It happens to the best of them. We start a Slack instance. And then it grows. And folks add channels with the best of intentions. And then some of those channels flourish. While others wither away in anonymity. Creating clutter. And impacting discovery. But worst of all, increasing frustration and a feeling of disconnectedness. Which is entirely counterproductive.
On any given day, there are a bunch of hardworking entrepreneurial folks doing their best to build a new life. Only they’re not in offices or coworking spaces. They’re not building storefronts or crafting products. They’re Street Roots vendors. And they’re braving the elements to bring you journalism that addresses poverty and houselessness.
For all of the fanfare and hype, the Portland startup community — and tech community at large — is still full of problems and faults. A lot of them. And those are issues that we’ll never begin to correct without a stark and objective assessment of the current state of the community. And that’s why I’m so thankful for organizations like PDX Women in Tech who take the opportunity to assess our progress as a community.
I know it’s more difficult than it should be. I know you have to hustle harder than most. But you can do it. And I believe in you. So this weekend, I stumbled into a bit of a pep talk. So I wanted to capture it for you here.
In what now seems like ancient history, the Portland startup community used to have a gathering called Beer and Blog. Back when the community was smaller. And when people actually used to blog more regularly. Back then, it was the way to meet folks from our online community, offline.
Admittedly, I get a little cranky about the posts that appear on the Portland Startups Switchboard from time to time. But there are also a bunch of good posts that pop up there all of the time—posts that might not get the attention they deserve. So rather than focusing on the negative, I thought it might be nice to accentuate the positive.
After 10 years, I’m doubling down on my efforts to help make the Portland startup community even better and more awesome than it already is. But let’s be honest. I’m not really the most creative person. So rather than me try to guess what all of the problems or opportunities with our community are, I thought it would be wise to get your input and insights. And so did Built Oregon and PIE.
There’s this weird thing about milestones: they make you super reflective. Like “rethink the whole world order” reflective. And other things affecting the world order only tend to exacerbate that. So after a decade of blogging about the Portland startup community, I hope you’ll forgive my few moments of introspection. The topic this time? Patreon.
It’s no secret that the Portland startup community has more than its fair share of virtual reality and augmented reality activity. But it’s only going to be a truly interesting, compelling, and vibrant with a variety of voices and experiences. That’s why it’s awesome to see folks like Kerri Lynne Thorp who are working to ensure that everyone feels welcome in this burgeoning community.