Time for big kid pants: Silicon Florist is three years old

Three years ago this week, I got a little fed up. I got frustrated because I kept hearing about cool projects that were taking place in and around Portland, Oregon, but I never saw the traditional media outlets or the tech blogs covering those projects.

“Self?” I said to myself. “Why isn’t there a local blog covering the Web, mobile, and open source startups and events in Portland, Oregon? Why oh why isn’t there?” And then I asked myself a much more dangerous question: “Why don’t you start one?” And that is how Silicon Florist came into being.

I had no idea what would happen. But I had to give it a try.

And now, more than 1500 posts and 5000 comments later, I can’t imagine not working on Silicon Florist on a daily basis. Even though, with the exception of the job board and a few affiliate deals, the site has been a labor of love with no cash flow.

But, like everything, Silicon Florist needs to change. Needs to improve. Needs to do more for the Portland startup community. And as such, I’ll be working on making some changes around here. Making things better. Faster. Stronger.

Fact of the matter is, I’ve become as guilty as the publications that inspired me to start this blog. I’m letting stories go by the wayside—sometimes very very interesting stories—simply because my side-project time has been compromised or overrun.

But that’s got to change. So I’m going to find ways to ensure that Silicon Florist continues to serve a valuable role in our community. Even if that means I’m not the only one writing. And even if that means I have to find ways to pay for those things to happen.

I’ve got my own ideas. But I’m sure you have yours as well.

So while I always welcome criticism and feedback, I’d like to formally solicit your advice on what Silicon Florist could and should be doing. Tell me what sucks about the blog. Tell me what could be better. Tell me where it’s a huge bucket of fail. Tell me where there are completely missed opportunities.

Long story short, I’m asking for your input and advice on how I can improve what’s going on here. For the good of the startup community. And for the good of Portland as a whole.

But before you do that, I have something you need to hear.

And that’s this: Thank you.

Thank you for reading. Thank you for commenting. Thank you for adding the Silicon Florist RSS feed to your feed readers. Thank you for participating.

And thank you for taking the time to come back again.

The first three years have been really really interesting. I can’t wait to cover all of the amazing stuff that the Portland startup community has in store for the years to come.

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  6. Rick – You’re an inspiration to us here on the Prairie – we’re impressed by what you’ve done as a side project and we all enjoy your writing style. We’ll be following along as things progress for you and please remember if you ever want to chat about the ups and downs of SPN, we’re always willing to talk. Keep up the good work!

  7. Congrats and thanks Rick!

  8. Oh jeez, 3 years? Where has the time gone? It’s been a blast to have such a great resource that I can lurk on every week. I can’t wait to see where this goes (and I’m sure it’s going to get even better — if that’s possible).

  9. Ah yes, I remember the modest little note you left on a now-defunct PDXWI message board about some new blog you started. To be honest, it feels like a lot more than three years ago. Thanks for being such an important part of our community!

  10. (And doy, I wanna say thank you and good work for this amazing service you provide. I refer people to it all the time.)

  11. I have an idea for Silicon Florist that would be a well-used community resource AND probably something that would save you lots of time.

    Just as Techcrunch has Crunchbase, a structured set of data about startup people and companies, I think Silicon Florist could have pdxbase (better name tbd).

    Rather than be person-centric, it could be resource-centric. A focus on events, meet-ups, companies, and resources (by resources I mean business directory type things) would be awesome. And I’m guessing it’d save a lot of people who constantly ask you or other folks, “hey, where/how can I do $thing, in Portland?”

    Why kinds of things could be in pdxbase? In addition to stuff like OSBridge or BarCamp or Beer and Blog, there could be fields for any resources that are really Florist-friendly (like say a local favorite tshirt printer or food caterer.)

    I feel like lots of folks must reinvent the wheel doing undifferentiated heavy lifting. And not only is that a waste of energy, but then they ask nice people like you for resources, and then it costs even more time.

    It also would be great for the newly arrived, and the prospective visitor/inhabitant/investor (yes, i went there.)

    All our base could belong to FlorBase.

  12. Big Congrats, Rick! Also, big thanks! Having a defacto source for PDX tech is great for the community.


  13. Ah Rick… You big softie.

    Congrats on three years, and here’s to three more or, something.

    Here’s a suggestion. Put the site behind a paywall. I mean, all the big boys are doing it… And it would probably make as much as they are… I mean, oopie.

    Well, how about “Keep up the good work?”

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