Four years ago, Portland had some interesting startups going. Nothing compared to today. But there were interesting side projects and burgeoning companies.
Only no one was really covering them. Or tracking them. Or much paying attention. So I decided to do just that. And to cheerlead a little. To use my experience with marketing and promotion to cast some limelight. To give entrepreneurs that extra push they might need to spend another hour cranking code. Or to simply spend a few more minutes bringing their ideas and dreams to fruition.
That’s how Silicon Florist started back in August of 2007.
Silicon Florist’s existence is now the length of a college career. And it’s likely been just as educational. If not more so. Although, admittedly, my grades probably aren’t up to snuff. And I put on a few more pounds than the freshman 15. But other than that…
It’s definitely been a learning experience.
So, Silicon Florist is four. And usually, this time of year, I predictably sit down and write a post about how Silicon Florist is broken. And how i need to work to improve it.
And then, just as predictably, I never follow through. Like some sadly unattainable New Year’s resolution to improve. Not that I don’t have excuses. It’s usually something nebulous. Because I got too busy. Or something came up. Or I overcommitted. Or I have some other excuse.
So rather than rewrite the same crap promises I make every year, I thought I’d just cut and paste the history of the site—sans promises—for you here. For your edification. Or entertainment. Or whatever:
In the wee small hours of August 7, 2007, I dragged my ass out of bed, sat myself down in front of the computer, and—giving life to what seemed like a bit of a strange idea with a wacky name—registered siliconflorist.com. After some hosting setup and WordPress wrangling, I posted the first Silicon Florist post a few days later.
The concept, in my mind, was to highlight what folks in Portland were doing with tech startups. To shine a small light on developers and open source folks who were focused on building cool stuff, but who didn’t have the time to focus on promoting that stuff.
I don’t have any talent as far as development goes, but I am able to churn content fairly well. In a utopian sense, I thought of it as giving back to the community by open sourcing my marketing communications efforts. It wouldn’t be perfect, but it wouldn’t cost them anything either. And sometimes, it might have some bugs.
Out of sheer stupid luck, that crazy idea happened to fill a void. And the number of folks who swing by and read about the Portland—and at times the entire Silicon Forest—Web startup, mobile, and open source scene on a daily basis continues to floor me.
I feel lucky to have been allowed on to your machines and handsets over the past 1400 days or so. I feel lucky that you’ve allowed me to do that.
And so I just wanted to thank you, gentle reader, for coming back time and again to read about all of the awesome stuff happening in Portland. To share your projects and events and ideas with me. To push me to cover interesting stuff and to raise the visibility of projects and causes that need a little more attention.
Thank you. And thank you. And thank you, again.
Four years ago, I honestly never thought we’d be here today. I knew Portland was going somewhere. But I had no idea how amazing the trip would be.
All because of a blog. Weird.
And now, it feels as if we’re right there. As if something is about to happen. As if we’re nearing that proverbial tipping point for Portland and its startup scene.
I can’t wait to see where you guys go from here. Thank you, Portland. And good luck. I’m looking forward to watching where you take it.