Austin software executive Joe Liemandt is known for keeping a low profile.
Liemandt's roots go back to Stanford University, where in 1989, he and four fellow students co-founded Trilogy, a business software company.
Liemandt, who dropped out of Stanford to build Trilogy, moved the company to Austin in 1992 because of the cheaper cost of doing business. It quickly became a star in a town that had few independent software companies.
Between 1995 and 2000, Trilogy turned college recruiting into an art form, spending millions of dollars and landing the brightest graduates from the most prestigious schools, including Harvard, MIT, Princeton, Stanford and Carnegie Mellon.
Liemandt estimates that Trilogy, which was headquartered on West Courtyard Drive in Northwest Austin, brought 900 recruits to Austin over five years.
By the late 1990s, the company employed 1,200 people and had annual revenue of $250 million.
But then the Internet bubble burst. In 2001, Trilogy slashed jobs and began regrouping with a much smaller head count. Liemandt remains CEO of the company, which specializes in software services to Global 1000 companies in automotive, consumer electronics and insurance industries.
Trilogy's legacy is the brainpower that it brought to Austin.
Hundreds of Trilogy recruits remained in town and now serve in leadership roles in dozens of tech companies here. They include Joshua Baer, founder of Austin technology incubator Capital Factory; Heather Brunner, CEO of WP Engine and John Price, CEO of Vast.
"At Trilogy, we woke up and realized there wasn't enough talent here, and we went out and did something about it," Liemandt told the Statesman in 2012. "You either have to invest a lot of money to import it, or you're going to wake up every day saying, 'I can't grow.'"
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