the Naturally Caffeinated: Community Edition launch party at Powershift’s offices, two blocks west of the Capital.

Q4 2015

NC-suzi sosa LinkedIN postLots of promotion and sales of the hard back book, including a great series written by Weeva, highlighting a variety of contributors’ posts, like this one by Suzi Sosa – Are There Gender Differences Holding Women Entrepreneurs Back? and this one – Would You Trade Places with Me? by Greg Businelle.

January 2016

Presentation of funds raised through Naturally Caffeinated to TEDxYouth, from on-stage at the Paramount Theater, during The Austin Forum’s January monthly meeting.

February

TEDxYouth@Austin 2016 was held at Westlake High School in Austin.

March

We began discussing plans for revisions to the ebook edition of Naturally Caffeinated, along with a limited run of printed, softback copies of the book for sale.

April

WIT kidsWe announced that WIT – short for “Doing Whatever It Takes” – would be the second recipient of proceeds raised with the book.

May

We debut the revised and updated ebook, as well as The Digest, at a series of events, including the Small Business Festival, featured in the photo at the beginning of this post.

All Good Things: SXSW Will Die Someday and So Will You

iris plans home page

Let’s talk about dying. Like being born, we all die.

I, for one, don’t expect this fact will change anytime soon, despite what Ray Kurzweil and others hope.

That’s why I’m eager to tell you about Iris Plans, a new startup that is officially launching at SXSW Interactive 2016, although it’s founding team have been working on the venture since late 2015. I’m an active advisor for the company.

The team has developed a way to combine a variety of technologies and services to make a highly tailored form of personalized medicine — known as Advance Care Planning (ACP) — to nearly everyone in the US who would want it, no matter where they are located or when they are available.

The best way to understand a real life situation for ACP may be to watch the video (produced and directed by my son, Andrew Guengerich).

 

Mayor Adler’s 2015 Year-End Letter

atx winter 3I looked for an online version of this letter from Mayor Adler but couldn’t readily find it. So I decided to post it.

I don’t know about you, but I think we Austinites have a lot to be thankful for, as we close out 2015. Sure, there’s much more to do. And, we can begin that work tomorrow. But, today, we should reflect on the good things going on.

“Thank you” to the mayor, city council, and the city of Austin (and surrounding city jurisdictions) staff & management, for the leadership and public service provided. Let’s keep working to make the greater Austin area a shining city, welcoming to all.

Here’s Mayor Adler’s 2015 year-end letter – enjoy!

= = =

Dear Rebecca & Steve,

We did it. Thanks to all your help, we were able to find housing for 200 homeless veterans in Austin. Along the way, we created a new way to attack this problem and eliminated the waiting list for homeless veterans to get help. Great cities do big things, and this is a very, very big thing. Good job, Austin.

At the beginning of the year, there were 234 homeless veterans in Austin. When I took up this challenge in May, there were 200 remaining without homes. By Veterans Day, we still needed 118 homes for these heroes. Thanks to your overwhelming support –as well as the tireless work of homeless advocates and the Austin Apartment Association – we found the last of those 200 homes this week.

Before we tackled this problem, homeless advocates never imagined they could catch up to the sheer number of homeless veterans because they were working alone. I want to personally thank the Austin Apartment Association for making this fight their own and helping eliminate the waiting list and getting so many homeless veterans into permanent housing.

And, of course, the biggest thanks goes to the folks who had been trying to house the homeless for so long without much help, most notably Ann Howard, Executive Director of the Ending Community Homelessness Coalition, or ECHO. We’ve said all along that it takes heroes to house these heroes. The good people who make up ECHO are the secret heroes of this story.

Thank you so much for helping make this happen. I am grateful to be the Mayor of a city that can meet big challenges. We’ve got a lot on our table in 2016 to deal with our traffic and affordability issues, but if we can make real progress on an issue that people used to think was hopeless, then is there anything we can’t do?

I don’t think so, and I can’t wait to get going in 2016. Happy New Year.

Thanks,
Mayor Adler

PS – Housing homeless veterans is not all we accomplished this year. Great cities do big things, and we did a lot of big things this year. In addition, the following actions were taken in 2015:

AFFORDABILITY
•    Created a homestead property tax exemption, saving homeowners a total of $3.5 million, with an intent to increase the exemption to 20 percent over the next few years
•    Cut the city property tax rate from 48.09 cents per $100 to 45.89 cents, saving the average homeowner roughly $14 a year
•    While reducing the tax burden on homeowners, added 50 new police officers, secured $3 million for body cameras for 500 officers, and increased spending for health and human services by $7 million and parks by more than $3 million
•    Increased senior and disabled property tax exemption from $70,000 to $80,000, a total tax cut of $1.6 million
•    Cut utility bills for Austin Energy residential customers by an average of $3.33 a month
•    Increased living wage for city employees from $11.39 an hour to $13.03 an hour
•    Worked with CM Garza to negotiate an agreement with the Pilot Knob Planned Unit Development developer that includes the addition of approximately 1,000 affordable housing units including 650 permanently affordable houses with no additional city spending, setting a new benchmark for the city’s SMART Housing program
•    Established a TIF for Homestead Preservation District A, and, with CM Renteria’s Committee, created three additional Homestead Preservation Districts (B, C & D) with Public Hearings, creating the first homestead preservation districts in Texas that leverage growth to pay for affordable housing in those neighborhoods where growth threatens to displace residents
•    Supported effort by MPT Tovo to strengthen the affordable housing requirements for planned unit development
•    Won a compromise that would make accessory dwellings (AKA granny flats) easier to build along transit corridors, increasing affordable housing opportunities while respecting neighborhood character
•    Initiated legal action to ensure an appraisal process that is fair to homeowners and aligned with the Texas Constitution
•    Initiated development of new rules to assist low-income tenants when developers plan to demolish apartment complexes where they live
•    With CM Casar, passed resolution directing fair housing as part of CodeNext, which will increase the number of affordable housing options for Austinites
•    Passed resolution calling on City Manager to implement permitting recommendations to expedite the review process and streamline approvals, which would make remodeling more affordable and feasible for homeowners and small business owners and decrease construction costs
•    As part of the Spirit of East Austin, ordered a survey of surplus properties to make better use of public resources
•    Recalibrated drainage fees so that utility bills did not unfairly burden renters

•    Leveraged private sector and philanthropy to assist nonprofits in housing homeless veterans

 

MOBILITY

•    Passed CAMPO 2040, a regional, long-range transportation plan that includes investments in new roads, traffic management, several MetroRapid bus routes and commuter rail to get people out of cars on congested roadways and into mass transit
•    Won national competition for Rocky Mountain Institute mobility transformation and named lead implementation city for RMI’s global mobility transformation initiative to find innovative and holistic solutions to congestion
•    Collaborated with Google to establish Austin as first test city for autonomous vehicles outside of their headquarters
•    The City Manager implemented the Traffic Congestion Action Plan (T-CAP), resulting in the following achievements:
  • Among the intersections that were a part of the City’s Don’t Block the Box initiative, there were 5 intersections that experienced a blockage during at least 10% of the cycles with an average blockage of 32% of the time. While officers were station at these intersections, the blockage percentage was cut in half to 16% of the time. The two intersections for which we have after data shows that the blockages percentage increased to 22% after officers stopped enforcement.
  • Retimed a third of the signals, resulting in 15% reduction in travel times and 40% reduction in stops.
•    Voted to approve $20 million to improve the intersection of the 51st Street and IH-35 to increase safety and mobility and reduce congestion
•    Voted for $54.5 million in traffic improvements at IH-35 & Oltorf to increase mobility
•    City of Austin achieved ambitious milestone goal for employee peak-hour commute reduction and now working toward goal of 30% reduction underway.  Movability Austin worked with multiple downtown employers to reduce their employees’ commute trips, or shift them to transit/bike/walk trips; new Transportation Demand Management program launched at ATD; new Smart Trips Program to encourage people to sue active transportation options, being piloted with people in the Rundberg/N. Lamar area.
REFORM
•    Led smooth transition from at-large seats to 10-1 system while increasing public engagement
•    Made appointments to boards and commissions and staff in the Mayor’s Office that reflect the city’s demographics
•    Created the position of Education Outreach Coordinator in the Mayor’s Office to enhance collaboration between local schools and the city
•    Created new City Council committees to allow for more meaningful public discussion
•    Created Council Transition Work group to recommend improvements to the Council committee system
•    Banned dark money in local campaigns to increase transparency in city elections
•    Reformed regulations of lobbyists to close loopholes to increase accountability and transparency in city government
•    Established Departmental Review Process modeled after the Texas Sunset Commission to identify improvements and efficiencies and to increase and deepen Council engagement on the budget
•    Reduced fee waivers to SXSW, saving Austin taxpayers $230,000 over last year, while increasing police presence throughout Austin during the three-week-long festival in 2016
•    Initiated regular meetings with regional mayors to discuss opportunities for collaboration
 •     To make city government more inclusive, printed Spirit of East Austin communications in Vietnamese in addition to Spanish and English.

SUSTAINABILITY

•    In Paris, signed the Under MOU 2 agreement with local governments to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions by 80% by 2050, providing leadership on climate change
•    Authorized with the City Council the purchase of 400 to 450 megawatts of solar power and to solicit bids to purchase or build another 150 MW of solar by the end of 2019. Austin Energy signed purchase power agreements for an initial 288 MW of solar as part of the Council authorization to negotiate for 400 to 450 MW. The agreements position Austin Energy to be among the biggest users of solar power in Texas
•    Passed an ordinance to increase reuse and recycling of materials from construction and demolition projects. Beginning Oct. 1, 2016, the Construction and Demolition Recycling Ordinance will require 50 percent diversion of materials from construction projects larger than 5,000 square feet. In 2019, the ordinance will expand to include commercial demolition projects. Construction and demolition projects generate at least 20 percent of all materials that go to Austin-area landfills. This ordinance takes a huge step toward achieving Austin’s Zero Waste goal by requiring more recycling and reuse of valuable materials
•    Austin Energy surpassed 1,000 MW of wind power with two new wind farms coming online in 2015. Austin Energy’s 1,340 MW of wind power is about 10 percent of the wind power fleet in the Electric Reliability Council of Texas, increasing the use of renewable energy in Austin Energy’s portfolio
•    Launched partnership with national retailers such as The Home Depot and Lowe’s to offer point of sale discounts to customers to purchase energy efficient products. The initiative leverages the combined size of the utilities to reduce administration costs and pass savings on to customers
•    Achieved slightly over 64 MW demand reductions, driven by strong performance in GB ratings and energy codes, small business lighting and residential demand response
•    Installed 7.7 MW of residential and commercial solar, providing long-term savings and cutting greenhouse gas emissions
•    Surpassed 1,000 MW of wind power with two new wind farms coming online in 2015, making Austin Energy’s 1,340 MW of wind power is about 10 percent of the wind power fleet in the Electric Reliability Council of Texas
•    Joined the Downtown Austin Alliance, downtown businesses, and Austin Resource Recovery to unveil an expansion of public recycling in the downtown area, an initiative called Recycle on the Go. Starting with nearly 50 new recycling cans this year, recycling containers will be installed throughout the downtown area over the next three years
•    Council approved one of the first energy storage systems tied to a community solar project in Texas. Part of the $3 million cost for the 1.5 MW battery storage system is offset with a $1 million grant received by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality
•    Austin Water repaired almost 7,800 water leaks, the third-highest recorded count for the department. Of those, almost 4,300 leaks were Priority 1 leaks and responded to within 3 hours almost 89% of the time
•    Weatherized 520 low income homes; our multi-family program reached over 8,400 apartment units

SXSW Interactivist

I’m a serious booster for SXSW Interactive. You might say, my booster-ism makes me a SXSW Interactive-ist (or “Interactivist” for short).

The reason is because, in my opinion, SXSW Interactive is one of the handful of institutions that deserves credit for helping to make Austin the thriving success that it is today.

sxsw-people saying

Of course, it’s success was never a guarantee. And, if it wasn’t for the “grind it out” persistence of Director Hugh Forrest and the willingness by ownership to take the long view, then it wouldn’t be what it is today…perhaps wouldn’t *be* at all!

Hugh writes about this history and others of his lessons learned as a startup event entrepreneur in the Director’s Cut edition of Naturally Caffeinated. His reflections alone are reason enough to buy a copy of the book!

Over the years, I’ve been involved in as many ways as possible with the festival itself including, as: speaker, panel moderator, exhibitor, sponsor, venue host, award honoree (for the Deweys), registration volunteer, programming committee member, housing provider, and – last but definitely not least – an audience member / festival-goer at the panels, music, films, and parties.

sxsw-cool memories

As a SXSW Interactivist, I try to respond to every survey, feedback form, and request for input as possible, as my small part to help constantly improve the event and keep it great! As a result, my digital footprints are in a number of places on the website…

sxsw-session recommends

For 2016, I plan to participate across the spectrum – as a Platinum badger – for the first time in many years, checking out the music, film, parties and as much of the 24×7 scene as possible.

sxsw-speaker listing

See you there, among the SXSW Interactivist ranks!

A SXSW Easter Blessing

DigbyAsh - 3For the past two years, we have hosted visitors to Austin during SXSW. Our kids are grown, so we have the extra room and thought it would be fun.

We take time to get to know our visitors when they first contact us, so that we can make sure that they will be a good fit.

This is mainly because we have a busy schedule and we keep multiple guests at a time, so it’s important that our visitors are self-sufficient and come from a tradition of caring for a host’s home like they would care for their own.

So, when Digby, who hails from Sydney Australia, contacted me with a note to say he and his girlfriend Ashleigh were interested in staying with us, we immediately checked him out online.

His reviews were stellar and he sounded like a pleasant fellow in email, so we said “sure” and set aside a room for him. Little did we know what would happen next.

Digby and Ashleigh arrived on a Tuesday night – him from Australia and her indirectly from Africa, where she had been touring, as part of a year-round, worldwide journey. After reuniting to spend the evening together for the first time in 3 months, they were ready to journey downtown to get their SXSW Music badges Wednesday afternoon.

DigbyAsh - 1Like most of our guests, they stayed in downtown ATX for the balance of the day, returning to our house later that night after we’d gone to bed.

The next day, Digby let us know that Ashleigh had taken ill the previous evening, so they were going to take it easy that morning to let her condition improve.

But it didn’t; it got worse. By that night, they called a health service referred to them by their traveler’s insurance program, which assigned them a physician and trafficked a paramedic to visit our house to see Ashleigh.

(NOTE to self: on the next big international trip, *definitely* invest in a traveler’s insurance policy to supplement regular health insurance!)

By Friday noon, things were still getting worse, so the doctor advised Ashleigh to be taken into the hospital. We did, where they quickly diagnosed her with a severe bacterial infection. In fairness to Ashleigh and respect for her privacy, I’ll leave out the details of her diagnosis and hospitalization. The great news is it appears she recovered fully.

And, that is the SXSW Easter Blessing we experienced. Because almost two weeks after we had originally expected to wave goodbye to them after the end of SXSW, we celebrated a lovely Easter Sunday brunch with Digby and Ashleigh at Manuel’s downtown.

During that two week period, we had the opportunity to get to know two young people who truly became our unofficial, adopted Australian children.

Through many mornings of kitchen table conversation, evening meals together, drives to and from the hospital to check on Ashleigh where she remained under care for nearly a week, and finally a short celebratory weekend when we had a little time to show them both a handful of Austin sights once Ashleigh had been discharged, we became deeply acquainted with two young people, who had grown up halfway around the world and somehow had landed at our door.

DigbyAsh - 4Caring, principled, good-humored, intelligent, curious, open, ethical…I could go on. As we might say in Texas, “their folks done brung ‘em up right!”

We treasure the time we had with Ashleigh and Digby; it was hard to say goodbye when the time finally came for them to continue their journey.

With Ashleigh receiving the “thumbs up” from both her doctors and the insurance company to continue their journeys, she and Digby charted the continuation of their travels across the US – New Orleans, New York, Chicago, the West coast and more!

After dropping them off at the bus stop, we returned to a home a little quieter and less active, but much enriched by memories we’ll have for a lifetime.

Yet, no doubt, ours was just one more, tiny vignette among the thousands that SXSW and our city’s other great events bring to town as a part of the festival economy that has become so vital to Austin. An Easter blessing indeed!

I’m a Little Dewey Redux: Honoring the Spirit of Dewey Winburne

[In late December 2014, a minor institution closed shop, the Austin Startup blog, produced and largely written over the years by my friend and colleague Bryan Menell. I deeply enjoyed being one of the many unpaid, volunteer contributors to Austin Startup, lending my tips and news through my Cleantech, mobileTech, and Freshtech Friday columns over the years.

dewey awardBut, of all of my posts spanning close to a decade, nothing comes close to the response I got from a column I wrote reflecting on the honor of being a Dewey Winburne award finalist.

While Bryan has kept the post available on his Austin Startup archive site, I wanted to re-post it here, so that it would be available to anyone that went looking to catch a further glimpse of what Dewey meant to the early, pre-boom days of modern tech Austin and SXSW. I hope you enjoy!]

Original post date: December 26, 2011

Chances are, you may have never heard of Dewey Winburne, especially if you are somewhat new to Austin. I’ve been meaning to write this post for a long time to help change that possibility, in a small way.

Because, regardless of whether you never met Dewey Winburne before he died in 1999 or have never even heard the name before, Dewey is a symbol for Austin and its tumultuous, joyous, sometimes depressing, yet eternally optimistic tech start-up ecosystem and the collateral acts of goodwill that thrive alongside the entrepreneurial journey.

I won’t go into Dewey’s life, partly because I personally never met him during his years of greatest visibility as an ambassador for SXSW, and partly because I can’t imagine ever being able to do as good a job as the tribute website that has stood in his honor for years: http://www.patrickcurry.com/dewey/  But, it’s a life that merits a few moments of reflection, which I hope you will take to honor his memory, by following the link.

For several years, carrying forward a tradition of honoring Dewey’s memory, the SXSW Interactive organizers have circulated a call for nominations that goes something like this:

Greetings and happy early October from SXSW-land.

I am writing because you are a past honoree for the Dewey Winburne Community Service Awards, which have traditionally recognized Austin-area technology-related do-gooders…

As a past Dewey honoree, we would love to hear your ideas about your friends / peers / associates / followers / heros who are doing good work through new media in Austin, as well as in other communities around Texas, around the nation, and around the world.

What kinds of people are we looking for? This person might be a teacher who is using new media in some amazing way. Or, this person might be a software developer who has created an app that helps improve the living conditions of a particular area. Or, this person might be a community organizer who has a particularly innovative strategy with regards to technology.

There are numerous other kinds of people who would be a great candidate for the 2012 Dewey Awards. Indeed, just so long as this person works at a grassroots level to better society through the power of new media, then you are on the right track with your idea.

Yes, I receive this email because I’m a past Dewey Winburne Award finalist. In other words, I’m a little Dewey (see below). But, you don’t have to be a past finalist or award recipient to nominate candidates for the award. In fact, in the 2012 SXSW plans are efforts to make the Winburne Award one for a global audience.

Help make it so, by passing on the story of Dewey Winburne to others, by nominating a deserving candidate, and by attending the 2012 Awards ceremony. You don’t have to be a nominee to be a little Dewey yourself.

= = =

From the generosity and good record-keeping of the SXSW organizers, here is a full accounting of Dewey Winburne Community Service Award honorees (finalists and recipients) – the next time you see one of these women or men, take a moment to say “thanks” or – better yet – ask them what they are doing in the community!

Ileana Abounader, Brenda Adrian, Jim Allan, Shahed Amanullah, Stephen Amos, Meredith Beal, Tricia Berry, Anthony Bertucci, Bianca Bickford, Janet Blake, Silona Bonewald, Dennis Borel, Stacy Bouwman, Donny Branam, Lisa Byrd, Andres Carvallo, Gary Chapman, Jeanine Christensen, Sue Cole, Pierce Collins, Jayne Cravens, Julia Cuba,

Laura Donnelly, Thea Eaton, Dave Evans, Jennifer Evans, Joe Faulk, Teresa Ferguson, Tiffany Galligan, Juan Garcia, Rodney Gibbs, Lisa Goldman, Danny Gomez, Mona Gonzalez, Sheri Graner Ray, Steve Guengerich, Bobbie Guerra, Richard Halpin, Wendell Handy, Sheena Harden, Tim Harrell, Rondella Hawkins, Josie Hughes,

Kat Jones, Leroy Jones, Kathy Keller, Karen Kreps, Joyce Lauck, Jon Lebkowsky, Walter Lenoir, Herman Lessard, Adina Levin, Nick Lewis, Rich MacKinnon, Dario Martinez, Jan McSorley, Lisa McWilliams, Gordon Montgomery, Melanie Moore, Maria Morissey, Rachel Muir, David Neff, Joanna Nigrelli, Pat Pound, Roberta Przybylski,

Alicia Rascon, Armando Rayo, Connie Reece, Sam Robertson, Monica Roesch, Chip Rosenthal, Sharron Rush, Keith Rutledge, Dave Sanders, Carl Settles, Randi Shade, Trent Sharp, Dr. John Slatin, Leroy Smith, Harvey Smith, Ken Starks, Roger Steele, Sharon Strover, Dale Thompson, Angela-Ja Touza-Medina,

Allen Weeks, Adam Weinroth, Melvin White, Monica Williams, Stefan Wray, Richard Yu, and Kevin Zeppernick.

= = =

Comments in response, left on Austin Startup

Dave Evans says: Here’s to all the “Little Dewey’s” in Austin, and the “Little Dewey” in all of us. (Yes, that includes you since you are reading AustinStartup!).

What is it that I love about Austin? It’s exactly the sense of community that is evident in this (Steve’s) post: In the 10+ years that we have celebrated Dewey and his spirit via the award created in his honor literally hundreds of people have been shortlisted for this award. That in itself is an amazing testament to what drives Austin: It’s a rare combination of tech-savvy, of hip, of culture and of community mindedness. My wife and I jointly received the Dewey Award in 2001. To this date, it remains our greatest honor.

Working with Dewey was amazing: the accomplishments in and around his vision are now part of Austin’s core fabric. In 1995 we helped organize SXSW Interactive: that was my intro to working with Dewey. His work at AIL with students like Patrick and Louie produced amazing outcomes. Memorable events include the Global Schoolhouse website, shown by none other than Bill Gates while presenting at the Whitehouse in 1996 (Patrick and Louie finished the site at 3am, barely ahead of the 9am talk. I had to call Patrick’s mom and explain why he was working so late…she understood.) We had Austin declared–by City Charter–as friendly to “multimedia” and the small tech companies who would ultimately build Austin’s vibrant tech base, cited in the past month by Governor Jerry Brown as drawing talent away from California. The list goes on.

And so it is, that each and every day, as we go about our work in Austin continuously building and rebuilding and inventing and reinventing our own futures that, in our way, we show the “Little Dewey” inside us.

Jon Lebkowsky says: Steve, thanks for this post. I remember well when I first met Dewey. I was cofounder of an Austin startup called FringeWare, Inc. that was less tied to the local geography and more of a cyberspace phenomenon. We were rooted in the emerging technoculture of the early 90s. When we heard that SXSW was splitting multimedia from film, creating the SXSW Multimedia Conference, our art director Monte McCarter and I showed up to cover it for our FringeWare News Network. I recall that first conference was mostly focused on CD-ROM technology; they had nothing about the Internet, so we were strongly encouraging Dewey and Hugh Forrest to add Internet programming (I think it took a couple of years for this to happen). My day job at the time was working with state poverty programs, and in my first conversation with Dewey I got that he was more concerned with the social significance of technology than with the tech itself, or tech as a business. He wanted to use multimedia to make the world a better place, to give people better lives. In our enthusiastic conversations over the following years, this was a recurring theme. You see this community service focus of Dewey’s represented in the annual award. In a world where the reality and culture of technology is so much about business and marketing, Dewey’s vision is more compelling than ever. We have to remember that the marketplace is nothing without the human element, the people on either side of any transaction, and we have acknowledge and care for people who have less of the advantages that most of us have enjoyed. That’s what “the Dewey” is all about, and that’s what Dewey himself was all about.

Adam Weinroth says: Steve thanks for posting – While I never met Dewey, I’m glad his memory has become a touchstone for what makes Austin’s tech community so vibrant and familial. The list you posted represents part of a unique “social network” that exists in Austin, and for me, includes friends, colleagues and heroes like you, Jon L, Dave E and so many others.

Randi Shade says: Thanks to SteveG for a wonderful post and best wishes to him as he heads to China. When I think about Dewey’s work and vision for Austin as a community-oriented high tech hub, and then read the response to SteveG’s post from Dave, I am struck by how many “Little Dewey’s ” there have been over the years and what an amazing impact it has had on Austin, and in turn the world. Thanks to each of them, and here’s to keeping Dewey’s memory alive by inspiring a whole new crew of “Little Dewey’s” in the coming years.

C. Enrique Ortiz says: Thank you Steve for sharing this…

From a Facebook comment by Carl Shepherd, co-founder of Homeaway: “Dewey was, quite simply, a man before his time. Had he lived only a couple of more years, his influence on the Austin tech scene would be known to all, and not just to those of us lucky enough to have known him.” More on Facebook at: http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100002028344605

Jayne Cravens says: Co-winning the Dewey with the wonderful Teresa Sansone-Ferguson was amazing – Austin was my adopted home, and SXSW is a homecoming for me when I can get there. I never knew Dewey Winburne, but I benefited from his legacy, both through SXSW, which has brought me SO much in terms of ideas and contacts and very good times, and from initiatives focused on making tech available to everyone that he supported and that I’ve come into contact with during my time in Austin. I look over that list of “Little Deweys” and think, “I know her! I know him! Oh, I know her too!” That’s just how Austin is – I haven’t found a community like it anywhere else when it comes to using Tech for Good, and for everybody knowing everybody. I don’t live in Austin anymore – but you would think I did looking at where my LinkedIn and Facebook contacts are from!

I wish there was an online community for Dewey winners… what a brain trust that would be…

Gordon Montgomery (@xovation) says: Steve, this is a brilliant post thanks. One of my requests on receipt of my award was that we all connect and work together as a group of alumni to bring ALL of our talents to bear in a real way in Austin. The timing could not be more perfect! I am working with a small group to make Austin a City of Transformation, empowering and enabling all communities such that when people arrival here they can see, feel, hear, touch and just sense how our little city is extraordinary. Your list alone gives me access to energizing that possibility. Thank you. You are the uber-Dewey. Happy New Year. GM.

Joel Greenberg says: I’m one of Dewey’s many, many friends. Here’s a little about our times together.

I first heard of Dewey in the same place I first heard about Human Code: as an award winner at the Intermedia Conference in San Jose, CA sometime around 1993. He was being honored for his addiction laserdisc that he produced while at AIL. Something clicked that year; what we now know as “transmedia” was just beginning to rip into our culture. Dewey’s addiction laserdisc showed that technology could be used for more than corporate training; Human Code’s Mars Lander showed what could be done with 3D. While laserdisc was on its way out, Quicktime 1.0 was on its way in and there were arguments about CD vs. broadband.

When I moved to Austin a year or so later, Dewey and I became friends. I’d be programming in my home office on Duval Street; he’d pick me up and we’d drive his van to some interactive event, talking about all the cool uses of this new media technology and how it wasn’t all about databases. He was excited about the potential of the technology to bring people together, an excitement fueled by his religious experiences of community. Dewey was always friendly, would talk to anyone, and seemed to know everyone in Central Texas. I got some of those stories on tape over lunch at his favorite restaurant, Les Amis.

On Fridays, he’d met with Dr. Kozmetsky, who wanted to be kept abreast of the new technology. Dr. K gave Dewey an office at what was then known as MCC on the Southwest corner of Braker and Mopac. He graciously offered me office space with another fellow traveler, Henry.

Dr. K also gave Dewey the keys to the projector room behind the big auditorium on the first floor. Dewey invited me to go with him and when we opened the door, it was like walking into a time warp. It turned out to be a well appointed on-line editing suite, with 1 inch editing machines and Bernoulli Boxes, huge removable drives that floated on a cushion of air. But technology was changing fast and the equipment was already outdated. It looked like a spaceship that had been abruptly abandoned five years earlier; there was even a sucking sound when we opened the doors for the first time. We had fun acting like technology archeologists, bouncing from machine to machine, trying to figure out if we could use this stuff for some kind of multi-media lab.

A few years later, Dewey got absorbed into his online learning project for the Texas Workforce Commission and I got absorbed into Human Code. By the end, we were both working so many crazy hours, I didn’t see much of him, except times he’d drop by work as Human Code took on his project, or maybe at a user group meeting. The darkness of a glowing computer screen absorbed too much time.

Truth be told, there shouldn’t be a Dewey Winburne Memorial. There should be Dewey. But, he was a human being and as we all are, he was complex. He left behind a wife and child he loved and a community of friends. I suspect many of them have a reaction similar to the one my wife and I have when we talk of him: “!@?!!!&^# Dewey!” His death brought together his community and therefore, was visible because his community was large. I wonder how many other lives have been adversely affected by the business, but in less visible ways?

My wife and I remember all the nice, fun stuff Dewey would do for other people and for us. “Here take this,” he’d say as he’d hand me or someone else some old piece of equipment others were throwing away. Or, “Here are the keys,” to whatever he had. Or, “I can get you in to the SXSW party, take this badge.” Or, “So and so, meet such and such.”

Now, my son’s attending the middle school where Dewey’s wife Dorothy teaches. So despite him being gone, Dewey still seems to be hanging around. I’d love to show him the gadgets I’m putting together, like solar powered holiday lights run by an Arduino, or talk to him about the world our kids our growing up in, drenched in “new” media. I half expect a Tweet from him from the other side.

David J. says: Steve, What a great post. I applaud you for taking time during this mad mad season to post about Dewey and what he meant for SXSW, The Interactive scene in Austin, and Austin in general. I am honored to be a nominee.

Sharron Rush says: I never got to know Dewey, darn it! I learned about him in 2002 when I received the award and I have always regretted that I missed him. The stories of his life and work are so inspiring, although sometimes when I wax on about “the spirit of Dewey” those who knew him remind me “Dewey was not a saint, you know.”

But he was an extraordinary leader by example and Dewey seems to have had a clear vision to put tech to use in ways that change people’s lives for the better. It is a vision that seems too often lost in gadgetry and commerce. I will always think of Dewey as a person who put real dedication and energy into the practice of tech as a means to include and engage people who had previously been marginalized. Receiving the Dewey award made a huge difference in our work at Knowbility. It helped us to integrate the idea of accessible technology into the conversations at SXSW Interactive and through that to the greater design community. I will always be grateful to Dewey, to Hugh Forrest, and to all the little Deweys for creating such an inclusive community of practice and for keeping that vision clear and strong.

Kat Jones says: Steve, Thanks for pulling us all together, into conversation and community, about ideas and efforts that matter. There are just so many different ways “the story” can unfold, and each day we can each take a step towards making it an awesome experience! Just like you did by writing this post and inviting the community to the conversation. Clearly, Dewey’s spirit is very much alive. Happy New Year!
Kat

A note from Steve Amos of 4empowerment.com: “Hi SteveG, Happy 2012! Sorry for the delayed response…I did not know Dewey except very briefly but… It is amazing how he inspired so many and a tragedy he was not able to see his vision come to life, impacting so many folks in Austin and around the world.”

Rachel Muir says: Steve, thank you for your kind and beautiful tribute to Dewey! What a gift to share in celebrating this wonderful life that inspired so much in our community. I’m proud to be a native Austinite and honored to be linked to the amazing legacy and vision Dewey had. I remember being presented with the award by Dave and Jennifer Evans and thinking then, and now about the amazing lives Dewey touched and continues to impact. Here’s to all the little Deweys out there and from Girlstart an especially warm thanks to everyone for helping inspire young girls to dream big in technology!

Dennis Borel says: Dewey and I were co-workers at AIL in the 90s, where he was initially teaching dropouts in the GED class. He was always coming up with ways for the youth to do hands-on learning and started blending in technology projects. We put together a proposal to the State to do an early multimedia laserdisc on addition targeting at-risk youth. Kids in the program contributed to the scripts, had acting roles, helped shoot the scenes; generally gave the end product amazing authenticity, winning New Media magazine’s national Best Multimedia Product of 1994 Award. The multimedia lab that was created to do the project became a regular part of the educational program. Of course, because Dewey was first and foremost a teacher. Proud to be a little Dewey.

Patrick says: Thank you for the wonderful article, Steve. Dewey was so important to so many of us. I’ve been lucky enough to live out so many dreams that were seeded in that dingy warehouse on 4th street, not to mention the friendships that have lasted all these years, all because of his overflowing generosity and support. He continues to inspire — I just wish he was still here to see everything that he’s created.