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Palantir co-founder still bullish on Texas, despite power failure

Brian Sozzi
·Editor-at-Large
·3 min read
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Palantir co-founder Joe Lonsdale is still bullish on his home state of Texas despite the infrastructure deficiencies brought to the surface by severe winter weather last week.

"It has definitely been a rough week. I was talking to the governor [Greg Abbott] a couple of days ago, and he thinks everything will be back to normal in a couple of days. But we haven't seen weather like this almost ever. It clearly shows the need to prepare the power production for a really serious winter for next year so it doesn't happen again," Lonsdale, also the founder of tech VC firm 8VC, told Yahoo Finance Live.

The surprise winter storm knocked out power to most homes and buildings throughout the state for days, raising questions about the state's electrical grid and general preparedness for black swan weather events. The official number of deaths from the storm has not yet been confirmed.

Lonsdale was among the early crop of tech executives last year announcing a move to Texas from California in the pursuit of easier ways of doing business (and lower taxes) and creativity. Lonsdale — who grew up in Fremont, Calif. and attended Stanford University — moved his family from the Bay Area early in 2020 to Austin. Most of his firm 8VC then followed suit — Lonsdale said four of the firm's operating partners now reside in Texas.

"Other than last week, it has been great. We really love it here. There's great people, a great business climate, great entrepreneurs, and great barbecue," said Lonsdale. "We are really enjoying Texas."

NEW YORK, NY - MAY 01:  Joe Lonsdale of Formation 8 speaks onstage at TechCrunch Disrupt NY 2013 at The Manhattan Center on May 1, 2013 in New York City.  (Photo by Brian Ach/Getty Images  for TechCrunch)
Joe Lonsdale speaks onstage at TechCrunch Disrupt NY 2013 at The Manhattan Center on May 1, 2013 in New York City. (Photo by Brian Ach/Getty Images for TechCrunch)

Oracle is in the process of moving its headquarters to Austin as well. Tesla CEO Elon Musk —a friend of Lonsdale, who sits on the board of Musk's tunneling company The Boring Company — has reportedly moved to Austin. Tesla is also building a $1 billion plant in Austin to produce its Cybertruck.

Musk stated on a recent Joe Rogan podcast that Austin may become a "boomtown" as more tech companies set up shop.

Meanwhile, Hewlett-Packard Enterprise has announced it's moving its HQ to a Houston suburb. HPE's decision opened a few eyes in tech land — Hewlett Packard was founded in 1939 by Bill Hewitt and David Packard in Palo Alto, and they are seen as the founders of Silicon Valley.

"We're going to live in a much more distributed enterprise than ever before. The workforce of the future will change dramatically. And so that distributed model needs to be supported by technologies that accelerate that digital transformation," HPE CEO Antonio Neri told Yahoo Finance Live about the move.

Brian Sozzi is an editor-at-large and anchor at Yahoo Finance. Follow Sozzi on Twitter @BrianSozzi and on LinkedIn.

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