You know me. I’m always a huge fan of borrowing ideas from other startup communities. But I’m especially fond of Portland borrowing from Boulder. Because they’ve done an amazing job of embracing the startup scene while retaining their own unique culture.
What’s House of Genius, you ask? Well, to hear them tell it, it sounds like a cross between Portland’s Pitch Club and AA. In a very positive way.
I learned that part of the underlying approach to House of Genius is anonymity and diversity. This was reflected in the conversation – we instructed not to qualify anything we said with phrases like “in my experience” or “I don’t know much about this, but …” Instead, we just made statements. Data flowed – quickly – and the consensus was clear while the conflicts were simultaneously clear.
At the end we had the reveal where we went around the room and introduced ourselves briefly. It was fun to learn the backgrounds of the people after I heard their thoughts over the previous couple of hours – I realize this eliminated a lot of cognitive bias on my part (e.g. “oh – that person is a lawyer – I don’t agree with the on blah blah blah”).
House of Genius is just getting its start in Portland. So if it sounds interesting to you, please apply to be part of the program.