Episode 12: Michael Schutzler, CEO of Washington Technology Industry Association (WTIA),
Michael Schutzler is the CEO of Washington Technology Industry Association (WTIA), a consortium of 1,000 tech companies working together to build a robust, equity-centered tech sector that empowers thriving communities. A 30-year industry veteran, Schutzler has keen insight into how Washington State, one of the nation’s original and largest tech hubs, has evolved over the decades—and where it might go in the future.
In addition to talking about the factors influencing the growth of tech hubs at the moment, we’re also going to delve into remote work, the ways in which factors like the cost of living can seriously impact a tech community, and much more.
If you work in tech, you know that Seattle, Bellevue and other cities are synonymous with tech innovation and some of the biggest names in the industry, including Microsoft and Amazon. Washington State’s tech scene also has some valuable takeaways for other tech hubs across the country.
First, tech hubs, especially those on the rise, need to provide a reasonable cost of living for technology professionals and others. There also needs to be an attractive culture—people want to live and work in places that are fun.
Second, tech hubs and centers of innovation can spring up in all sorts of circumstances. We might be heading into a recessionary environment at the moment, but that’s when many technology professionals decide to strike out on their own and finally get their startup off the ground. If you have enough startups in the area, founders can connect with each other and with talent, and create a meaningful community.
Third, while tech hubs remain vibrant places, companies have discovered that an openness to remote and hybrid work can unlock a sizable talent reservoir. If you’re trying to put together a team of tech professionals, especially specialized ones, don’t discount how offering a remote job can help you land the talent you need.