Intro and Part #1 (Tech Jobs)

Note: (Views expressed in this article are my personal views only and not representative of my current employer)


I’m writing today from my hometown of Austin, Texas which has lately been the center of attention in the tech world as luminaries, companies, and regular working people alike have decided to relocate (or are looking to) here from the Bay Area. I moved here when I was 1, so I’m not quite native but close. I can still remember the days of the old Mueller airport, eating at the original Torchy’s Taco truck and P. Terry’s burger stand (when there was…

Part #3A — Food (Restaurants)

Note: (Views expressed in this article are my personal views/opinions only and do not reflect those of my current employer)

With the shift towards remote-work and a general trend towards greater acceptance of a more distributed workforce vs. centralized in the Bay Area, the interest in Austin as a potential landing spot for current Bay Area techies continues to steadily increase. I’ve previously written on the tech job market and also on the housing market, two closely intertwined topics. This continues a seven part series on Austin vs. San Francisco Bay Area.

  1. Tech Jobs
  2. Housing
  3. Food (A. Restaurants, B. Groceries)

Part #2 — Housing

Note: (Views expressed in this article are my personal views only and not representative of my current employer)

Introduction and Recap

In part one of this series, I compared the tech job markets for Austin and the Bay Area. This article is part of a 7 part series on Austin vs. SF Bay Area. Today’s focus will be on housing.

  1. Tech Jobs
  2. Housing
  3. Food
  4. Recreation
  5. Weather
  6. Diversity
  7. Politics

I’ll plan to briefly cover the rental market (which is comparatively uninteresting) and then spend the majority of the time on buying/home ownership with a particular focus on Austin given that based on a very…

Since COVID-19 shutdowns began in mid-March, I’ve been making weekly runs to Target to pick up various goods. One of the things I’ve also been tracking is the availability of and selection of four pandemic related products: hand sanitizer, disinfecting wipes, masks, and toilet paper. All four share the characteristic of experience demand spikes due to COVID-19, but aside from this similarity, they are incredibly different markets/industries.

The goods :)

I’ll explore these differences in more depth later on in this article, their implications for the strategy of competitors, and my own projection of what the industry will look like post-COVID. …

This is the start of a three-part series on the future of online grocery. The series will cover the following topics:

  1. Profitability challenges and solutions
  2. Competitive landscape
  3. Technology and HR strategy

Online grocery shopping has overnight made its way from the sidelines to the starting lineup due to the impact of COVID-19. Both delivery and curbside pickup have experienced unprecedented demand in every type of grocery store, from mainstream to organic to ethnic. …

Strava workout summary at Golden Gate Park
Strava workout summary at Golden Gate Park
My run yesterday morning

A few days ago, I, like many other athletes across the world, received an interesting note from the founders of Strava notifying us of some changes they were going to make. It wasn’t really clear what was happening until a few paragraphs down when the TLDR became clear — Strava is losing money, many key free features are now going to be only available if you pay, this will help them make money and survive. The main feature that was taken away from free users is the leaderboard for segments, you can no longer compare your performance to others cycling/running…

This past Sunday morning, I went to get my haircut at QB House at Columbus Circle here in New York. QB House is a Japanese haircut chain with over 640 stores mostly in East Asia. They recently began expansion into the US market and currently operate three locations in Manhattan. Their core value proposition is delivering quality haircuts in a clean environment at an affordable price of $20 in <15 minutes.

QB House at Columbus Circle

I really enjoy getting my haircuts at QB House and this last visit was no different, except for one to be covered aspect. …

I recently returned from a trip to China where I liberally used the Dianping app to identify the best places to eat at. Dianping (or Meituan, depending on which you use, they seem pretty much the same to me…), can be used just like Yelp in the US, though in my opinion the data they provide is far superior and helps diners make much better decisions resulting in greater happiness from eating. It’s also way more than just a restaurant review app (more on that later).

Logo-Meituan Dianping

老干妈 Lao Gan Ma (LGM, for short) is a popular Chinese chili oil brand and has recently started gaining popularity in the US as somewhat of a “cult favorite” in mainstream America as well as being a staple for Chinese diaspora households. The brand has even begun to make its way to the shelves of Walmart. Yearly global sales are estimated to be as of 2016 $655M.

The backstory for LGM is an entrepreneurship classic, LGM means “Old Godmother” in Chinese, and legend has it that LGM (real name, Tao Huabi) began her business as a noodle shop but realized…

I enjoy eating Big Macs (there is something special about two all-beef patties, special sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickles, onions, on a sesame seed bun that just can’t be replicated anywhere else), but really don’t find buying them at full price particularly worth my while, so my visits to McDonald’s are typically few and far between.

About two months ago I went to McDonald’s on a whim and discovered a fantastic new deal (presumably limited time offer), the $6 Classic Meal Deal. I can get a Big Mac, small fries, drink, and pie(!) all for $6! …

Andrew Shi

Retail, consumer goods, and technology aficionado. Fitness enthusiast. Proud Texas Longhorn and Columbia Biz MBA.

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