Home Economy Ray Perryman: Powers transformed Texas economy | Columnists

Ray Perryman: Powers transformed Texas economy | Columnists


My dear friend, Pike Powers IV, recently succumbed to Parkinson’s after a courageous struggle. Beyond the Austin area, you may not recognize his name, but he changed your life. He was the single most powerful force in turning Texas into an international technology powerhouse. His impact is unparalleled, and we are all beneficiaries.

In the early 1980s, as Texas was coming off an oil boom and facing a decade of devastation, Pike spearheaded the successful effort to attract Microelectronics and Computer Technology Corporation (MCC). The winner of this competition, which was much more intense than any we see today, would have a decided growth advantage.

As he began this quest, he reckoned that he would need a few numbers; thus, he contacted a kid with a shiny new econometric model. We immediately began a 40-year odyssey of collaboration, mischief and good trouble spanning over 100 projects (and at least as many brutal — and hysterical — speech…

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