If you’re interested in where the economic development dollars in Oregon are being focused, there’s a new five year strategic plan from Business Oregon that sheds some light on those activities. Thumbing through it quickly, it looks to be good news for startups in the state.
Business Leader Northwest—a leadership conference being held February 25 and 26 at the Oregon Convention Center—is pulling in a number of big names for the conference. People like Stephen Covey, Burgerville Chairman Tom Mears, and Umpqua’s Ray Davis.
But did you know that they’re pulling in a ton of big name local bloggers, as well? It’s true. They’ll have an entire “blogger pavilion” on the trade show floor.
The following folks—many of whom you’ll likely recognize—are slated to be around:
- Nate Angell
- Bret Bernhoft
- Carri Bugbee
- Amber Case
- Robin Catesby
- Doug Coleman
- Nate DiNiro
- Carolynn Duncan
- Adam DuVander
- Dawn Foster
- Chis Gear
- Steve Gehlen
- Jason Grigsby
- Aaron Hockley
- Patrick Hughes
- Marshall Kirpatrick
- Justin Kistner
- Geoff Kleinman
- Peter Korchnak
- Scott Kveton
- Don Park
- Bram Pitoyo
- Betsy Richter
- Irene Schwarting
- Eva Schweber
- Brittany Sims
- Brad Smith
- Ryan Snyder
- Nat Taylor
- J-P Voillequé
- Steven Walling
- Eric Weaver
Still on the fence about whether or not to attend? Maybe you should read some posts from these bloggers on the Business Leader NW blog.
How about now? Really? Even with all of those cool bloggers and their insights and stuff?
Okay, fine. Here’s another push: $25 of your entry fee goes to the non-profit of your choice.
See? I knew that would get you, you old softie. So why don’t you go register and we’ll see you in the blogger pavilion at some point.
Portland-based SplashCast—which has gone through any number of interesting permutations as they worked to find a revenue model for their technology—has just announced that they will no longer be supporting free user-generated channels. The decision had to be a tough one, given that it was this community groundswell that brought the service to the attention of its current customer base: media companies and advertisers.
Over the past several months, we’ve been less and less focused on our “free” product, that is, the user generated channels. While we have well over 100,000 publishers, we simply haven’t been dedicating attention and resources to this part of the business.
All successful startup companies must focus. SplashCast is no different. Therefore, we have decided to discontinue our user generated content product as of February 11. We want to give our loyal (and brilliantly creative) users a chance to find other services that meet their needs.
While I’m sad to see this free service disappear—especially when it comes to rounding up Ignite Portland presentations—I can appreciate where SplashCast is trying to go. And while it would have been great to see them offer a pay version of the user-generated content service, there were likely some legal ramifications of SplashCast making money off of people repurposing other people’s intellectual property.
Suffice it to say, while this is a painful announcement for those early users and supporters of the service, this has been—obviously—a long time coming. Better to see SplashCast gnaw off a proverbial leg to escape the trap, then go down with the ship. To completely mix metaphors.
Things are tough all over. SplashCast isn’t alone in reducing its free offerings to the benefit of the business. A couple of little companies of which you may have heard, Google and Yahoo!, are among the thousands of companies that have been going through similar slimmings to deal with the current economy, as well.
Finding focus is terribly difficult for any company—especially when it comes at the expense of faithful users. But it would be nice to see SplashCast sticking around. And if they have to forego their free services to do it? So be it.
As any small company or individual developer discovers, there are a number of requirements to “running a business” that often detract or steal time from your “building cool and useful stuff” time. And while many developers currently outsource these tasks to business-service professionals, the cost and time to manage those services and contractors can be equally draining.
There are lots of independent software developers and consultants in the Portland area, and while the technologies and applications vary wildly, there are probably some very common frustrations that could be aided under a co-op structure.
Sounds like an idea whose time has come. A sort of “Really Small Business Administration” to fill the gap for the market that the local SBA isn’t really designed to serve.