December 18th, 2008

Get all Nostradamus-esque-ish by exercising your powers of Portland prognostication


Silicon Forest 2009So, it’s getting to be about that time. You know. End of the year. Time to start thinking about next year. ‘Tis the season of recaps and predictions.

I’m working on a little “Predictions for Portland 2009″project with a couple of other folks. Of course, the entire Silicon Forest is fair game, too. I just couldn’t stand breaking up that alliteration with factual information.

Given that you’ve got some insight and ideas in this regard, I wanted to invite you to contribute your two cents. You do know what’s going to happen, don’t you?

Well okay then.

All you have to do is comment below with your predictions for the Silicon Forest tech scene next year. Are things going to be dire? Are they going to improve? Who will be the shining stars? Who will rise from the ashes? Who will be the new new media darlings in the coming year?

Easy as that. I might need to follow up with you on your contribution to the discussion.

No concept is too wacky. So have at it.

I eagerly await your powers of prognostication.

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Background that may help (or may not)

24 Responses to “Get all Nostradamus-esque-ish by exercising your powers of Portland prognostication”

  1. Lines blur further, between the righteous and renegade.
    Beneath tattoo and skin, we are as one.
    A pretender is dethroned, the colorful harlequin revealed.
    New cannot be thought until old is put aside.

    A new ethereal center arises from watery enclaves
    As greenery takes strong and stronger foothold.
    Wasteful ones scorned, reviled, cast from the marketplace.
    We gather less, yet gather more.

  2. My guesses:

    * Much of we think of as the “tech community” will start to look like a number of defined subgroups, a side-effect of growth and differing goals. This will cause a flame-war or two when someone questions whether it’s a healthy direction.
    * At least one of the hacker space projects will lease a work space with a founding group of members.
    * Local companies working on mobile tech will receive more national media attention as the market (and their work) develops further.
    * Microbusinesses will get even more creative with their approach to funding, perhaps with @hundreddollar’s help. At the end of the year we’ll have a couple unexpected financial success stories, despite the economy.
    * Location-based tech will still seem a little under-developed on the user/commercial-product side, despite cool local projects pushing what we can do.

  3. Matt Youell says:

    2009 is the year of the Ox. To me that means hard work is ahead. I don’t think 2009 will be as bad a year as many expect. But I do think this will be a washout year for those startups that don’t make a lot of sense and aren’t pulling in the cash. I suspect there are some unknown companies out there that are quietly working their butts off, are cash-positive, and are pulling in customers from a diverse pool. They may not be “cool”, but I think they will have our attention by the end of 2009.

  4. Jake says:

    So many side projects will be undertaken that sides will collapse in on themselves, creating fractals.

    The term “recursive side project” will creep into parlance.

  5. Jmartens says:

    I think we will see Portland to continue its march towards being the center of mobile web development. Lots of really cool, real companies moving here or starting here. Should be one of the bright spots in a tough local economy.

  6. Doug Coleman says:

    I programmed myself to dream about what 2009 would bring the Portland tech community and this is what I came up with:
    1) BaconGeek.com will be swallowed up by Food Network.com and maybe have its own cable program. Everyone involved will get stinking rich and move to LA.
    2) Some smart Portlander(s) will mashup a bad-ass twitter app with a geo-spatial component and rule the world. Whoever does this, please call it Shitter (Shizzow/Twitter).
    3) The tech/creative community in Portland will continue to grow and garner more attention. My dream didn’t tell if the scene will become unified or more fragmented.
    4) Mobile web development, in general, is going to be big here. I know of at least 2 mobile apps being developed here right now that are going to be huge.

    I have other, more specific predictions to be revealed in the future. Hint- these predictions involve kiosks, e-paper and Bluetooth.

  7. Sean Harry says:

    I am a career coach, and I see the employment scene continuing to change drastically. Since we will be reaching 10% unemployment nationwide by the end of 2009 (perhaps higher in the silicon forest), people will continue to become “free-agents” at a rapid pace . . . and will LOVE doing so! Companies will continue to let the economy scare them away from hiring people to permanent positions, but with business picking up in Q 2 or 3 they will need a workforce. They’ll look to the horizon for “consultants” and pay a hefty sum to bring them in as temps. Older unemployed Boomers will begin sliding into retirement, working PT jobs for smaller salaries and shorter hours, because all they really need are health care benefits. That leaves room for ambitious, young, tech savvy people with a good sense of business acumen to RULE THE WORLD!

    In others words . . . the economy will intensify what’s already happening on the job scene. Those who are prepared will enjoy it. Those who are stuck in the old “I need a job” paradigm will find it difficult to get by.

  8. John Metta says:

    Not writing like Nostradamus am I, more like Yoda, Hrm?

    Thoughts I have of the future, yes. Always difficult, the future. Much emotion. Too much emotion is there about unemployment.

    Very wise someone can be. Yes, very wise. Advantage there is in this time, if there is someone to use it.

    Many great Jedi are out there, lost. Yes, many Jedi. Laptops they carry, yet they have nowhere to fight.

    Powerful will be the start-ups who can bring these young Jedi into their folds.

    Powerful indeed.

  9. Content as we used to know it — print newspapers, magazines, books, television, etc — will inch even closer to the grave.

    If it’s delivered in a static or predefined way (daily, weekly, quarterly) and/or published in a non-electronic portable manner (no mobile devices, RSS feeds, e-books, streaming video, email digests, Twitter teasers, etc.), it’ll be mostly dead. If I can’t take it with me in digital form, or slice and dice it into chunks I can consume when *I* want to, I’m not going to play any more (and I don’t think I’m the only one here, as dropping circ rates demonstrate.)

    Those who produced the content will either adapt or die. Adaptation will mean, in most cases, talking with — not to — their audience, in a two-way, mutually-beneficial conversation.

    Since the audience is also “producing content”? It’s going to be harder to make money (that someone else pays you, that is) from writing. But if you know how to create conversation, or can shape content (editing, presentation, photos, etc.) or are great at aggregating stuff in addition to being a good writer, you’ve got a better chance.

    Which means you’re better off as a solo act/entrepreneur/freelancer if you’re in the online content biz, in my opinion. And you’d better be able to do a bunch of different things well.

  10. Jon Garrison says:

    Software will become more tightly integrated in to our lives. Devices like the iPhone and G1 may have instantly been taken for granted by techies who had seen them coming for so long that we haven’t yet fully realized that they are causing fundamental shifts in our lives. Our behavior as a community has and will become more coordinated, our resources more efficiently used, bureaucracy reduced, personal potential realized. Welcome to the future. Cheers to you all for your part in making it possible.

    It’s going to be a good year for Swift Notion Software too.

  11. Bram Pitoyo says:

    In 2009, many more people that we now call “non-geeks” will realize their propensity for shiny web apps and be assimilated, err.. join the fold—all this thanks to the attention that the Portland tech community has been getting, and events + communities that will be better managed and grown,

    There’s always the challenge of not turning into an echo chamber, but I believe that we’re much too opinionated and passionate about what we do to avoid this.

  12. Drum roll please…

    Windows Mobile: MSFT has to make a big splash with Win Mobile in ’09… beyond a “me too” app store. Panic + Cash + No real growth = ill timed acquisitions including mobile apps / technology developed here in PDX. Sorry Not 240M for a 2% stake in FaceBook type panic; but panic nonetheless.

  13. [...] forget, if you—yes, YOU!—want to be part of the Strange Love Live show, make sure to proffer your predilection for prognostication by submitting your predictions for the Silicon Forest …. We’ll be discussing the best submissions during the [...]

  14. Bram Pitoyo says:

    I forgot to add the impending #thawnami immediately proceeding 2008 #snowpocalypse in the new year ;)

  15. Amber Case says:

    Two words: Mobile Development.

    We’ll also get on the map for the bacon meme, which will be interesting.

    As separate expert groups grow and mature, the community might not be as cohesive, but the Open Source Bridge will probably bring everyone together. It will be BIG.

  16. I sorta went wild with this on my blog. :-) But I can tell you who the winners are going to be:

    * Everyone who’s on Twitter from PDX
    * Everyone who goes to Beer and Blog
    * Everyone who hangs out at CubeSpace
    * Everyone who works in open source
    * Everyone who watches StrangeLoveLive
    * Everyone who submits a presentation to IgnitePortland
    * Everyone associated with BackFencePDX

    I don’t know about the bacon thing, though. :)

  17. [...] forget, if you—yes, YOU!—want to be part of the Strange Love Live show, make sure to proffer your predilection for prognostication by submitting your predictions for the Silicon Forest …. We’ll be discussing the best submissions during the [...]

  18. Matthew says:

    As a forthcoming transplant from SF, my observation is the following:

    Consumer internet:
    * Business models that focus on affiliate and e-commerce revenue will grow substantially (since brand advertising budgets have gone way south)

    * Flash focused Websites will *not* take off as mobile availabilty of liteweight sites gains and free wifi connections (share bandwidth) gains. This will create further focus on liteweight basic HTML sites that deliver high usability and availability.

    Business internet and services:
    * Integration of heavy business software will halt as companies try to make due with fewer tech resources. This will lead to….

    * Open source software a wide range of developers are familiar with will make inroads, especially at the 2-100 employee range. This will be be accompanied by advertising supported models as b-to-b enterprise companies strive for more qualified leads for their pay-before-you-play software. Call this the Plenty of Fish effect.

    Portland Scene:
    * The Portland scene will need to “advertise” and “fund” itself as is possible to compete with growing tech communities in Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles.
    Boston: access to graduating workforce
    Chicago: access to graduating workforce
    LA: access to media
    Portland: ??

  19. Troy H says:

    * A backlash against the bacon meme will pick up steam in 2009, causing the pro-bacon meme to be deemed to have reached its peak in 2008.

    * The New York Times will start diverting its attention away from Portland and start focusing more on the Obama strongholds of Chicago and Hawaii.

    * Trendsetters of the Portland tech community will start to migrate away from Twitter, not because of reliability issues, but because it will have gone too mainstream (relatives, corporate management, etc.) for their liking.

    It’s tough to make predictions, especially about the future. -Yogi Berra

  20. [...] Cami and Dr. Normal altered the usual format giving us the opportunity to talk for a good 90 minutes—and that led to some pretty interesting discussions including the top events on 2008, Vidoop, Shizzow, Bacon Geek, KGW’s The Square with Stephanie Stricklen and Aaron Weiss, Twitter, Rael Dornfest, pdxtst, Our PDX, Neighborhood Notes, OpenID, calling Facebook Connect the Hotmail of this generation… even indulging in some conspiracy theory and what’s to be in 2009. [...]

  21. [...] Cami and Dr. Normal altered the usual format giving us the opportunity to talk for a good 90 minutes—and that led to some pretty interesting discussions including the top events on 2008, Vidoop, Shizzow, Bacon Geek, Beer and Blog, KGW’s The Square with Stephanie Stricklen and Aaron Weiss, Twitter, Rael Dornfest, pdxtst, Our PDX, Neighborhood Notes, OpenID, calling Facebook Connect the Hotmail of this generation… even indulging in some conspiracy theory and what’s to be in 2009. [...]

  22. [...] 2009 thus far, I would dub it the “Year of the User Group.” And that would also make Audrey Eschright’s prediction [...]

  23. [...] 2009 thus far, I would dub it the “Year of the User Group.” And that would also make Audrey Eschright’s prediction [...]

  24. Troy H says:

    My bacon meme prediction is starting to get some traction already. http://is.gd/hPFb


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