May 232014
 
Yesterday I wrote about tech events in Fort Worth, Texas [“Cowtown and Code“] so it’s only fitting I expound on that theme with another alliterative article.  Today I’ll dare to get politically incorrect and lay bare one aspect of Cowtown culture that is simultaneously brag-worthy and yet fiendishly aggravating as well:

Folks are laid back here.

Stereotypical cowboy talk includes words like “mosey“, a colloquial verb describing walking much like glacial describes progress.  Like their trail-dusting forebears, Fort Worthians are usually in no hurry.  Whatever it is, it’ll wait.

This is at once endearing and maddening.  Sometimes it can’t wait, and that’s especially true with technology.

Now, one must keep in mind the locale’s legacy.  Fort Worth’s fortunes have been traditionally driven by oil and gas.  Things that develop over very, very long periods.  Things that require a cowherd’s patience to find and manage.

This legacy is evidenced in current civic development schemes like Downtown Fort Worth Incorporated’s Plan 2023, and still solidly in place thanks to a recent resurgence (ironically due to tech advances) in developing these resources.  There’s no apparent, urgent need to explore economic alternatives.

Whatever they are, they can wait.

There’s a wry tone to my writing right now that isn’t easily conveyed in text, but let me get truly serious for a moment.  When I talked about a desire to develop more tech-oriented events for Fort Worth, I glossed over the fact that getting people fired up about the need has been a challenge.  Sure, the local .NET user group has been proactive in this regard, and they deserve tremendous thanks for keeping Cowtown Code Camp going.  But if we’re to expand these efforts beyond a single event per year, more people must get involved.

One thing that business and civic leaders here especially need to start understanding is that there is an urgency where tech is concerned.  This area has already missed out on big opportunities, one of which I’ll explore next.  We need to make sure we don’t let others just mosey by.

Stay tuned, and I welcome discussion here on this important topic.

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