Thursday, October 20, 2005

Misc items of the week

A lot of little things that sum up to some good news for Houston.
  • We're scoring well in national Inc. 500 and D&T Fast 500 rankings, with 32 Texas/9 Houston in the Inc. 500 and 41 Texas/7 Houston on the Fast tech 500.
    "Texas is clearly coming into its own as a technology center," says Skip Moore, regional managing partner of technology, media & telecommunications for Deloitte & Touche LLP. "I am encouraged not only by the number of companies and higher rankings as compared to previous years, but also by the variety of industry sectors and representation of companies across the state." When compared with Massachusetts and Silicon Valley -- which are acknowledged U.S. technology centers -- Texas (41) is tied with Massachusetts for most companies on the annual listing, while Silicon Valley has 54 companies.

    The number of Texas companies represented on Deloitte's Technology Fast 500 has increased every year since 2002, while the number of Silicon Valley companies on the list has declined.

  • $60+ oil is creating a boom in local travel from the oil industry, with KLM now offering all-business-class flights from Houston to their global connecting hub in Amsterdam, and Continental offering a new non-stop to Buenos Aires, which is a major new international destination for Houston. High fuel costs are certainly hammering Continental, but I'll bet they're also selling a whole lot more of those big $, full-fare international business-class tickets to oil execs...
  • Texas is scoring reasonably well with new biotech jobs, with the seventh-most new jobs in the nation in August - mostly in Houston, I suspect. Still nowhere near the coasts though - needs to grow a lot more. Thanks to Obi for the link.
  • Oh yeah, I almost forgot to mention one other tiny piece of good news: THE ASTROS ARE IN THE WORLD SERIES FOR THE FIRST TIME IN FRANCHISE HISTORY!
Would love to see them take one in Chicago and win it all at home. Just a better celebration atmosphere than those cricket-quiet away stadiums. But that may be an unrealistic fantasy in what looks to be a long, tough series. Dammit, why couldn't the National League win the All-Star game this year so we could get games 6 and 7 here?

A rational/left-brain thought on professional sports: If I told you I was some random rich guy, and I'm going to hire some other random soon-to-be-rich guys to play a recreational sport in Houston, and your feelings of self-worth will be tied up in our winning and losing - well, you'd probably laugh or curse at me or both. Who the hell do I think I am? What gives me the right think I can yank your emotional state up or down? And why are you dumb enough to let me do it? Yet, somehow, we let ourselves fall into the cult (myself included, or at least my emotional/right brain). I personally think it's some sort of tribal-loyalty thing evolutionarily hard-wired into our prehistoric brains, but what do I know?

Go 'stros!


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