So I’ve been feeling a little disconnected lately. And I’m not alone. The Portland startup scene has grown quite a bit in the past few years. New people have moved to town. New startups have sprung up. Existing startups have gotten bigger.
It’s a good problem to have. But it’s worth fixing. Because I’ve always been of the mind that the more people in the community know one another, the better off we’ll all be.
This isn’t the first time Portland has felt this way. Most recently, it happened around 2007. To combat that feeling, we started things. Like BarCamp Portland and Ignite Portland. I started Silicon Florist. Justin Kistner started Beer and Blog. And Raven Zachary started Portland on Fire. And then Jake Kuramoto started Portland Lunch 2.0.
As the community grew to know one another, these projects tended to wane a bit. Because there was less of a need. But now? Well, that need has returned. With a vengeance. So I’m taking the opportunity to resurrect a couple of projects—Portland Lunch 2.0 and Portland on Fire—in hopes that they close some of those gaps. And strengthen our community.
The Portland tech scene has no shortage of get togethers in the evening. And on weekends. But any number of folks in our community have commitments that prevent them from making it to those events. That’s why we started doing Portland Lunch 2.0.
I mean, you have to eat, right? And if you’re going to be breaking away from work anyway, you might as well get to hang out with some amazing people in a cool office and eat. For free.
That’s the idea behind Lunch 2.0. One company hosts and caters lunch. We all show up and eat. We get to see all of the cool offices in Portland. Maybe score a tchotchke or two. And feel a little more connected.
Can’t make that one? No worries. CrowdCompass will be hosting Portland Lunch 2.0 on December 6. Urban Airship, Cloudability, PIE, Geoloqi, Paleo Plan, Chirpify, Superbly, and Jive have already signed up to host as well. Heck, even Portland Startup Weekend is hosting—and they don’t even a have an office.
Sound like something you’d like to do? Sign up to host a Portland Lunch 2.0.
Interested in something a little more virtual? Well, then Portland on Fire might be more your speed.
Started by Raven as “slow social networking site,” Portland on Fire was designed to introduce you to one new Portlander, every day. Not thousands. One. At a time. And it was awesome. And it worked. So when he got too busy with his own startup, I took over.
But after awhile, submissions started to trail off. And it wasn’t serving a need. So we put it in mothballs for a few years.
But now, like Lunch 2.0, there’s a need. So I’m bringing it back.
I’ve changed the questions a bit and added more social accounts. And that sort of thing. But the gist remains the same: introduce yourself to Portland. And then follow @portlandonfire on Twitter so that you can meet new people from the town we all love.
I’ll give folks a few days to fill out the profiles and then I’ll start publishing again. And if we don’t have one every day, we don’t have one every day. But it’s time to get it going again.
I’m looking forward to meeting you. And if you’ve got an existing profile on Portland on Fire that’s out of date, just fill out the new form and I’ll make sure to update stuff.
And if these things outlive their usefulness again, then that happens too.
What are you doing?
Do you have a meet up going? Something that brings the community together? Let me know.
(Image courtesy Aaron Hockley. Used under Creative Commons.)