Month: March 2008

Silicon Florist’s links arrangement for April 1, 2008

Sometimes, a link says more than I could ever say. Here are some fragrant little buds I’ve found recently, courtesy of ma.gnolia.

April Fool

Platial’s Tracy Rolling writes “April Fool’s Day is my favorite holiday after Halloween. Get inspired for your own pranks by reading up on those perpetrated in the past on the Hoaxes Map.”

PDX RE Blogger Recap

Ron Ares writes “Some of the Portland real estate blogging community met Friday night for a little chat, note sharing, and some brewskis. Nice people, nice time. Thanks to Joel Burslem for organizing and all of you that attended.”

Portland Creative/Tech Event Reviews

I may have just found that elusive “event correspondent” I’ve been seeking in Bram Pitoyo.

Can we fool you?

Vimeo is running an April Fool’s Day contest. Maybe. “We, the Staff, collectively challenge you all to a treasure hunt of sorts. Somewhere in the dungeons of Vimeo, perhaps where you least expect it, perhaps closer than you could ever imagine, lies a quirky little April Fools tweak to the site. We challenge you…. no, we double-dog dare you to find it. Those who do, will win 500mb extra storage a week. Those who do not, will be banned from Vimeo FOREVER!”

View all my bookmarks on Ma.gnolia

GoLife Mobile: Chatting with James Whitley, CEO (Part 2)

Last week, I published the first part of my interview with GoLife Mobile’s CEO, James Whitley. That post focused on the discussions of the GoLife Mobile Vadowerx framework. Now, I’d like to touch on our discussions about Portland, it’s culture, and the potential it holds to become something extraordinary.

(As an aside, it was a pleasant surprise to run into James at Startupalooza. “Where’s part 2?” he asked. Right here, Mr. Whitley. Right here.)

Portland as a venue for startups

I’m always interested to get anyone’s take on Portland. But it’s especially interesting talking to people who are running businesses here. They often have a multitude of things that they love about Portland, but there are still those little perturbing issues that keep the environment from seeming “too perfect.”

Luckily, those perturbing issues are generally issues that are surmountable. That’s why I’m always happy to help people get those issues out on the table.

Whitley did.

And as I began to question him on his reasons—“Why Portland?”, “What does this area offer?”, and the like—his affection for the area was palpable. And his deep ties in the region only further that affection.

But what I got most from Whitley was not his impressions of the past—it was his enthusiasm for the potential here in Portland, for today and for the future.

“I would put the talent in this town up against talent anywhere else,” said Whitley. “The Valley, Back East, anywhere. The people here are exceptional.”

And, in Whitley’s opinion, that talent is not in limited supply.

“There is a ton of talent here in the Portland area,” he said. “I am always talking to people with whom I would like to work. I don’t think many people realize the sheer wealth of talent we have here.”

So, if we’re so talented, I asked, egotistically and presumptuously lumping myself in with the “exceptional talent” here in the Portland area, why aren’t we seeing more growth? Why aren’t we seeing more startups taking root?

And that’s when we get to those problems. Those issues that are holding Portland back from achieving its extraordinary position. Those problems that we have the opportunity to fix.

“Portland has a problem with being a classic underachiever,” said Whitley. “So much talent. So much promise. But we’re not capitalizing on it.”

In staunch agreement, I asked for further details.

“We’re always hearing how we’re ‘not as good as whomever,'” he continued. “And unfortunately, I think many people have begun to believe that. I don’t. But I think some people do.”

And in Whitley’s opinion, that stance is only exacerbated by another problem: finding sources of funding.

While a number of Silicon Forest startups have seen continued confidence in follow-on funding as of late—MyStrands, Jive, iovation, and SplashCast, to name a few—the prospect of early funding remains a bit of an enigma for Portland companies.

“Portland is lacking is terms of early startup funding,” Whitley said. “There really isn’t a good network for seeding smaller companies, at this point. We could use some people working to fix that because it would really help the town as a whole.”

And that lack of early stage funding, coupled with the underachiever mindset, is tending to suppress the vigor that is bubbling just below the surface. Tends to prevent us here in the Silicon Forest from realizing our potential.

“There are a number of incredibly intelligent people working jobs that aren’t even intellectually stimulating, let alone challenging,” said Whitley. “Simply because they haven’t found the opportunity and funding to pursue their passion.”

I’m sure Whitley would agree, that we’re on the cusp of something big.

No doubt, GoLife Mobile and Whitley could have a very big role to play in that growth and success. And our realizing the potential of the talent in this area.

I’m looking forward to being part of that change.

Experiencing technical difficulties

While I’d love to claim that excessive amounts of traffic are causing my site to flicker, honestly that isn’t the case.

My host has been experiencing intermittent outages. I apologize for the inconvenience and I appreciate your patience. Hopefully, this issue will be resolved soon, so that I can proceed with switching hosts, where I have a reliable box all ready and waiting.

Interesting Silicon Forest gigs this week

The Silicon Florist Gig board has started to, well, blossom. And I’m getting some good feedback for improvements, already.

Here are some interesting gigs that have been posted:

  • Rails Developer at Planet Argon
    “Enthusiasm for the web as a medium of communication and interaction is key. Ideal candidates should also honor best practices such as healthy dialogue, refactoring, TDD/BDD, and version control.”
  • Interactive Strategist at Wieden + Kennedy
    “The Strategist will be expected to lead projects that may include brand activation, immersive brand experiences and innovative applications of technology to provide solutions for our clients’ business challenges.”
  • Software Engineer at Jive Software
    “Our challenge is finding someone who has some experience with Java and development, but who also enjoys interacting with customers to understand the technical challenges they face and how to make our products work with their systems. This isn’t a customer-service or sales role, but calls for someone who is interested in coding, learning our systems and growing into more senior roles with a growing company.”
  • QA Engineer at Tripwire
    “We need a Software QA engineer to be a key contributor on our team testing the market leading IT configuration audit and control software tool-set. You will exercise the software with the goal of identifying potential problems early in the software development life-cycle and assist in all aspects of the testing and quality assurance process.”
  • Web Developer at WeoGeo
    “Our applications use Ruby on Rails on the server side and JavaScript/Ajax on the front end. Ideally you already have strong skills and experience in both of these areas so you can get up to speed quickly.”
  • Web Application Developer at Intrigo
    “Intrigo makes web applications nearly exclusively. Over half of our client base is made up of startup companies so you’ll be working on some of the more innovative and interesting projects out there. We are continually testing the limits of standard web technologies and we push them in interesting ways.”

For the entire list of jobs, visit the Silicon Florist Gig board. Interested in posting an open position? It’s only $50 for a two-week posting.

Silicon Florist’s links arrangement for March 31, 2008

 

Sometimes, a link says more than I could ever say. Here are some fragrant little buds I’ve found recently, courtesy of ma.gnolia.

Toonlet sizing workaround

Dawn Foster’s “Startupalooza Twitters” Toonlet gave Toonlet’s Craig Schwartz the opportunity to explain a workaround for the Toonlet-sizing issue with which I’ve been struggling. I thought there might be others who would find this helpful, as well.

Bram Pitoyo on Beer & Blog with Scott Kveton

Bram Pitoyo writes “Boy, is this a small town. I got to meet people who also went to the iPhone SDK event last monday, and will most likely meet again at the Startupalooza.”

SocialMap

Did you know that the cool mapping technology that powers Unthirsty and KnitMap is available for your project. Neither did I. Until Startupalooza.

Portland #6 on the Top 100 Places to Live and Launch

CNN writes “the city boasts a thriving entrepreneurial and venture capitalist community, with 2,571 start-ups (almost 5 per 1,000 local residents) registered in 2007.” And that’s not even counting your side project. Yes, I know about your side project.

Beer and Blog: OpenID enabling your blog

Scott Kveton writes “The gist of tonight was to show folks how easy it is to OpenID enable their blogs. With most folks using WordPress these days, I did a basic install of WordPress 2.5 RC1 with the wpopenid plugin that Will Norris has built. From a couple of zip files to a full-fledged blog its about 5 minutes total work if you know what you’re doing.”

Video: Cabel Sasser on Panic

Panic, the shop that creates all sorts of beautiful Mac application goodness, has been a Portland fixture for more than 10 years. Here’s Cabel Sasser of Panic talking about some of the company’s history.

View all my bookmarks on Ma.gnolia

Startupalooza launches 1,000 conversations

StartupaloozaWell it’s official. The first Startupalooza is in the books.

Designed to be a “more business-oriented BarCampy unconference,” the event more than fulfilled its goal. And, in so doing, completed a successful trifecta for the Portland Legion of Tech, adding Startupalooza as an equal among the successful BarCamp Portland and Ignite Portland events.

The best part, in my opinion? The new voices. And hearing new stories from the old ones.

In a town where you tend to run in very small and similar circles, Startupalooza both introduced new voices into the conversation—like the Garage Games guys from Eugene and the soon-to-be-a-Portland-fixture Intrigo team—and drew well-known, yet not-oft-seen types out of the woodwork to both observe—and participate.

Prior to the event, the primary coordinator and Legion of Tech Treasurer, Todd Kenefsky, intimated to me that he had some concerns about the lack of networking time built into the schedule. But guess what happens when you put a bunch of intelligent and entrepreneurial people in a room together? Those conversations just start to happen. In the audience. In the cubes behind the presentation area. In the lunchroom. In the hallway (which served as a bit of an echo chamber at times).

Every minute of the event was a time for networking. And for learning. And for sharing.

And, from the looks of things, everyone is still recovering from all of that energy concentrated in one place. Because posts about the event have been few and far between. Here’s some of the coverage I’ve been able to track, so far (if you have a wrap-up post that I’ve missed, please leave a comment, and I’ll add it to the list):

  • Scott Kveton “Startupalooza or Bust!”
    “All in all I was amazed at the vibrance of the Portland startup scene … clearly there is something here, clearly we’re just starting to pick up the pace here … I can’t imagine anywhere else on earth I’d rather be working and living.”
  • Bram Pitoyo “Startupalooza”
    “If learning from and having conversations with Portland’s greatest innovators (and, in some cases, even luminaries) for a whole day failed to excite your mind to want to create something bigger than yourself (a startup, collaborative, group, side project, community activity, etc.), I don’t know what else will.”
  • Michael Sigler “Startupalooza”
    “It’s obvious I moved to the right town. The collaborative spirit here is awesome. There is so much to take part in and everyone is eager for feedback and participation. Though it was still mostly a sausage-fest, it was good to see a number of women in the audience. I was also pleasantly surprised by the range of ages represented.”
  • Paul Biggs “Startupalooza and #drunkgeeking”
    “While I very much enjoyed learning about some really cool new projects in PDX, as is the case with most structured events, the most rewarding part for me was all the side conversations buzzing in hallways and nearby bars. It’s all about the people!”
  • Gabriel Aldamiz-echevarria “Taste sharing for web personalization”
    “So when we were asked to talk at Startupalooza (a really cool Portland tech event, put together by Todd Kenefsky and the Legion of Tech) we decided this should be the topic of our talk: taste sharing for web personalization… something which is of extreme importance for MyStrands and the entire recommender industry.”
  • John Poelstra “Superb Startupalooza”
    “Of late I’ve been trying to get more involved in the local tech scene where I live. On Saturday I went to check out Startupalooza and had no idea what to expect. It was superb in every respect. The facilities at CubeSpace were great and all the presentations and speakers were excellent. I wish I could have stayed for the whole thing!”
  • Joanna Kane “Startupalooza a high-tech hit”
    “The crowd in attendance ranged from those with decade-long entrepreneurial careers to wide-eyed observers hoping to absorb tips and tools to get their new ideas off the ground. The energy in the room was palpable, conversations were animated, and new ideas were being generated as fast as they were being shared. If I had to pick one theme for the day, it would be the common interest in making life easier through technology, coupled with making technology accessible for anybody and everybody.”
  • Flickr photos tagged “Startupalooza” (Please note, Aaron Hockley was hauling around two rigs for 7 hours, snapping almost 400 shots. It’s going to take a little while for him to comb through them, but they’re coming.)

If you missed the event, Legion of Tech was working to record the entire thing. Hopefully, we’ll all soon be able to have a listen, post processing. I, for one, am curious as to what I actually said while I was up there.

Silicon Florist’s links arrangement for March 28, 2008

Sometimes, a link says more than I could ever say. Here are some fragrant little buds I’ve found recently, courtesy of ma.gnolia.

Marshall Kirkpatrick on G4TV’s ‘Attack of the Show’

ReadWriteWeb posts “[Portland’s] Marshall Kirkpatrick was a guest on G4TV’s “Attack of the Show” television program to discuss Google’s OpenSocial platform. Marshall gave his thoughts on why Google formed a foundation with Yahoo! and News Corp. (MySpace) to govern the open source project, and what that means for users and data portability. He also spoke about why Facebook has stayed away from OpenSocial so far and offered thoughts on whether or not the platform will end up succeeding.”

Venture Resources Conference

The Venture Resources Conference is a one-stop-shop for resources your startup needs to succeed. Five service providers required by anyone starting a business will offer you an opportunity at no charge to sit down in a 1:1 setting, discuss your ideas and get specific answers to your specific business needs. April 26 at the World Trade Center.

SplashCast garners Wall Street Journal lead

Ty McMahan writes “Michael Berkley likes to joke that he is responsible for Sen. Hillary Clinton’s March 4 presidential primary wins in Texas and Ohio. Berkley is the chief executive of SplashCast Corp., a start-up that builds advertising campaigns around social media widgets than can spread virally through the Web. And, it just so happens that a group of Clinton supporters launched a Web site the week of the primaries using SplashCast technology.”

View all my bookmarks on Ma.gnolia

Hacking PDX: Compiling a geek’s guide to Portland International Airport

[Editor’s Note: Why an article on airports? What does that have to do with startups or geeks? Well, there are a couple of things.

First and foremost, when I started out on my own, I thought I would be sitting around in my home office, eating bon-bons while the world beat a path to my door. In reality, I wound up traveling far more than I ever had—and I thought I traveled a lot in other gigs. So PDX has become like a home away from home to me. No doubt as your startup begins to gain traction, you’re going to be wishing you had a personal parking space at PDX, too.

Second, we’re just beginning to enter the crazy jam-packed event season here in Portland. And no doubt there will be a number of our geeky friends from other locales attempting to navigate PDX. It seems only neighborly to give them a few tips, as well.

So, either inbound or outbound, I give you, Scott Kveton‘s…]

Hacking PDX: Compiling a geek’s guide to Portland International Airport

In the last year, I’ve flown about 40 legs through Portland’s airport, which we most commonly refer to by its call-sign designation of “PDX.” We have a great airport with plenty of features that just about any traveler could need. But, despite all its ease-of-use, there are always a few tips-and-tricks that make the experience that much better.

Here are some things that I’ve learned:

  • Take a picture of where you parked with your camera phone. I know it sounds dumb, but the more you travel, the more the visits start to blur together. I’ve been at the airport and gotten on the wrong bus and looked around the wrong area for a long time only to remember, “Oh yeah, I parked over there,” only to have to get back on the bus. Which brings me to my next point.
  • Park in the same area each time you fly out of the airport to avoid the previous problem.
  • Park in area “X.” Have you noticed that there are oodles of people that are waiting at the area “X” for parking? There’s a reason: it’s the best spot. Why? First of all, it’s the last stop on the blue bus route. That means that, once you’re on the bus, the next stop is the terminal. Another reason is that when you return from your trip, you can take either the blue or the red bus and get off at “N” or “A” and be very close to X (both of these are the first or second stops for each line). Now, when it gets past 12 midnight, only the red line runs so again, you’re in good shape. I know, I know … how often are you there after 12 midnight? Well, it only takes once my friends … 🙂
  • This may sound like a no-brainer but participate in the frequent flyer programs for the airlines you fly. The sooner you can become an MVP, 1K, or super-mega-ultra-all-star, the sooner you can take that cool line for people flying first class or in the “elite” of travelers to get through security faster. With my Alaska MVP status, I can get to the airport a full 45 minutes later and not worry about long lines.
  • Taking a day trip to San Francisco or Seattle? Think about using the short-term parking lot. I know, its $24 for the day, but there is nothing like stepping off that plane and walking straight to your car. I find levels 3 or 5 the best as you can take one flight of stairs to one of the walkways and be over to the terminal without dealing with crossing traffic. Also, the handy-dandy overhead “free parking” lights help you find the perfect spot in only seconds instead of minutes. Time is money people!
  • Speaking of money… take the MAX red line. Did you know that for a little less than $2 you can take Trimet’s MAX line straight into the city? If you’re a reverse commuter and coming to Portland there’s nothing like taking the MAX to downtown Portland and your hotel. (It amazes me that people from out of town don’t know this, but then again, I’m a Portvangelist and need to remember that not everybody knows everything about Portland).
  • PDX was at the forefront (IMHO) of providing free wireless Internet throughout the airport for the last few years. Even though I’m rarely stuck in the airport for any length of time, it’s nice knowing that if I get there early before a flight I can be productive anywhere in the airport with laptop + coffee. Did I mention this was free?!

Okay, so those are my tips for gaming the Portland airport … how about you? What are the little tips and tricks you’ve found help make travel so much easier at PDX?

iovation secures $15 million

Portland-based iovation, the company with whom I hate to start sentences, has announced the closing of its latest round of funding. The round contains an additional $5 million follow-on from SAP Ventures and the brothers Samwer’s European Founders. The round is, well, rounded out by a promised $10 million from Intel Capital that was announced last November.

Mike Rogoway at The Oregonian‘s Silicon Forest blog reports:

SAP and European Founders both have good ties abroad, which Iovation [sic] is counting on to help the Portland Web security firm expand overseas.

iovation (argh!) says they “pioneered the use of device reputation for managing online fraud, abusive behavior and multi-factor authentication.” I say, they have stuff that helps online companies prove you are who you say you are and not some bot. But, easily the best description? “iovation exposes known fraudsters and abusers.”

One of Portland’s new breed of startup success stories, iovation been especially successful in areas where high traffic and small amounts of cash are in play, like online gaming and ecommerce, areas where spoofing and bots can result in millions of dollars of lost revenues.

Or, as I like to think of it: with iovation, the plots of Hackers and Office Space become completely implausible. (Please note: I refuse to listen to any comments that claim the plots of those movies were implausible prior to iovation.)

For more information, visit iovation.

(Hat tip Lisa MacKenzie)

Silicon Florist’s links arrangement for March 27, 2008

Sometimes, a link says more than I could ever say. Here are some fragrant little buds I’ve found recently, courtesy of ma.gnolia.

Metafluence: Proud to be a part of Voce Communications

Following up to a story published yesterday, Justin Kistner writes “If you haven’t read SiliconFlorist or Voce Nation, then you’re among the last to know that I am joining the Voce Communications team. Voce is a PR firm based in Silicon Valley that is a leader in the social media space that cut it’s teeth by launching the Google brand.”

Ideas + Great Web Services = New Fun Site. Introducing Crocspotting.com!

Josh Bancroft writes “Yesterday, another one of those cool “perfect storms” of ideas, easy to use web tools and services, and smart, innovative people happened. It all started with some photos I posted of a recent trip to the beach, of me in my signature orange Crocs. A conversation on the topic started up on Twitter.”

Daring Fireball: UI Candy

A big congratulations to Josh Pyles’ UI Candy for the John “Daring Fireball” Gruber mention. Gruber claims to have taken the site down with his traffic, but I know it was all of you Silicon Florist readers.

Why High Start-Up Valuations Don’t Bother Me One Bit

Charles Hudson writes “Valuations based on actual market transactions are never ‘wrong’ – they reflect prices at which buyers and sellers were able to get together and get a deal done. Saying that private market valuations for web 2.0 companies are ‘wrong’ is like saying that $4 gasoline is ‘wrong’ – while both prices may be hard to understand or justify, high web 2.0 valuations and high gas prices are both reflect the price at which a seller and a buyer were able to agree and complete a sale.”

Mobile Portland Monthly Meetings Established

Lyza Danger Gardner writes “Mobile Portland will meet on the fourth Monday of each month, location TBD. The next meeting is scheduled for Monday, April 28. We are actively collecting interesting mobile topics for future meetings.”

Vidoop PDX Offices

Vidoop begins to establish their presence in the Rose City. Looking for some co-working space? I’d talk to Mr. Kveton if I were you. Maybe you could show up to Beer and Blog on Friday or Startupalooza on Saturday to buttonhole him.

Ignite Bend in the works

Bend just hoisted the Ignite flag. Portland stands ready to assist.

View all my bookmarks on Ma.gnolia

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