Startup Life

The Best Coffee Shops in Austin

By Tony Emerson   April 17, 2014

coffee shops

If you ask a completely random Austinite about his or her favorite coffee shop, you’ll probably get a completely random answer. The cup runneth over with literally hundreds of shops in the city that get the job done. Usually, though, it’s the location, ambiance or availability of power outlets that sets these coffee shops apart. Since to most people coffee is coffee, your average Austin resident will tend to forgive–or at least place less importance on–the coffee itself and pick the nearest place to his or her home or office.

Fortunately for you, the reader, I’m no forgiving reviewer of coffee shops. To me and a small but adamant group of coffee enthusiasts (or snobs, depending on your disposition), some shops perform far above and beyond the norm in Austin.

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Unhappy Customer Service Reps? Not at SpareFoot!

By John Egan   April 14, 2014

pharrell williams

We were disheartened to learn that customer service representative appears at No. 4 on CareerBliss’ new list of the unhappiest jobs in the U.S. Why were we disheartened? Because we hate to see SpareFoot’s customer service representatives shoved under the “unhappiest” umbrella.

By and large, the 45 members (and growing) of the Amazing Customer Experience (ACE) Team at SpareFoot are a happy lot, and they’re pretty happy to take phone calls from storage customers across the country. The happiness of the ACE Team yields serious dividends. For example, the team recently won the bronze award from the 2014 Stevie Awards for Sales & Customer Service. Unhappy employees don’t win awards like that.

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Top 5 Big-City Startup Hubs for Women Entrepreneurs

By John Egan   April 9, 2014

Natalie Saldana and Allana D'Antonio

The brutal Battle of the Alamo in San Antonio marked a turning point in the Texas Revolution, pitting Texas troops against Mexican troops in a clash over independence. Nearly 180 years later, San Antonio is the site of another, much more civil revolution.

For two years in a row, the San Antonio metro area has been ranked as the major U.S. metro area wielding the most “economic clout” for women-owned businesses.

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The Dog Barker and the Stalker: Entertaining Tales of Weird Job Applicants

By John Egan   March 27, 2014

weird job applicants

The recruiters here at SpareFoot will review more than 7,000 résumés this year. This means they’ll come into contact, in some form or fashion, with more than 7,000 job applicants. And that translates into more than 7,000 different personalities.

Any recruiter or hiring manager will tell you that if you’re sorting through that many job applicants (and personalities), you’re bound to come across a few, uh, interesting ones.

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Meet the SpareFeet: For Tevis Paxton and Kady Williams, Goofing Around Is the Norm

By John Egan   March 26, 2014

Tevis Paxton and Kady Williams

Does SpareFoot have a budding Steve Carell, Stephen Colbert, Tina Fey or Julia Louis-Dreyfus in our midst? Yes, we do—and it very much is a laughing matter.

Not one but two SpareFeet are members of comedy troupes in Austin. Tevis Paxton, a member of our Lead Development Team, is in two local improv troupes: Raw Power and Rush. Meanwhile, Kady Williams, a member of our Amazing Customer Experience (ACE) Team, does her thing with a sketch comedy troupe called the Dramazons. Williams’ stage name is Kady Rain.

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Blogging Basics: 5 Simple SEO Tips for Startups

By John Egan   March 25, 2014


Late last year, digital marketing expert Kevin Ekmark surveyed his peers to get their take on the digital marketing landscape. One highlight from Ekmark’s survey: SEO is not dead. In fact, he said, the quality of your entire Internet presence—blog posts, website design, social media and so on—matters more than ever. After all, Google is constantly watching.

“Don’t skip over the basics of optimizing your site,” Ekmark wrote.

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Meet the SpareFeet: Software Developer Jahn Veach Savors ‘Once in a Lifetime’ Job

By John Egan   March 21, 2014


Fresh out of the University of Texas, Jahn Veach joined SpareFoot back in February 2010, when the company truly fit the hard-core definition of a startup.

“At the time, SpareFoot was a five-person company with an uncertain future. The opportunity to help guide and build a company from the ground up was irresistible,” Veach said. “Because I had just graduated from college and didn’t have much to lose if things went south, I felt that this was a once-in-a-lifetime offer I couldn’t refuse.”

Things certainly haven’t gone south. Veach now is a member of a robust Development Team at SpareFoot, and we employ more than 120 people. By the end of the year, the SpareFoot crew should number about 160.

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IFC Gives Go-Ahead for TV Comedy ‘American Storage’

By John Egan   March 20, 2014

Rob Heubel

Step aside, “Storage Wars” and “Auction Hunters.” Now it’s time for self-storage to bask in TV’s comedy spotlight.

On March 20, cable TV channel IFC (formerly the Independent Film Channel) announced it’s rolling out eight episodes of a new scripted show that’s tentatively titled “American Storage.” The half-hour comedy series will debut sometime in 2015.

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Help Wanted! 7 Tech Talent Hiring Tips for Startups

By John Egan   March 19, 2014


If you’re in the same boat as our dynamic recruiting duo here at SpareFoot, your company is rowing against the tide when it comes to luring tech talent. A lot of startups in our hometown of Austin and across the country are navigating the same turbulent recruiting waters. Adding to the turbulence is that we’re competing against tech Goliaths like Apple, Facebook and Google.

At SpareFoot, we’re trying mightily to hire front-end developers who specialize in the PHP language. (To check out our job postings, visit

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SpareFoot’s Advice on How to Follow Up After a Job Interview

By John Egan   March 18, 2014

job interview

Freelance writer Carolina Baker recently put out a query on Help A Reporter Out (HARO) seeking the best ways to follow up after a job interview. To respond to Baker’s request, we reached out to one of SpareFoot’s recruiters, Katie Smith, for some insights. We thought readers of The SpareFoot Blog would benefit from Smith’s advice, so we’re publishing it here. Follow Smith’s guidelines, and you just might land that oh-so-awesome job.

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