January 4th, 2010
Portland’s rollercoaster year: Recapping the 2009 startup scene and looking forward to 2010
Last Friday, I had the pleasure—for the fourth time—of sitting on the couch at Strange Love Live as Cami Kaos, Dr. Normal, and I talked through the year that was. It was one of tremendous highs and extreme lows. I think I may have even called the ebb and flow of 2009 “manic depressive.”
And as I kept babbling, struggling for a way to describe 2009, Cami stopped me. And then summarized the whole thing, quite simply, as a “rollercoaster.” Which is a perfect summary. Because that’s exactly what 2009 was for the Portland startup scene. A rollercoaster.
It wasn’t all good news. Or unicorns and rainbows. There was some incredibly depressing stuff that happened, as well. Like the loss of CubeSpace. And the demise of companies that showed so much potential.
But even with all of that, at the same time, we saw such great heights. Like Small Society and Urban Airship—a company that likely wouldn’t have come into existence without the aforementioned fall of Vidoop. And huge events that came from nothing but the sheer exertion of will, like Open Source Bridge and 30 hour day.
And we saw companies garner funding—even pure Facebook plays like Second Porch. And we saw the City of Portland stumble with the creative community only to rebound in grand fashion by stepping up to support both the Web and mobile startup scene and the open source community.
Again, a rollercoaster.
But the way 2010 is starting. I’m wondering if we’ve got another 2007 or 2008 on our hands. With a nice “up and to the right” flow. I remain hopeful that we do. Because there were some interesting predictions, as well. About where the Portland scene was headed. About what is going to be coming in 2010. And how we’re going to respond.
And there were even a few little announcements—about things that are definitely happening in 2010—that you might find interesting. Right at the end.
I promise to spend some more quality time with those announcements—giving them the attention I think I they deserve—in a post tomorrow.
Until then, why not kick back, relax, and spend some quality time with Strange Love Live?