Tech Bucks | Urban Living
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Tech Bucks

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Don't laugh too hard at me. The last time I played a video game, I chased a small ghost with a yellow blob that ate tiny dots along a grid as I moved a stick up, down and sideways. Yes, it was Pac-Man. Well, I visited my nephew recently and saw he's playing an online game on his laptop where he assembles cars. Mind you, he's only 13 years old and knows nothing about driving a car, but he can tell you everything you want to know about from cam shafts to pistons. The good news is he wants to be a mechanic when he gets out of school, and I guess this is a great way to get him on the right career path—even if he does spend hours wasting away in the interwebs and has never held a screwdriver. I applaud all you geeks and tech folk. Computers were introduced at my college when they had green screens (no colors). You took this flexible dinner-plate thingy called a disc and slipped it inside the giant console to record your work. I remember punching a lot of F7 and F2 buttons and screaming at the machine endlessly. Nowadays, storage happens in a cloud. Where is said cloud? I have no clue, but I do know my email server has one, and my Apple account and my iPhone have them as well. I hope a kind person will show me how to find all my clouds one day so I may float happily along in my digital memories.

The big brains at Qualtrics are pretty damned happy these days. This family-owned Provo-based company founded back in 2002 just sold for $8 billion to a German cloud. Qualtrics founders Scott, Ryan, and Jared Smith and Stuart Orgill saw a need for subscription software to collect and analyze data for market research that could show results of customer satisfaction and loyalty. The company from across the pond was pretty smart as it purchased the firm before Qualtrics was about to release its stock IPO. This is one of the biggest sales ever in little ol' Utah.

Huzzah for homegrown tech brains and family-run companies. Seriously, it's estimated the state now has between 6,000 and 7,000 tech-related firms working within its borders. Commuters certainly feel that when they try and get to, from or around Lehi—the heart of all big things tech along the Silicon Slopes. According to the Utah Department of Economic Development our top valued tech businesses (besides Qualtrics) are: Workfront, Instructure, Vivint, ancestry.com, overstock.com, as well as Domo, Pluralsight and Inside Sales.