Casa Dexter Moves to Main Street

SXSWedu 2017 nametag Alan Buller, Casa Dexter“What’s Casa Dexter?” people ask me after seeing my name tag.

That question has two responses:

a) Professional response: “A digital publishing house.”
b) Comic response: “My house.”

Both answers are true, though b) used to be “truer.” See, Casa Dexter has been many things to many people, including our home at 1701 Dexter Street from 1990-2017. But even though we’ve moved away from that address, Casa Dexter, the Little Home of Big Ideas, lives on.

I first coined the moniker “Casa Dexter” in the early 1990s as the title for an interactive cookbook created in Apple’s HyperCard (anybody else remember HyperCard?), the Casa Dexter Cookbook.While trying to figure out how to make money creating interactive multimedia in the mid-90s, I added “Reality-Oriented Multimedia,” so the acronym became CD-ROM — at the time, a hot new media format.

As a freelancer, I started using Casa Dexter as my “company name” whenever forms asked for one. That’s how I came to use it at the SXSW Interactive Festival starting in the late 90s, and still do at SXSWedu. Shortly after YouTube launched and I realized I could post videos from my ACTV heyday in the 80s. I chose Casa Dexter as my YouTube channel name. Likewise, I took Casa Dexter as my Twitter handle when I signed up for that.

Now, Casa Dexter has moved to Main Street. We sold the house in Austin and moved to Cañon City, Colorado, attracted to the town in part by the historic Main Street district. When we found a house within walking distance of that downtown area, we jumped on it, still uncertain of what our trajectory towards transformation would lead us to do for income. I felt like my background in learning and behavior change left many possibilities wide open.

Once here a few weeks, I heard about TechSTART from Amber Conover, the owner of LearningRx Cañon City, a mini-franchise of a larger organization, who had reached out to me during our relocation. LearningRx provides one-on-one brain training services, from assessment to specialized exercises and training, so our similar interests gave us common ground for discussions.

View from the TechSTART office window

View from TechSTART window

A project of the Fremont Economic Development Corporation (FEDC), TechSTART offers “a brick and mortar tech accelerator-style co-work space” seeking to bring more tech work into the region. Located in the second floor of a historic building at the corner of 5th and Main, TechSTART has multiple offices for a variety of small businesses sharing several common areas including a conference room, kitchen, and larger meeting room available for members. I discovered that they meet as a group every Friday at lunch, so I arranged to visit and also take a look around at the individual office spaces available for rent there on Main Street.

Truthfully, I had not planned to do much of anything work-wise here until we had spent a few months here: settling in, getting to know the people and the area, and testing the waters for available work opportunities.

But once I met Brad Rowland, my TechSTART contact and host as well as some of the other tenants there that first Friday lunch, I felt like I had found a local group of kindred spirits I could network with. I have always found that having a physical nexus for like-minded creative people offers incredible benefits, whether a specific location like ACTV or a floating group like Creative Mornings. The TechSTART group there really felt like that. The fact that they just opened their doors in January certainly intrigued me. Getting in on the ground floor (even if it’s on the 2nd floor!) affords interesting possible opportunities in connecting with a variety of active professionals here in Cañon City.

Alan Buller: Casa Dexter shingle at TechSTARTSo I decided to rent an office there.

The shingle is up and, as always: mi casa es su casa — drop on by!

About bullersbackporch

I am a native Austinite, a high-tech Luddite, lover of music, movies and stories and a born trainer-explainer.
This entry was posted in Buller, Casa Dexter, creativity, Technology and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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