June 9th, 2011

Swinging a big axe: Silicon Lumberjack looks to highlight failures and rot in the Silicon Forest startup scene


Swinging a big axe: Silicon Lumberjack looks to highlight failures and rot in the Silicon Forest startup scene

Someone way smarter than me once opined that those who don’t learn from history—or their failures—are doomed to repeat them. And equally smart people would say constant cheerleading has its place… but only if it’s balanced with equally compelling criticism.

A new blog hopes to do just that for the Portland startup scene. Meet Silicon Lumberjack.

There’s a hole in the story of the Portland technology industry, and it looks like this: Silicon Florist covers the startup successes, The Oregonian (along with other papers) covers the big business deals, and no one talks about the small layoffs, the companies that are forever on the brink of bankruptcy, the people who are building fiefdoms instead of coalitions (to the detriment of the success of the industry as a whole), or anything else that’s making this a crappier place to start businesses or just work.

If failure is a normal part of business, let’s talk about what happened, and do better next time. An industry where no one feels safe to talk about the details of what’s broken is not a great place to be.

Sounds like a great idea to me. I’ve already subscribed on tumblr. And I’m already following @silumberjack on Twitter.

I suggest you do the same.

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5 Responses to “Swinging a big axe: Silicon Lumberjack looks to highlight failures and rot in the Silicon Forest startup scene”

  1. M. Edward (Ed) Borasky says:

    Well – I hope it gets better. So far I’m not impressed. First of all, it’s Tumblr and doesn’t appear to allow discussion, unlike Silicon Florist and the Oregonian. Second, what’s been posted so far seems to be “old news”. And I’ve never been a fan of “anonymous” criticism – if you’re going to be anonymous, at least write cogent satire. ;-) In any event, I think we do a pretty good job of “constructive criticism” here on Silicon Florist and the other “business blogs”, including the Oregonian and Willamette Week.

  2. Hi all-

    I agree with Ed – anonymous criticism is baloney. If you’re going to criticize the efforts of startups, business, or the like, back it up with facts and relevant info and your name. Is that too hard to ask? Vague tweets and blog posts from unknown authors do nothing for me and, in my opinion, should be taken with a grain of salt.

    Also, I agree with Ed in that the publications he lists do a good job at constructive criticism.

  3. Oops – clicked “Submit Comment” too soon. I meant to add that Silicon Lumberjack does have promise, but I will be disappointed if it’s only negative opinions/posts shared on it.

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