The term “Creative Class” gets thrown around a lot. We constantly hear about how Denton is chock-full of not-only artists, but technical creative types who are chomping at the bit to create for cheap. C’mon industry! Move here! Cheap labor! But where are they and what are they actually doing?
We decided to take a quick look and see what, if anything, was going on in a specific area of technical creativity that is currently booming: the mobile app industry.
A quick Google search tells us that there are quite a few app developers based out of Denton. Some spend their time developing apps for larger-scale companies such as Living Social, while others run full-fledge app development companies in town. Heck, one of ‘em even wrote a book on it.
If you’re even slightly observant, you’ve probably even seen some of them hard at work. Ever peered into the windows of the bank building on Locust St.? That’s Jovian Minds down there with their cool lava lamp and untucked shirts. They’re most likely hard at work developing an app for a company like American Airlines or developing one of their own flash games like Trouble in Tin Town. They moved their business here ‘cause they enjoy our funky flavor, just like Richard Florida said they would.
There are a few other non-one-off companies with big ties to Denton (we’re looking at you, Brainwash, Inc.), but not as many as you’d hope. A quick LinkedIn search finds plenty of web and app developers residing in Denton looking for work, but when looking for actual jobs that fit their skills, you’d be hard-pressed to find even a solitary gig. There’s plenty in Fort Worth, Dallas and even the lamer towns like Grapevine and Flower Mound, but creative technology jobs in Denton? Nope. Not yet, at least.
That doesn’t appear to be stopping Dentonites, though. App developers still move here all the time and end up working from home or telecommuting. Will this inevitably bring companies to town? Will some of these people team up and create successful companies themselves? Projects such as the recent Denton Startup Weekend and the creatives mixers are definitely a step in the right direction if tech-centric cities such as San Francisco are any indication.
In the meantime, enjoy having enough parking spots and search the word “Denton” in your app store of choice.
Some of the Denton-related Apps in the iOS app store and Google Play are what you’d expect and some we found kind of surprising. Of course, UNT has an application that allows you to see just how badly you’re failing your Business Calculus class while you’re out drinking. The library also has a great app that not only helps you check out your library queue, but even helps you rent free audiobooks through Overdrive. You can even narc out your family and friends through the Denton Police Department’s app. Denton Square Donuts will allow you to order one of their “pastries” online. And on the stranger side of things, Brainwash Inc. has an app that allows you to “Keep Denton Beard” and throw a beard on the subject of your choice and then share it with various social networks. We’re still waiting for the app that allows us to talk through Jim Matheson’s mouth. Get on it, y’all. We peeked over your shoulder and saw Youtube, not Rails.