The experience of a Client Partner exploring the Austin Tech and Product scene
One of the best things about working at Octobot is the room provided for trying new things and putting ideas into practice. Our Marketing Team, for example, is always encouraged to experiment, act upon ideas, and learn from them. Recently, I had the opportunity to travel to the US – to live and work from Austin, Texas, for a whole month. It was a remarkable experience and I want to share it, as well as what I took back home with me to Uruguay.
Keeping Austin Weird (and interesting!)
The goal of this Austin trip was primarily to visit some of our clients located there. A secondary goal was to learn more about the city, which is growing exponentially in recent years, especially in the tech and startups industries.
Austin, which is known as the “Silicon Hills” (as a counterpart of the famous Silicon Valley,) started to appear on the radar of important tech enterprises in the 90s. Since then, more and more high-tech companies have established themselves there. Tesla, Google, Atlassian, Meta, and many other tech giants call Austin home. Innovative startups are being built in Austin as well, thanks to different entrepreneurial programs and VC opportunities. According to TechCrunch, Austin is “a city of unicorns and tech giants.”
Our Trip’s Goals
I’m a Client Partner here at Octobot. This is a role in charge of close contact with our clients and supporting them every step of the way during our partnership. Historically, our Client Partners have traveled to the US to visit clients and to make in person connections. This contributes to the improvement of our communication and helps things to flow better during the project’s execution.
By the end of 2022 we started planning a trip to Austin. We wanted to spend more time in the US to expand our existing client base and to look for new business opportunities. For that, we believed it was important to increase our knowledge of Austin and the general Texas area to help foster new business alliances. We also understood that the more time spent there, the more we learned about different tech-related offerings in order to gather insights and improve our services.
It sounded challenging, but that’s one of the things that motivated me the most: the feeling of being outside my comfort zone and the growth that came with it. So, there I went! I arrived in Austin on January 21st and stayed in a nice, cozy Airbnb in East Austin. Soon enough, I was creating a new routine in my temporary home.
Living the Austin experience
During my first days in Austin, I was accompanied by my colleagues Guillermo, CEO, and Luciano, COO. While it was my first business trip, they had a lot of experience traveling to the US, so it was helpful to rely on and learn from them. We had a couple of meetings with clients and old friends to strengthen our connections and discover what else could be accomplished together.
After they left Austin, I continued to converse with people from the digital industry: from fellow marketers to UX folks, C-level executives to startup founders, developers to consultants – I got the chance to expand my network and connect with diverse professionals. It seems like Austin is booming with new ideas and the people behind them are eager to connect and exchange.
Over my time there, one of the experiences I appreciated most was joining events led by communities and organizations that aimed to foster interactions between different professionals. One was Founder Familia, a community for entrepreneurial Latin creators living in Austin.
Another cool community is CAPITAL FACTORY, an environment where entrepreneurs and techy people can connect and work comfortably in a professional space. They hold numerous networking events in their co-work space and it was the best place to meet new people and extend my reach.
Another event: FIESTA organized a Galentine’s gathering – a community of professional and entrepreneurial women making great strides in Austin. The dedication to their startups was truly inspiring to me.
Last but not least, in my final days in Austin, I could join the Product-Led Summit, an event dedicated to product-minded folks who want to learn from colleagues’ experiences. For me, it was a great opportunity to better understand new services now offered by Octobot, such as product management. In 2023, we want to continue to help our clients overcome challenges related to product development and growth; it’s vital to listen to people going through the same issues and gather insights on what we can do to help.
What I brought back from the trip
Among the many great learnings I had during almost 4 weeks in Austin, I want to highlight how impactful the trip was for improving my communication skills. Besides talking and thinking in English almost 24/7, I also had the opportunity to express myself, pitch Octobot, and explain our unique value proposition for a variety of people from different backgrounds. It was a great chance to put Octobot’s value “adapt to change” in practice like never before!
Traveling to a different place and cultivating a network there has contributed to my confidence and helped expand my perspective. I returned with new ideas and processes to improve my team. Hopefully, these 4 weeks will result in new projects coming to life and bettering the way Octobot functions.
On a more personal level: it was also super cool to visit a new destination and get to know more about their culture! I’ve never been to Texas before, but I felt very comfortable there. People were friendly and their Southern welcoming vibe made me feel at home quickly. The city has many entertainment options, such as hiking in parks or beside the Colorado River, as well as indoor options – bars, movie theaters, etc.
Traveling is part of our culture
In conclusion, my business trip to Austin, Texas, was a valuable experience for me and my team. We gained new insights and perspectives on the industry and were able to network with other professionals in our field. We also had the opportunity to explore the city’s unique culture and attractions, such as its live music scene and famous Tex-Mex restaurants. We were grateful for the opportunity to visit Austin and look forward to growing our business and building connections in this dynamic, exciting city.
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