Tuesday, March 18, 2014

17 facts that make Houston the best city in America, traffic is not as bad as you think, our new economic normal, and more

Another week working through the backlog of smaller misc items...

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Thursday, September 06, 2007

Houston and TX dominate Fortune's 100 Fastest-Growing Companies

Fortune recently released their 2007 list of the 100 Fastest-Growing Companies, and there's a pretty stunning domination by Texas and Houston. We all know there's an energy boom, but it's stats like this that really drive it home.
  • Texas has the most with 32 of the top 100. California is in distant second place with 11.
  • West Coast + Northeast combined only have 30; that's CA, OR, WA, HI, AK, ME, NH, VT, NY, NJ, CT, MA, RI, PA, DE, MD combined.
  • It's not even close within Texas. The Houston metro area has 19 of the 32 Texas companies (17 inside the city + The Woodlands and Alvin). San Antonio 3, Dallas and Ft. Worth 2 each (although more in the metro), and only one in Austin.
  • The three other Big 4 states - California, NY, and Florida - combined have only 18. That's less than Houston alone, which is simply incredible.
In the immortal words of Mel Brooks, "It's good to be the king..."

Thanks to Brian for the heads up and most of the analysis. Have a great weekend.

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Thursday, July 19, 2007

Our boom, Houston's other mission control, a top-tier blog-savvy town, videos and more

Time again to cover the smaller miscellaneous items. Been coming across a lot of these lately.
  • Houston tops the residential construction rankings (thanks to Hugh for the link)
  • Why is Houston booming, you might ask? Well, the most recent issue of Fortune magazine contains a clue: 6 of the top 10 Global 500 are energy companies, all with their largest U.S. employment base in Houston. Three more of those top 10 make cars that use the fuel created by the other six. And where are all those cars going, burning that gas? You guessed it: #1 is Wal-Mart - which also happens to be one of the largest employers in Houston, and has one of its largest distribution centers at the Port of Houston.
  • A graphic in Business Week's cover story on global youth culture on the web shows Houston to be a top-tier blog-savvy town, ahead of cities like Seattle, Denver, San Francisco, Portland, and even cross-state rivals Dallas and Austin. As far as I can tell, it's all me (just kidding! ;-)
  • A blog post about high-rise bland "condo sprawl"
  • NYT story on personalized traffic alerts, with some specifics about Houston's other, lesser known, mission control:
"In pitching its reports, whether on radio or pager, to broadcasters and motorists alike, Westwood One emphasizes its process for checking and rechecking its findings. Its version of Mission Control is in Houston, in a gleaming skyscraper down the road from NASA’s. From a room crammed with flat-panel television and computer screens, four fact checkers continually scan databases for outdated information and browbeat affiliates around the country to update drivers."

One concluding note: Thanks to a generous invitation from Ron Woliver, I saw David Crossley make a very good presentation to the Rotary Club today on improving Houston's quality of life as we grow tremendously over the next 30 years. I'd say we agree on most of the types of things that would be good for Houston - I'm just more "encouragement, markets and facilitation" vs. a more activist government intervention. Oh, and we also differ a bit on transportation: I believe the aggressive expansion of our freeway network (as outlined in the 2035 plan) is a more practical mobility strategy than transit, which I think has realistic limits on ridership in a dispersed, decentralized city like Houston with very pedestrian-hostile weather much of the year.

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Thursday, April 19, 2007

2007 Fortune 500 HQ analysis for Houston and Texas

A couple years ago, I looked at how Houston and Texas scored with the Fortune 500 headquarters. Well, the new 2007 list is out, and I thought it might be interesting to take a look again at how we're doing.
  • We're still the #2 city behind NYC, with each of us gaining 2 more HQs. They moved from 43 to 45, and we moved from 20 to 22. Atlanta lost a couple from 14 to 12 (one of those was San Antonio-based SWB/AT&T buying Bell South), and Chicago picked up 1 from 10 to 11. They counted Halliburton in Houston this year, and they really should count it again in Houston next year, even if the CEO "offices" in Dubai.
  • They don't have stats for metros, and I didn't try to add them up (who can guess which metro has all those small cities in CA?), but I don't think we would fall much from #2: behind Chicago and possibly the SF Bay Area. We only pick up 1 to 23, with Anadarko in The Woodlands, but Chicago and SF pick up a lot in their smaller suburban cities.
OK, a little bad news. I just did the count, and the greater DFW metro has 24 F500 HQs, edging us out by 1. If it makes you feel any better, we have 4 in the mega-biggie F100, while they only have 1 (Exxon in Irving, and by far the majority of their employees are in Houston).
  • As a state, Texas has moved up in the world over the last two years (48->56), passing California (52->52) to become the #2 state just behind New York (54->57). It is quite possible we will pass New York in the near future, as we have 10 companies ranked between 500 and 600 ready to move up (including 4 between 501-520), while New York only has 6, and their highest one is 544.
Somehow a major editing error made it into their opening article, which included this sentence with some very wrong numbers:

"New York boasts the most Fortune 500 firms this year with 57 companies, while Texas and California took the No. 2 and 3 spots, with 45 and 22 headquarters respectively."

For some reason they knocked 11 off our count, but a whopping 30 off the CA count. I'm sure CA isn't happy. No idea how they let that slip through.
All in all, a great couple of years for Houston and Texas. We'll have to check the progress again in another couple of years...

Update: I thought of another interesting cut on how well Texas and Houston are doing. Texas has 11% of the F500 with only 8% of the US population (1.4x), the Houston metro has 4.6% of the F500 with only 1.8% of the US population (2.5x), and the city of Houston has 4.4% of the F500 with only 0.7% of the US population (quite the impressive 6.3x).

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