[Editor: Happy to be continuing the “Why Portland?” series…
I had the pleasure of meeting Tim Kadlec at SXSW 2008. Just one of those random connections that really made the whole event worthwhile. At SXSW, the Portland crowd took Tim under our collective wing and worked hard to woo him from the Midwest to the West coast. We’re still working on it, but it’s clear we’re having an effect.
And with that, here’s an outsider’s view on “Why Portland?”]
I was recently asked by Rick if I would like to write a guest post for Silicon Florist about why I “find Portland tech appealing.” I think that was his nice way of saying, “Why are you so obsessed with Portland tech?” Can you be a fanboi of a community? If so, then I guess I’m a bit of a Portland fanboi.
It all started innocently enough….
I’ve visited Oregon many times and always loved how beautiful a state it was. With the ocean nearby and gorgeous mountains a short drive away, Portland offers no shortage of beautiful scenery.
Then I started to look into what was going on in the Portland web community, liked the activity I was seeing, and my interest in the area started to slowly develop beyond sightseeing.
In March, I had the opportunity to attend SXSW in Austin, TX where I got the opportunity to meet and talk with Rick Turoczy, Toby Lucich, Dawn Foster, Scott Kveton, and a whole flood of Portlanders. After hearing each of them rave about Portland and the work that was being done by their peers there, I was hooked.
The tech community in Portland is a great example of what other communities should strive for. They are consistently innovative, develop quality solutions and genuinely get excited about seeing progress.
Portland’s web community is thriving. No doubt about it. With high-quality companies such as Vidoop, Jive, SplashCast, JanRain and so many more, you could easily imagine a situation where communication between developers is minimal….that’s an awful lot of competition in one area!
The exact opposite happens though…there is a surplus of support and communication taking place. There is no shortage of sites whose primary goal is to sing the praises of Portland. PDX Web Innovators, Portland Is Awesome, Portland on Fire, and of course, Silicon Florist, all try to bring attention to Portland and the wonderful quality of work being produced there.
I can honestly say that I haven’t seen another community where so many people are so excited about what they do and where they do it.
That general excitement is why I believe Portland’s tech community continues to grow. They say enthusiasm is contagious, and it looks like Portland is severely infected.
In the end, it’s this enthusiasm, excitement and sense of community that makes Portland so appealing to me. I believe when you surround yourself with people who have similar interests and are willing to share their experiences and knowledge, great things happen. Portland offers that environment and the ideas being developed there echo it.