Weather Considerations for Startups

Running a startup, or any type of tech company requires a tremendous amount of commitment. There are long days, long weeks, long months and many times very long years of grinding work.  A single employee off their game can have major implications for the success of the endeavor.  I think about this as the full damage of Hurricane Harvey is starting to be realized.  Houston may receive 50″ of rain in some areas, with somewhere around 750,000 people being directly affected by the storm. The city looks like a lake at this point.

My question is that if one person becoming sick can cause your startup issues, what happens when your entire city goes under water literally.  Whatever the immediate impact is, the long term impact will be severe.  Any employee that makes it out with no damage to their home or vehicle will still know and need to support others who lost everything.  How can you demand 12 hour days from people that need to go home to gut a house that is no longer safe to live in?  How can you demand employees show up on time, when their brand new vehicles they were so proud of have sat underneath the water?  How can you drive home how the world so desperately needs your dog dating app, when employees are emotionally spent, and simply don’t have the will to care..?

In the business world folks constantly talk about building walkable cities, and giving tax breaks to bring in startups and tech.  When I look at the landscape if I was going to build a real startup I’d be looking for an area secure from natural disasters. Floods, Hurricanes, Snow Storms, Earthquakes, Wild Fires, the list of disasters that can befall areas is pretty long. In this world where tech companies are competing 24/7 against others spread around the world the thought of losing weeks of high productivity due to issues that could have been avoided simply by where you choose to locate seems odd. It’s odder still since so many startups are literally building from nothing, and the ones with genius or a smooth talking CEO can bring in enough funding to pay the amounts required to get new hires to relocate.

“Everyone” agrees that climate change is real.  “Everyone” agrees that the results will create ever more damage in coastal and low lying areas. “Everyone” agrees that to ignore climate change and it’s impacts would be something only someone as stupid as Trump would do.

So why are so many “smart” startups seemingly not bothering to build their companies based on what “everyone” knows is a danger..?


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