In some ways, what’s happening right now is somewhat familiar. The economic downturn. Companies going through layoffs. New forms of inspiration that have folks with creative and entrepreneurial minds pondering new ideas and solutions. Making the best of a bad situation.
It feels like Portland 13 years ago. Like 2007.
But in many ways, the Portland startup community is entirely different. And so are the factors influencing it. This time, it isn’t a mortgage crisis disrupting the economy and causing layoffs. It’s a variety of crises. And the new inspiration isn’t the Cloud or Mobile and its potential. It’s a global pandemic. And a concerted effort to dismantle systemic racism.
So it’s not the same. I’d be lying if I said it was. But again, it is familiar.
We’re all part of a growing startup community. And that community feels more disconnected and under resourced than it should. And there are still a bunch of new and interesting products and pursuits that don’t get the attention they deserve. And there are still folks working side hustles with the hopes of turning them into full time gigs. And other folks forced to take advantage of Oregon’s self employment assistance due to layoffs.
That’s all similar.
It feels much like the same environment that motivated me to sit up in bed at 2:00AM 13 years ago. And to get out of that bed and register a punny URL. And to stop writing snarky blog content like I had for a decade prior. And instead began focusing on celebrating the nascent startup community I was witnessing. And championing people’s efforts.
Okay. Sometimes, I still get snarky.
There was a time in that history that I toyed with the concept of this being a day job. But after 13 years, I still don’t think that’s really what the community needs. And trying to make a commercial pursuit of a blog is fraught with challenges and frustration.
So I just write. Day after day. About what I see the Portland startup community doing.
And I still wake up at 2:00AM on a regular basis. As excited about the Portland startup community and its potential as I was that first night, 13 years ago. And excited to share what you’re building with the folks who put up with my crappy writing.
Because I still see your potential. I still see the opportunity you’re chasing. I still see the old problems. And I definitely see the new ones. And I still see you. And that product that you so desperately and fervently believe needs to exist. And I want to tell other people to believe in you as much as I do. Because they should. And because you should keep building that solution. Whether it actually becomes a business or a unicorn or a zebra or whatever.
You should keep creating and building and doing.
And if you can agree to keep going, then so will I. Let’s both keep going. Despite everything else. Despite the world. And all of the shit. And pressure. And stress.
Let’s keep going.
Thank you so much to the Portland startup community for putting up with Silicon Florist for 13 years. For all of the words I write. For all of the stuff I compose. I will never be able to effectively communicate how humbled I am that you continue to read this drivel that I continue to vomit onto the Internet.
Happy Birthday, Silicon Florist.
Previous Silicon Florist birthday posts
Birthdays make you nostalgic? Me too! So if you feel like wallowing in that nostalgia with me, please have at it. Here are a bunch of old birthday posts from yesteryear.
- Silicon Florist is two today. What a short strange trip it’s been.
- Time for big kid pants: Silicon Florist is three years old
- Four years and seven hours ago… Silicon Florist is four
- Half a decade later: Thank you for putting up with bad grammar, ridiculously long headlines, haphazard posting schedules, and an all too rosy view of the Portland startup scene
- Six years of Silicon Florist (or How a poorly written blog with ridiculously long headlines somehow spawns awesome things like PIE, TechFestNW, and Oregon Story Board)
- Golden birthday: It’s August 7 and Silicon Florist turned seven years old today
- Silicon Florist is eight. And eight is great. Or something. And stuff.
- Nine years of nonsense: Silicon Florist completes another year of assaulting the English language
- The more things change, the more they stay the same: 10 years of Silicon Florist babbling about the Portland startup community
- It goes to 11: Silicon Florist is officially a tween (Fair warning: This one is really really dark. But you can skim past that if you want some interesting historical context. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ )
- A dozen long stemmed Rose City years: Silicon Florist is 12 years old