April 19th, 2010
Startup, open source, and/or independent tech folks: Enlighten the City of Portland and Portland Development Commission (PDC) about your world. Please?
For some reason, as I write this, my mind drifts to Horton Hears a Who! You know, where Horton the elephant finds an entire city of people who are invisible to the naked eye? And he knows that they are there—and will do anything to protect them—but no one else believes that they are there?
You see, Horton’s predicament is somewhat akin to the situation we’ve got with startups, independents, and open source types here in Portland. With the tech community that flies below the radar. They’re here. They exist. But they’re more obscured from view then they should be. Now—thanks to a new survey from the Portland Development Commission (PDC) about the software industry in Portland—we all have a chance to yell “We are here! We are here!” So I’d like to ask—and maybe plead—that you take a few minutes to do so.
First and most importantly, it’s great to see the PDC making these efforts to become more familiar with the tech community in Portland. Especially the world in which you live. That’s why they’re hosting Portland Lunch 2.0 next month. And that’s why they’re asking you to provide feedback through this survey.
What’s the focus of the survey? Well, it’s PDC trying to take a pulse on the development community here in Portland—and it will influence how the City of Portland and the PDC fund efforts within the technology community.
We want to interview you to help us develop the economic development policies for the software industry in the Portland-metro region.
Software is 1 of only 4 clusters that the Portland Development Commission is focusing on, so your input on this topic will have a large impact on our work!
Now, this is all well and good to gather this information. But it’s only good if it’s a fair assessment of the actual environment in Portland. And, as of this morning, this has been primarily promoted through the PDC and SAO communities—communities that I know many of you don’t regularly frequent.
Not to get into a “help the PDC help you” speech, but you need to help the PDC help you.
So no matter what your role in the Portland software community—whether you contribute to open source, build iPhone and Android apps, develop Web applications for clients, configure Drupal, work with a small team to build amazing applications, hack on WordPress, consult within a large corporation building internal solutions, or any other of the thousands of incredible geeky things I’ve seen you do over the years—please take a few moments to run through this survey.
Please note, I’ve heard from at least one person that the form is throwing errors. So if you encounter similar issues, please let me know by commenting below. I want to make sure that your voice isn’t being silenced by a technical error.
What’s that? You’re only tangentially related to the Portland software industry? That’s okay. Even if you’re service provider to the Portland software industry—like marketing or accounting or legal—please walk through the survey, too. You get the chance to classify yourself so it won’t skew the results. And the PDC needs to know that you rely on the software industry to make your living.
Oh. And one other favor? Please tell your peers to do the same. Please.
You have until end-of-day Wednesday—April 21, 2010—to complete the survey. The results will then be shared with the Mayor’s office. And will likely influence where the City of Portland puts its time, energy, and money in regards to the world of tech around here.
So, given that you’re sitting there reading. Why not just take a few minutes for answer the survey now?
Who knows? This could finally be the yawp that garners you and your peers the attention you so richly deserve. And maybe save you from being boiled in Beezelnut Oil.
We know return you to your regularly scheduled—and not as whiny or pleading—programming.