March 14th, 2008
Editorial: I could use your advice
First of all, I wanted to thank you. For your readership and your support. And, for your continuing to pursue your side projects, your part-time projects, and your full-on entrepreneurial pursuits.
And especially for being brave enough to read a post called “I could use your advice.”
This one is a tough one for me. And I’ll apologize in advance for my rambling explanation. But here we go…
It’s no secret that I started Silicon Florist on a whim. Because I saw a gap in the news coverage. Because I saw incredibly exciting things happening in Portland that didn’t seem to garner coverage—either by local pubs or by the juggernauts of the tech industry.
In short, I’ve been humbled by the response to the blog. And I can’t tell you how much I appreciate your continuing to read it.
I started Silicon Florist because I thought it was a good idea. But I like to think I have a lot of good ideas. It was a side project. A passion project.
But as Silicon Florist continues to grow, it begins to slide into the “part-time gig” column. And I’m happy to see it do that, because I can confidently say that my passion for Silicon Florist and the potential it holds only continues to grow.
After talking with literally hundreds of people (with whom I would have never had contact without this blog), I can see a number of other “gaps” that could be filled. That could improve our startup community here in the Silicon Forest. That could help other folks—kids, business people, venture capitalists—get more involved in the tech industry, here. That could move help Portland and its surrounding areas take a rightful place on the technology map, again.
And that’s something I desperately want to do.
But. (There’s always a “but,” isn’t there?)
There are only so many hours in the day. And I would very much like to dedicate some of those hours before midnight to Silicon Florist pursuits. And to the greater good.
But in order to do that, I have to reduce the number of consulting hours to which I commit. And we all know what that means, don’t we?
Well, it means, I need to find another way to replace that cash that’s currently underwriting all of the Silicon Florist efforts. So that I can spend more than side-project time on Silicon Florist. And, quite honestly, to keep this burgeoning dream alive that maybe—just maybe—Silicon Florist has the potential to be a full-time gig.
So, finally, we come to my question:
What should I do?
I have some baggage about even considering this whole thing. But, someone far wiser than I told me, “The first time you covered a topic because you felt you had to cover it, rather than because you wanted to cover it, Silicon Florist stopped being your blog.” And that message has been echoed by others.
So, I feel I have logical justification. But, it’s that selfsame logical defense that also tells me that this blog belongs to you, too. So, I need some more feedback. I need to ask those of you in the silent majority who haven’t had the chance to say your piece.
I’ve been thinking about this a great deal. And I see a number of potential options for getting Silicon Florist out of my basement and on its way to paying some of its own bills. But I’m also open to your feedback.
Here are some ideas I had:
- Do nothing different from today. Keep the coverage at the same—or lower—level. Keep on keeping on, and look for other passion projects to which I can dedicate my time.
- Introduce the OPB-esque idea of “Sustaining sponsors,” be that individuals or corporations, who provide funding to underwrite Silicon Florist projects.
- Pursue good old fashioned Web advertising. Rest assured, I’m not talking about anything gaudy, whack-a-mole-ish, or mortgage-financing-ish. I have to look at the site, too. And ideally, it should be advertising that actually helps Silicon Forest startups and other readers. Shocking concept, I realize.
- Come up with a more creative solution for solving the problem with which I find myself faced.
- Or, your idea may be the right thing to do. So feel free to share your ideas in the “Other” area or via comments.
Suffice it to say, that my most important concern is that, you, as a reader do not feel put upon or alienated as a result of my pursuing this direction. Because if this blog fails to keep you interested or if you’re going to be offended, I’d rather suck it up and do nothing.
Wow. That was a lead-up if I’ve ever composed one. If you’re still awake… without further ado, is my appeal for your feedback. I’m looking forward to hearing from you. (Poll not showing? Please access the Silicon Florist poll here.)
And, as always, please feel free to use the comments to expound upon your answers.
Thank you. Sincerely. I really appreciate your advice.