August 7th, 2012

Half a decade later: Thank you for putting up with bad grammar, ridiculously long headlines, haphazard posting schedules, and an all too rosey view of the Portland startup scene


Half a decade later: Thank you for putting up with bad grammar, ridiculously long headlines, haphazard posting schedules, and an all too rosey view of the Portland startup scene

Five years ago today. I sat up in bed with a crazy—but seemingly reasonable—URL stuck in my head. “If our region is the ‘Silicon Forest’ and we live in the ‘Rose City,’ then why wouldn’t a blog about tech startups in Portland be called ‘Silicon Florist’?” Strangely enough, no one had snagged that URL yet. So I did.

And so it began.

I had been blogging since 1999. And no one ever really read anything I had written. I mean, with good reason. You’ve read my writing, right?

So it was strange that folks starting taking notice of my random observations of interesting stuff happening in the Portland tech scene.

Especially given that it was a much different time.

Building a startup in Portland was insanity five years ago. Something for which you generally got more grief than encouragement.

And I wanted to change that.

The big tech blogs weren’t paying attention. The local publications weren’t covering the stories. So I thought I could do something to help. I saw it as my contribution to the community. It was me open-sourcing my marketing communications and promotional skills.

And honestly? That was as crazy as trying to build a startup in Portland. But it seemed to work.

Thank you, Portland

When I look over the past five years, two words keep resonating in my head: Thank you. Thank you for swinging by this little corner of the Web. Thank you for supporting Portland startups. Thank you for putting up with my overly hyperbolic cheerleading.

Thank you.

Silicon Florist was pure dumb luck. A matter of being in the right place and the right time. Nothing more. There isn’t anything terribly special here. Except the fact that I keep coming back, day after day, to post. Slow and steady.

WTF? I had no idea

Having had Silicon Florist as a vantage point for the past five years has truly been a blessing and an honor. And it’s presented more opportunities than I could have ever imagined.

Personally, I’ve had the chance to participate in innumerable events, to spend time with a never-ending stream of incredible entrepreneurs, to help start and champion things like Ignite Portland, Beer and Blog, Portland Lunch 2.0, Open Source Bridge, PIE, Meet the Startup, PDX, and a bunch of unconference-y goodness, and to write for one of the leading tech blogs in the world.

But perhaps most importantly, I’ve had the opportunity to share your stories. To make sure your efforts are getting at least a little more recognition.

Who knew that a young startup in town would one day IPO the same year as Facebook—and would outperform most of the other big names that also hit the Street? Who knew that a startup implosion would lead to a startup that sold bacon online which in turn would lead to one of the most successful startups in town?

Okay. You’re right. You probably saw that one coming.

But, who knew we’d start seeing consistent investment in Portland companies? And successes like we did today when a Portland company would report 345% year over year growth?

Who knew? I didn’t. I just thought you were awesome. And I thought Portland was awesome. And I had hope. And I still do. Every day.

Happy Birthday, Silicon Florist!

I’ve said it time and time again: I don’t really do anything. But I do my damnedest to celebrate people who are actually doing things around here. And I’m really thankful to all of you who have put up with me. And who have let me join along for the ride.

Thank you, Portland. Thank you, entrepreneurs. Thank you, startups.

Happy Birthday, Silicon Florist! You’ve now become my longest job streak. And you’re still only a side project.

Maybe it’s time I start taking this whole blogging thing seriously.

Go get ‘em, Portland. I can’t wait to see where you go from here.

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16 Responses to “Half a decade later: Thank you for putting up with bad grammar, ridiculously long headlines, haphazard posting schedules, and an all too rosey view of the Portland startup scene”

  1. Eli Alford-Jones says:

    Congratulations Rick. Thank you for being such a tireless champion and consumate organizer of our community.

  2. Kevin Tate says:

    Congratulations Rick! And thanks for all you do to promote innovation and the tech community here Portland. I bet it can be a grind some days, but It makes a huge difference and we really appreciate it.

  3. Rick so glad you’ve come so far. You’ve been such a hub to this community, a inspiration and a guiding light as well. Thanks for being such a consistent voice, even if your posts aren’t always consistently posted or consistently…grammar..ly…consistiated…uh…

  4. Silicon Florist is always a pleasure to read. A bright light that almost always illuminates and inspires. You keep the fire burning, Rick. Thanks!

  5. Thanks to you Rick! Portland wouldn’t be the same without you or your blog. I was able to break into the startup scene as a developer when I found a job posting on your blog a few years ago. I haven’t looked back since!

  6. Thanks for sharing your happiness with us !!!!!!!

  7. *sniff

    Love you man…

    * sniff

    Now go get another 5! I can’t wait to see what these ones hold…

  8. Congrats Rick. Happy B-Day SiliconFlorist.

  9. Amber Case says:

    Really glad you exist. It’s amazing the amount of hard work that you put into this resource, and it’s great to have a repository for tech news and jobs. It’s even better now that startups can actually be attempted in Portland without as many of the pushbacks that existed when this site first began!

  10. Scott Krager says:

    Rick ~ I think when someone really enjoys something they don’t feel like they actually do anything because it’s so much fun for them. I’m glad you’re having fun. You do a ton for startups in Portland and having some who gives a darn with as much passion as you do is a huge asset to this community.

  11. Deb Bryant says:

    Rick –

    Thank YOU for the comprehensive/exhaustive/thoughtful/inspirational job you do with Silicon Florist.

    You IS the tech media outlet in Portland.

  12. Tom Flynn says:

    Rick ~ Congratulations and happy birthday. Cheers for all you do to promote tech leadership and startup dreams here in PDX.

  13. Brent says:

    Congrats Rick!

  14. You rock, Rick. Congrats!

  15. Malcom Skees says:

    I like the valuable info you provide in your articles. I will bookmark your weblog and check again here regularly. I’m quite certain I’ll learn lots of new stuff right here! Good luck for the next!|


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