"Study the past if you would define the future …"
"Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it."
"You have to know the past to understand the present."
To be reminded of this truism is probably the best part of developing our 20th anniversary edition this month. As an editorial team, we all refreshed our knowledge of (or sometimes learned for the first time) key developments in our economy’s recent history. It also helped sharpen our perspective on what’s happening today and what’s coming up, as we plan our coverage through 2013 and beyond.
Our “20 Years in Twin Cities Business” package of stories beginning on page 29 looks at other industries as well, from music to retail to beverages. We really didn’t even think about that last one as an industry 20 years ago. In the last couple of decades, however, Minnesota has become a hotbed for wineries, breweries, energy-drink bottling and coffee. Caribou Coffee, which was less than a year old when TCB launched, went on to become the first significant competitor to Starbucks.
Other little startups in 1993 grew up nicely as well. The innovative Minneapolis computer repair service Geek Squad was acquired by Best Buy. Rainforest Cafe’s results were robust enough at its Mall of America location for it to become a publicly traded company. Stephen Shank had just co-founded an online university that today is publicly traded Capella University.
And the area scored major home runs, including Stanley S. Hubbard’s $1.3 billion sale of a company that helped create DirecTV.
Violent crime rates are down, we have one more Fortune 500 company in Minnesota today than we did in 1993, and there are dozens of other examples of how the Twin Cities has thrived during this period.
Despite our two seasons (winter and road construction), and other reasons to quibble, there’s an awful lot to be proud of as Minnesotans. Here’s to the next 20 years, and our potential as individuals, families, and leaders to make the Twin Cities an even greater place to work and live.