Most years—as Silicon Florist’s birthday rolls around—I tend to get a bit sappy. And wrapped up in a bit of nostalgia. But honestly? I’m not really feeling it this year. (If you’re in the mood for one of those types of posts, the sixth birthday post should more than satiate that hunger for gooby and sappy.) This year, I’m in a crappy mood.
Why? Honestly, because as I started reflecting on Silicon Florist, this year, it felt more and more like I’ve simply been phoning it in. I’ve been really off. My coverage has been lacking. My insights have been completely absent. And my output has been abhorrent. For example, I’ve only written around 200 posts since last year’s birthday post. That sucks. Especially with the level of activity around here.
And after eight years, that’s not a terribly good feeling.
Luckily, the Portland startup scene has matured over the years. And because of that there’s more than a poorly written blog covering it. Most notably, there’s a real journalist and a real publication that is doing an amazing job of covering early stage Portland companies. And there’s our friends to the north who keep an eye on it, as well.
And while I’m down on me and my recent efforts, there is still one unassailable fact: I’m still incredibly bullish on Portland and its startups.
I’ve had the absolute pleasure of watching Portland grow from a loosely coagulated tech community into an actual startup scene. And being along for that ride has been amazing. And I’m incredibly proud with what all of you have done.
Yeah. I’ve been writing this blog for eight years. Whoop dee doo. I’m not doing anything. You’re doing something. And you need to keep doing something. You need to keep building and hiring and inspiring. You need to keep making it easier for your peers to build businesses here. And you need to make sure that it’s a hell of lot easier from future founders to build businesses here.
You’re the ones working at this. I’m just sitting back and observing your brilliance. And maybe, every once in awhile, wrapping a few words around what it is I think you’re doing. Or what sort of things are happening here. Or why the Portland startup scene is just amazing and inspiring and awesome.
I mean, it’s inspired me to churn out content for eight years. And every day I stare at more than 40 open tabs of awesome companies and events I should be covering.
That’s a lot different than it was in 2007. Let me tell you.
I didn’t start Silicon Florist to catalyze anything. I started Silicon Florist because I had to. I helped start PIE because I had to. I helped start Open Source Bridge because I had to. I helped start TechFestNW because I had to. I helped start Oregon Story Board because I had to. I started the Portland Startups Switchboard because I had to.
It simply needed to be done. Each and every one of those things needed to be done. And there is still a ton to do.
This wasn’t about wanting to make a name for myself or to motivate other people to get things going or whatever. It was because there were gaps. Really glaringly obvious gaps. Because there were community needs. This was me struggling to contribute to this amazing community. Trying to find a way to help. By doing the only thing I could. Getting out of the way. And highlighting what I saw you doing.
Because in all honesty, I don’t really do anything. I just observe—quite often in awe—what you’re doing.
So I’m going to keep doing what I’ve been doing. Hopefully in better fashion. But I wouldn’t hold your breath.
And because it’s August. And because I like to start shit in August. I’m starting new shit. Not because I want to. But because I have to. Like trying to write more personally, again, about what I see happening in the world of startups and Portland. And starting new experiments at PIE.
And I’ll keep doing that. And I’ll keep writing. Poorly. And I’ll keep starting stuff. Because I have to.
I encourage you to do the same.