When people start conversations about Portland, Oregon, being a hub of open source, the conversation inevitably turns to one particular topic “Well, you know, Linus Torvalds lives in Portland.”
It’s played like a trump card. And while this is factually correct, it’s a little misleading. You see, Linus doesn’t often make local appearances. He’s here, but he’s not here. If you catch my drift.
And that’s why the news that Linus is going to speak at the inaugural LinuxCon in Portland is such big news: because we’re actually going to get to see that person who we often use as a defense for our open source cred. Read More
Last Sunday, a group of folks representing the Portland open source, mobile, and coworking community got the chance to sit down and chat with Portland Mayor Sam Adams. Among those in attendance were Rubyist and Calagator lead Audrey Eschright, CubeSpace’s David Komisky, Software Association of Oregon Interim President Scott Kveton, the Mayor’s Economic Development Policy Advisor Skip Newberry, CubeSpace’s Eva Schweber, General Counsel at Extreme Arts & Sciences J-P Voilleque, and Small Society’s Raven Zachary.
Eva has a great recap of how the meeting played out, including insight on the topics we covered from telecommuting to open source to mobile. [UPDATE] And Skip Newberry from the Mayor’s Office has posted his recap, as well. So I wanted to take a different tact. I wanted to find out how the attendees perceived the meeting and the Mayor’s willingness to engage this group in conversation.
Here’s what they had to say. Read More
A number of us have recently had the opportunity to sit down with Amanda Hess. Amanda is working on a chapter for a larger piece on the Portland entrepreneurial scene, ranging from bikes to beer to restaurants to tech.
During the interviews, she’s been asking folks to describe the Portland tech scene in their own words. When she posed the question to me, I started to stutter through a fumbling response, when I suddenly realized I could do something better.
“Why don’t we ask the community?” I said. Read More
As if we needed another sign of the opportunity and potential we have within our grasp here in the Silicon Forest, the Wall Street Journal has just published a piece on Portland and its ability to attract young educated people—even though they might not have jobs waiting for them.
What will come as little shock to any of us—but seems to be confounding the WSJ—is that any number of people are attracted to Portland for way of life, first and foremost. Even though joining the ranks of those in Portland may also mean joining the ranks of the under-employed or completely unemployed. Read More
So, there are you are. Sitting there banging away on some code. Or working out your strategy for how you’re going to move that side project along just a little bit more. Or just trying to tweak that one blog post a little more.
And everyone’s bitching about the economy. Or how this is a bad time to do anything “risky.” Or about the time you’re wasting. Or how you should be doing something else.
But you know this is the right thing to do. And you know what? You’re right. And you will get there. Read More
[HTML2]Usually when you get the infamous “customer satisfaction” survey asking for your input, it’s abundantly clear that what the survey is really designed to do is cover someone’s ass. They don’t want your feedback. They want you to give them five stars across the board and tell them you wouldn’t change a thing.
But this latest survey from the Software Association of Oregon is different. I think—nay I believe—they truly want to hear your feedback. Not just the feedback of existing members. They want feedback from everyone in the Silicon Forest tech scene. Long story short, they want your feedback.
And I believe they want you to be blunt.
Why do I believe this? Any number of reasons. Read More
“If I only had more time to do [x].” It’s a phrase the confounds many a startup. And truly, every once in a while, that confounding problem is something terribly technical that requires a specific level of expertise. But most of the time, it’s simply something that needs to get done. Yet something for which it is impossible to find the time. And that makes it all the more aggravating.
All it would take is someone to help you do it. But that—especially for bootstrapped companies and side projects—can make the problem even more insurmountable. The idea of paying someone to do the job? Usually, not an option.
You know what would be perfect for completing these tasks? An intern. Even better? A paid intern. Someone who was getting reimbursed to help you with your project. And someone who had some skin in the game to perform at a level that would help your startup improve. Read More
You became an entrepreneur—or went out on your own—to help change people’s lives. To build something incredible. To give your life purpose. To do that, maybe you’re working out of your house. Or a coffee shop. Or maybe you’re looking for somewhere to work.
What if you could do some of that life-changing work simply by choosing to park yourself and your machine at a particular coworking space in town? To put it another way, what if you could help people simply by doing what you’re already doing?
Now you can. Read More
Every time I’ve mentioned the trip I had planned for this week—“I’m going to Omaha”—I got the same quizzical look and a one answer response: “Why?”
Well, let me tell you. I’m sitting in Nebraska, right now, because there are a couple of guys in Omaha—Jeff Slobotski and Dusty Davidson—who write Silicon Prairie News, which is like the TechCrunch of their region. And they’re helping pull together a ton of events like they’re the Legion of Tech for the region. And they’re talking about opening a creative coworking space like they’re the Citizen Space of Omaha. Read More
I’m unofficially dubbing tonight “awards night” for the Pacific Northwest tech scene, given that we had two competing awards shows—Oregon Tech Awards and the Seattle 2.0 Awards—handing out statuettes to impressive tech companies all up and down the Pacific coast.
For the Oregon Tech Awards, two Silicon Florist regulars managed to walk away with top honors. Jive Software was named the Emerging Company of the Year and GadgetTrak was named Cool Product of the Year. The only downside was that Ontier—another one on whom I try to keep an eye—was also in the running for Cool Product. Read More