Month: August 2008

Portland Start-up Index for August 2008: Metafilter, Digital Trends premiere in top 10

It’s that time again. Time for the Techvibes Portland Start-up Index, the monthly round up of Portland-area startup companies and products, ranked by the average of their Alexa and Compete rankings.

Admittedly a work-in-progress, the Portland Start-up Index often premieres “new” entries that have been—in actuality—heavy hitters for far longer than some of the “old” companies and products on the list.

This month’s list is a perfect example of that dynamic in action, as MetaFilter (July 1999) and Digital Trends (2001) premiere in the top 10 at #2 and #5 respectively.

So how did the rest of the startup scene fare this month?

Portland Start-up Index for August 2008

  1. AboutUs
  2. MetaFilter
  3. Kongregate
  4. Discogs
  5. Digital Trends
  6. COLOURlovers
  7. Frappr
  8. Jive Software
  9. Clicky
  10. Splashcast
  11. MyOpenID
  12. Platial
  13. Earth Class Mail
  14. Sandy
  15. Gone Raw
  16. eROI
  17. Vidoop
  18. NetworthIQ
  19. Attensa
  20. Stikkit
  21. Active Reload
  22. Walker Tracker
  23. Grabbit
  24. GadgetTrak
  25. Iovation
  26. UrbanDrinks
  27. ChoiceA
  28. KnitMap
  29. Art Face Off
  30. Pibb
  31. Lunarr
  32. Iterasi
  33. WeoGeo
  34. FreeRange
  35. fmyi
  36. Goboz
  37. Rocketbook
  38. GoLife Mobile
  39. Picktastic
  40. Kryptiq
  41. Jama Software
  42. GreenRenter
  43. Imindi
  44. MomHub
  45. Pheedo
  46. Workplace2go
  47. Lightfleet
  48. VocalNation.net
  49. Collaborative Software Initiative
  50. Box Populi
  51. Cendix
  52. Avnera
  53. GoSeeTell
  54. YourList
  55. Techchex
  56. Kumquat
  57. IDP Solutions
  58. Worldwide Nest

To see the rankings, metrics, and movement within the list, visit the Portland Start-up Index on Techvibes.

Former Googler leaves WebTrends searching for a new CEO, finding Alex Yoder

WebTrendsIt seems like only yesterday—or April—that I was pitching conspiracy theories about Portland-based WebTrends‘ new CEO, Dan Stickel. With Stickel being a former Google employee, I thought I saw the potential for our local Web analytics company—one with a bit of a checkered history—to have a clear path toward acquisition.

But that changed today with the news that Stickel was resigning and that Alex Yoder, a WebTrends veteran, had been appointed CEO:

In naming Yoder as CEO, the board turned to a WebTrends insider with seven years of experience at the company, and who most recently led WebTrends to its most successful quarter in history as its vice president of sales. He also has been one of the key executives leading the company’s long-term strategic planning, and has over 20 years of global business experience.

Sources close to the announcement say that there is a “tremendous amount of excitement” about Yoder ascending to the leadership role. And that the news was incredibly well received throughout the company.

According to Yoder’s WebTrends bio:

Yoder has been responsible for strategic oversight of all WebTrends marketing and sales activities in North America. Alex has built his team around industry and product expertise and has transformed the culture to emphasize customer relationships, providing complete online marketing solutions with world class services.

On a tangential and random “isn’t it a small Portland Web scene?” note, Yoder also graduated from the same tiny college that Mike Rogoway of The Oregonian and I did—Whitman College in Walla Walla, Washington. So I mean, that’s good, right?

And speaking of Mike, he got the chance to chat with Yoder and share some insight on Yoder’s new gig:

Yoder joined WebTrends in 2000, then left early in 2007 to become vice president of sales at a company called Touch Clarity after becoming disillusioned with WebTrends’ direction.

Yoder rejoined WebTrends in January of this year, feeling that the company’s focus had returned. He said he hopes to bring stability to the Portland company, and said that he expects his history with the company will help him build trust with WebTrends’ employees.

In my opinion, having someone like Yoder, who has been with the company through the thick and thin of the last few years, should prove a positive move for the company. And should—hopefully—help WebTrends continue along its path to recapture the heights of its dotcom-days greatness.

And while it doesn’t necessarily take the whole acquisition conspiracy theory off of the table. It does make things seem a great deal more stable.

Upon hearing of the new change at the helm, I couldn’t help but think of another Oregon company—Nike—who not-so-long-ago had its own share of CEO drama as it rapidly transitioned through an outsider CEO, only to bring Mark Parker, an insider, up to the chief executive office.

The move has been a successful one for Nike. And here’s hoping that it’s equally successful for WebTrends.

Portland-based WebTrends provides web analytics and online marketing solutions to optimize marketing campaigns and customer engagement. WebTrends Marketing Lab delivers the industry’s most recognized analytics, SEM, and visitor intelligence solutions to enable companies to understand their customers, drive customer engagement, and enhance marketing and brand awareness. Thousands of leading global organizations, including General Mills, Microsoft, Reuters and Ticketmaster have chosen WebTrends business solutions and client services expertise to optimize their customers’ online experiences. For more information, visit: www.webtrends.com.

Raven Zachary’s Apple iPhone obsession now his full-time gig

Raven Zachary Apple iPhoneWithout a doubt, one of the busiest people in Portland—when he’s actually on the ground here in Portland—is Raven Zachary. Working with Legion of Tech. Founding iPhoneDevCamp. Running around consulting on Open Source. Standing in line waiting for iPhones. And helping folks with all things iPhone.

Yeah, you caught that, didn’t you?

It’s no secret that Raven’s interest has definitely been leaning more and more toward the iPhone, as of late. And you know what they always say? Follow your passion.

So now, Raven is taking the opportunity to do exactly that, turning his iPhone obsession passion into full-time gig.

For those of you who know me as the founder of iPhoneDevCamp, this will probably not come as much of a surprise. Over the past few weeks, a number of professional opportunities relating to the iPhone have emerged that are too compelling to pass up. Some of these project I can’t talk about just yet, but I am looking forward to sharing them with you as soon as I able to.

Well, sort of.

Raven will still be supporting some of his consulting clients for The 451 Group. But instead of being a full-time analyst, he’ll move into the part-time role of contributing analyst.

So, he’ll still be crazy busy. Just with a different priority ranking on his efforts.

I, for one, couldn’t be happier for Raven. His passion is infectious. And this opportunity to channel his energy into this gig will be a delight to see.

And it looks like I’m not the only one. Twitter is running rampant with congratulations for Raven, this morning. Including a retweet from none other than Tim O’Reilly, himself:

Tim O’Reilly on Raven Zachary

Raven’s new venture can be found at raven.me or you can follow him on Twitter at ravenme.

raven.me is an iPhone site. It serves two functions – to provide interesting iPhone content to the general public and to promote my iPhone advisory business and other iPhone-related pursuits.

Again, best of luck to Raven. I know he’s going to be a phenomenal success. And that bodes well for all us here in the Silicon Forest.

Ignite Portland to light up Gnomedex

GnomedexI like to think that Portland’s version of the Ignite format, Ignite Portland, is one of the best Ignites around. So it’s always nice when someone like Chris Pirillo validates that.

As you may know, Pirillo’s Gnomedex 8.0 is being held in Seattle at the end of this week. And any number of tech types are making the journey north for what has become one of the premiere events to gather and share ideas with some of the leading minds in tech blogging and podcasting.

This year, as part of the event, five folks from Ignite Portland have been invited to Gnomedex to give their 5-minute presentations all over again. (There are also folks from Ignite Seattle speaking.)

“As you know, Ignite Portland was inspired from the Ignite talks that I saw at Gnomedex last year,” said Portland’s Josh Bancroft, who will emcee the Portland presentations. “That got the ball rolling for Ignite Portland, and the rest, as they say, is history. ”

And what a rich history it is. Even with only three events under its belt. I honestly can’t think of any one event that has so captured the town’s imagination in such a short time.

So who from the Portland Ignites got the call?

  • Kevin Fox of Vidoop for “How To Buy a Car for Under $1000”
  • Jason Grigsby for “Cup Noodle: Innovation, Inspiration, and Manga”
  • Vanessa Holfeltz for “Boiling Water in 5 Easy Steps”
  • Mario Schulzke for “Why Deutschland Loves David Hasselhoff”
  • Eva Schweber of CubeSpace for “How To Run a Startup and Not Lose Your Mind”

I’ll be up at Gnomedex, this year, as well. And I’m really look forward to seeing these folks present again—and to get the chance to see our compatriots from Ignite Seattle giving their presentations, as well.

Like every other Ignite, I can’t hardly wait for the show.

On a tangential note, I just noticed that there is an Ignite Portland 4 planning meeting tonight. If you are interested in helping the Legion of Tech plan the next Ignite, RSVP on Upcoming.

Lunch 2.0 at the Eclipse Foundation

The Lunch 2.0 beat goes on into the late Fall with the Eclipse Foundation set to host on November 5.

Did you know they had an office here? It’s in downtown, conveniently located on the MAX at the Oak Street stop. Tough to think about November now, but by then, you’ll be excited that it’s so close to MAX. No parking worries and no long walks in the rain.

eclipse_home_header.jpgHere are the details:

HostsEclipse Foundation

Where: 308 SW First Avenue, Suite 110, Portland, OR 97204

When: November 5, 2008 from 12:00 to 2:00 PM

RSVP on Upcoming

Thanks to Anne Jacko for coordinating this and arranging for extra space. The building is a bit confusing, and the Eclipse office is itty-bitty, by office standards. Happily, the building has allowed them to use a conference room and an adjoining open area. Should be perfect for networking and in-depth conversations.

If you’re not familiar with Eclipse, here’s the About.

I almost forgot to include the upcoming section, so you can plan your lunches.

Upcoming Portland Lunch 2.0s

  • September 17 at SplashCast: The guestlist is closed, since the space is pretty small. Don’t despair.
  • October 15 at the Art Institute of Portland: This space is huge, plenty of room for everyone, so bring friends and colleagues.
  • November 5 at the Eclipse Foundation

This could be a mistake but… here’s the Silicon Florist podcast (alpha)

Well, any number of people have come up to me and said, “Your posts are too long,” “I wish there were a quicker way to digest the information you’re providing,” and “Why don’t you do a podcast?”

So, despite my better judgment, I’m going to be giving the podcast a shot.

If you’re interested in suffering through my dulcet tones, take a few minutes—or 20—to listen to the alpha version of the Silicon Florist podcast.

Now, rest assured, I’m no audio expert. And trust me, I’d love to get your feedback. Anything is fair game. Too loud? Too quiet? Do I need to do a little Chocolate Rain maneuver? Not breathy enough?

And please, by all means, let me know if this is something you would like to see continue.

Silicon Florist’s links arrangement for August 17

Learning To Live With Less: Constraints, Rules And Web Startups

From Silicon Alley Insider “I believe web services benefit from doing less, not more. I believe that allowing the users to stitch web apps together to get increased functionality is better than a web service trying to do everything for everyone.”

OregonStartups.com News: Your Idea is wrong – But Go for it Anyway

Steve Morris writes “Our experience at OTBC is similar. In the FastTrac® TechVenture® program we ran in the spring, roughly 70% of the participants significantly changed their business idea, or completely abandoned it for another idea.”

Vimeo AIR App Coming Soon? – ReadWriteWeb

Corvida thinks that Vimeo, the video-sharing service with a Portland tie, may be working on an AIR app. “If an AIR application does come down the pipeline, we’re sure Vimeo users will be happy video campers. The description does enough to hint at a possible AIR app in the future and tons more. Vimeo users may also see some site changes and additions in the near future too if developers with these skillsets are signed on. Here’s to hoping that a Vimeo AIR app comes soon!”

Silicon Florist’s links arrangement for August 15

Personal Telco gets some ink

Via the Personal Telco blog “The Willamette Week gave us some space in their ‘How to Live Cheap in Portland’ piece this week. I think it does a good job on the ‘modelling good behavior’ front and not being too much “these dudes will sprinkle the magic pixie dust on you (and give you free stuff)” that we sometimes see.”

Location Based Services: How is Shizzow Unique?

Jason Harris writes “Shizzow has one thing going for it: it knows business names, not just addresses. This is useful because I may want to broadcast that I’m at Starbucks on 4th street, but most LBS services will say, “Jason is as 214 4th Avenue”. Having the business name makes it easier for my friends to find me.”

Across the Wikiverse

Steven Walling writes “WikiWednesday is a meeting of all wiki folk on (usually) the first Wednesday of every month. As some of you may know, Portland has its very own WikiWednesday, hosted by AboutUs. For most of its history, it has been organized primarily through a Google group. But now, thanks to bountiful generosity of Ward Cunningham in providing the subdomain, we now have a wiki of our own at pdx.wiki.org.”

The DNS Bug: Why You Should Care

Via Linux Journal “Yes, the bug is that bad. Everyone should be paying attention to this one. Fortunately, most of the big sites out there have been patched, for now. But the current patch only buys us some time, it doesn’t actually fix the real problem.”

Blog Action Day 2008: Unite for Poverty by COLOURlovers

Via the COLOURlovers blog “Global issues like poverty are extremely complex. There is no simple, clear answer. By asking thousands of different people to give their viewpoints and opinions, Blog Action Day creates an extraordinary lens through which to view these issues. Each blogger brings their own perspective and ideas. Each blogger posts relating to their own blog topic. And each blogger engages their audience differently.”

Location Sharing Options (The response to the “What makes Shizzow unique?” post above)

Audrey Eschright writes “This week Portland added a new service to the location tracking options available. It’s called Shizzow, and it does a neat job of addressing the local Twitter crowd’s desire to see not just what others are doing, but where they’re hanging out (so we can stop by). I’ve been seeing a lot of people asking ‘How is this different than other services?’, and since I’m using most of them, here’s how things stack up for me.”

Silicon Florist’s links arrangement for August 14

Linux Plumbers Conference 2008 – Early Bird discount ends soon

The registration fee for Linux Plumbers Conference is $250 until August 18th, when it will increase to $300. Speakers get free registration and speakers who register before accepted talks are announced will have their registration fee refunded in full.

Want to Vote on my SXSW Panel Proposals?

Dawn Foster writes “I’ve proposed two panels for SXSW this year. If you are interested in these topics, want to see me speak, or want to get me into the conference for free, you should vote for one or both of these sessions :-)”

U.S. court confirms open source license legitimacy

Via The 451 Group blog “There was a major open source legal development this week and surprisingly, it did not involve the string of BusyBox lawsuits, which included settlement from mobile and telecom giant Verizon in March 2008. Instead, the latest open source victory involves a federal appeals court ruling that basically upholds the idea and enforcement of ‘copyleft.’”

COLOURlovers @ Create Chaos Conference

Darius Monsef writes “The creative conference Create Chaos has invited me to come and speak about color trends… and since I love color and the idea of creating a bit of chaos… I’ve agreed. If you might be in the Orlando area mid-October or were looking for a creative conference to attend this year, come on down and join us. (If people are interested we could organize a COLOURlovers get together around the conference too.)”

Just a Cozy Lunch with Rick

And 200 of his closest friends.

According to Eva, that was the count for yesterday’s sixth installment of Portland Lunch 2.0 hosted at CubeSpace by our good friend Rick Turoczy, a.k.a. the Silicon Florist.

Rick had reason to celebrate because this blog is now one year old, which is like 10 human years or something. Anyway, Rick’s hospitality brought out the largest crowd yet for a Portland Lunch 2.0. The event was really inspiring for me, as the Lunch 2.0 guy, and for Rick, as the guy everyone came out to see.

At most points during the lunch, there was a line three to six people deep to talk to Rick. Bram and I joked that he needed a “Now Serving” sign to keep track of who was next in line. Rick was so busy chatting up his guests, he forgot to eat. That’s why we all like him so much though. Because he doesn’t eat much.

Anyway, enough about Rick. Other highlights.

  • Nicholas catered the lunch, always a good day when you eat Nicholas, especially for free.
  • There was a Marshall Kirkpatrick sighting. He even blogged while he was there, simultaneously standing on one leg, eating, chatting with two people and doing his taxes.
  • I got to see about half the people I follow on Twitter IRL, and I met several new people including a bunch interested in keeping the Lunch 2.0 train rolling.
  • Ryan Snyder of recently launched Shizzow and his fellow Shizzites (Dawn, Mark and Sam) introduced their new service and handed out a bunch of beta invites.
  • A good time was had by all, even Rick.

All-in-all, it was a highly successful and entertaining lunch. Thanks to all who made it. Thanks to Rick for picking up the lunch tab. Thanks to Eva and CubeSpace for providing the space. Thanks to you for reading all the way to here. Keep going, there’s more.

In typical Portland fashion, the party didn’t stop at 2 when Lunch 2.0 ended. Shizzow hosted their first Shizzup at the Green Dragon (on the brand new patio and place for Beer and Blog this Friday). After that you had to choose between the monthly game of Werewolf and Back Fence PDX. Someone should have hired a party bus. This is one (of many) things I love about Portland. Always so much to do.

Anyway, if you love Lunch 2.0, there are more on the schedule. We’ll be at SplashCast on September 17; please only RSVP if you’ll be there for sure because the space is a bit small. And then, on October 15, the Art Institute of Portland opens its doors to Lunch 2.0. RSVP on Upcoming.

I have a definite date for November and several solids for the next few months. So, it looks like we’ll keep this thing going for a while; maybe I’ll pencil Rick in for another Silicon Florist birthday party/Lunch 2.0 next August.

Can’t believe it was that much fun? Or maybe you want balanced coverage? Check out a few other accounts of the Lunch 2.0 and Silicon Florist birthday that was.

Photo courtesy of Aaron Hockley used under Creative Commons.

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