Why is Austin, the “Social Startup Capital of the World”, lagging behind New York and others who have created citywide social networks encouraging and driving green action and conversation? It’s time for Austin’s techies and green entrepreneurs to earn their stripes by developing Austin’s own green network.
New York’s sustainability social network gets buzz
Reading about NYC’s new green social network, Change By Us, NYC, last week made me feel an interesting mixture of emotions. First, I was excited that such a thing had been launched. Then, I started feeling jealous and a little confused. I thought to myself, “how come New York, a bastion of traditional media, gets to have this and Austin, the high-tech and green mecca that it is, does not?”
First mover is already building a green social community
New York’s move to create the network does make some sense. Lately the city has been moving in a more social media-focused direction, and some rank it as the greenest city in the US. Change By Us NYC is fun, engaging, and already enabling good work around the city. Gamification strategies and motivations are at play that make the network successful and it looks like they intend to move it to different cities in the future.
But it’s time for Austin to become the successful second mover
Rather than dwell on the fact that NYC did it first or sit and wait for it to expand to our city, I want to challenge my city’s techies to learn about what Change By Us has done and do it better. Austin has the technical skills and investment capital to launch its own social network and use a second mover advantage to make ours even more engaging and successful than theirs. If Austin’s tech community made a green social network, I’d bet that it would be the best one out there. Let’s prove that we are the new Valley and help out the world why we’re at it.
Competing for sustainability benefits everyone
Why shouldn’t we just wait for Change By Us to come down to other cities, since it does look so good? Because that’s not how the market works. Sustainability can benefit from the same market forces that gave us computers, vaccines, and every other major invention. The difference is, in most capitalistic endeavors, the few at the top reap almost all of the rewards, but in sustainability, everybody wins! Green can be the next big competitive space, and as for me, I want Austin, Texas to be on the cutting edge.
Have a green technological idea? Am I simply not aware of the green networks that are out there? Please share in the comments section or send me an email if you’d like to talk more about it!