A Startup Conversation with 2 Austin Originals: Lani and Benn Rosales
Benn and Lani Rosales have been a part of the Austin Marketing and Startup community for more than 10 years. In that time, they have consistently delivered outstanding value that any person or company would be proud to claim. That’s why I wanted to interview both Benn and Lani Rosales on Startups, the state of all things tech and Austin, and what they’re up to these days. I always enjoy talking to people who add so much value to the Austin networking and tech scene.
“What value do they add?” you ask? Great question. Take a look.
The American Genius and The Real Daily
First, they have created two online news magazines,
The American Genius, which has an eye towards all things small business -from marketing to tax law- and
The Real Daily, which focuses on the Real Estate industry.
They’re very active in the jobs/recruiting space in Austin, and provide a lot of value to both job seekers and employers as well.
Austin Digital Jobs Facebook Group
They started the Facebook group “Austin Digital Jobs” in 2011, and it has soared to over 35,000 members in a short time. It takes almost no time to see the value the members see, and what they get out of it. Just visit and join the group, and you’ll see.
I have personally watched them build these efforts from the ground up, and I’m excited to get to interview them for this piece.
FB: You publish two different publications online that both touch the startup scene. Tell us a little about each
“The spirit of our company is counter-culture, critical, and the goal is for our fiercely loyal readers to be able to learn something every day that improves their business, be it a new tool they can implement, a best practice that they could tweak, or a trend they can use to their advantage.
We aim to be concise, offer actionable content, and never dishonor our readers’ time by publishing fluff, regurgitated garbage.”
FB: How do you view the startup scene, both nationally and in Austin?
LR: “We view the startup scene nationally as the home to creative thought, iterative moves, expansive thought.
“The startup world isn’t just venture capitalists, it’s a diverse mix of people with endlessly different skills that come together to make the world better.
“Austin has a slightly different spirit because of the business environment here – the business regulations are less restrictive than other states, the cost of living is lower than the Valley, the quality of life is higher, and the culture is very casual.
“That casual nature lends to a collaborative environment where a junior level developer can walk into the CEO’s office and banter, or a future entrepreneur can have coffee with a prominent business leader this week instead of next year with an appointment (read: accessibility is higher).
“It’s gauche in Austin to brag about your trip to San Tropez, but acceptable to talk about your trip to Haiti to help rebuild. There’s a humility in the Austin startup scene, wherein having a Tesla isn’t something to be ashamed of, but posting pictures of it on Instagram is. Go into any coffee shop in town and you won’t be able to point out which person in a t-shirt is a multi-millionaire and which is a struggling writer.”
FB: What are some of the biggest factors affecting startups for 2018?
LR: “One of the biggest factors affecting startups this year is how the money flows in Austin.
“Californians have a lot of money that wants to be planted in Austin, but our ecosystem hasn’t been attractive enough for those floodgates to open – they’re not looking to invest in early stage companies or apps.
“On the other hand, Austin is home to the most active angel network in the nation, and the culture here is such that your funding status does not give you street cred; your success rate does.
“Going back to the collaborative nature of this city, successful entrepreneurs are the first to give back and volunteer to advise other young brands, and I see that effort increasing.”
FB: What are some big events and/or conferences you see coming up that would be great for Startups, or anyone interested in Startups?
“We have a monthly networking group called “BASHH“, where there are always some startup folks mixed in doing some networking.
Here are a few more:
- Austin Open Coffee Club (1st, 3rd Thursdays)
- Austin Digital Jobs Recruiting Mixer (December 11, recurring, see ADJ group for details)
- InnoTech Austin (yearly fall conference in Austin)
- Spredfast Summit (fall conference)
Capital Factory is always doing something cool, and there’s a fairly new coworking space that focuses on tech and startups called Galvanize, too. They are great people.”
As you can see from this interview, Lani and Benn have a wealth of knowledge, and if you have questions, you can ask them in the comments.