Quality of Life Factors into Business Location Decision
Communities that can satisfy a company's quality-of-life concerns - with regard to housing, healthcare, education, recreation, etc. - can make moving a business a pleasure.
Marty Weil (Dec/Jan 09)
(page 2 of 2)
PayPal located its offices in Austin in
2007. Key leadership at eBay, which already had a small presence in
Austin prior to PayPal's move, influenced the decision; the company's
leadership was pleased with their initial foray into that market. For
Spielman, the key quality-of-life metrics were housing costs, crime
rate, and education. Today, the company has about 200 people based in
Austin, primarily the company's core payment services and customer
"These are the core competencies we pride
ourselves on, and we see Austin as having a pool of talent," says
Spielman. "Of those 200 people, about 180 of them were selected out of
this market. Twenty people relocated from San Jose and the San
Francisco Bay area to Austin. The response from that group has been
nothing but positive. They love how green it is, the housing market,
and all the things that are available. Labeling Austin as `Silicon
Hills' is appropriate in their minds."
technology leader that chose Austin for its quality of life is Borland
Software Corp., the global leader in Open Application Lifecycle
Management. "Although we moved only a small number of employees from
the Bay Area to Austin, quality of life was quite important to us,"
says Jonathan Schoonmaker, senior vice president of corporate services
for Borland. "We wanted to make sure that we were locating to a city
that would allow us to attract worthy candidates from around the United
Before settling on Austin, Schoonmaker spent
considerable time culling through data from the city's Chamber of
Commerce. He evaluated such metrics as cost of living, education,
demographics, housing costs, growth trends, infrastructure, and others.
"It was especially critical for us to know there was a highly educated
base to hire and recruit from, and we needed to feel confident that we
could attract people to Austin if we had to go outside the area to
Borland has been in Austin for more than a year. Today,
the company has approximately 200 people working in their Austin
"I think Austin is one of the best kept secrets
around," says Schoonmaker. "He believes many people don't realize that
it is a "vibrant, affordable, technology-oriented town that has a great
cross-cultural feel with very diverse demographics." It is one of those
places where the quality of life makes moving a business a pleasure.