You know me. I’ll rarely pass up a chance to champion Portland as the perfect place to start your startup. And if you read the blog, you know I’ll rarely pass up the opportunity to feature Portland startup darling Urban Airship, either. Throw in a Pete Grillo mention and I simply have to post.
[HTML2]One of the most surprising and successful startups of 2008 2009 (apparently I’m still struggling with that whole “new year” thing) had to be Bac’n. I can’t tell you how many times I heard founders Scott Kveton, Jason Glaspey, and Michael Richardson utter the phrase, “Yeah. We sell bacon. On the Internet.” And every time, they got a kind of weird scrunched-up face look from the audience.
“After a careful search by a special committee comprising SAO Board members, it was clear the best possible candidate to guide the organization during our formal search for a president is Scott Kveton,” said Michael Phillips, chairman of the SAO board and a partner at David Wright Tremaine LLP, in the press release. “Scott is passionate about the mission of the organization and brings valuable local software industry experience to the post.”
Does that sound more believable? Because it’s true. Kveton will be serving as the interim president of the SAO. Cross my heart.
Okay, you’re right. It’s pretty crazy. But crazy good.
To make this happen, Kveton will temporarily step down from the SAO board seat while fulfilling his duties as president of the SAO. He will be reinstated as a board member once his role as president comes to an end—likely within 90 days—when the SAO names the next president of the organization.
So why is Kveton making the move?
“I’m excited about the possibilities of getting the current membership together with the independent developers and consultant crowd here in Portland and across Oregon,” said Kveton. “A lot of small software companies struggle with how to grow their business effectively and that’s a path a lot of the SAO membership has already gone down.”
With Harvey stepping down and me spinning up my own consulting business, the timing seemed right for me to interview for the interim President role and the search committee agreed. I firmly believe there is a great opportunity to link up the experience of current SAO members with that of the entrepreneurial spirit and drive of the independent developer community here in the Northwest.
I hear you, we’ve dabbled in this area before with the Thrive PDX stuff. But this seems different. This is someone who knows—all too well—the startup environment here in the Silicon Forest. Someone who might have the chance to make some connections over the next 90 days that could result in some interesting bonds and strange bedfellows.
I, for one, can’t wait to see where this goes.
Obviously, I wish Kveton the best of luck on this short stint as the president of the SAO (see above: fanboi). I’ve known this organization for a long, long time. And it will be interesting to see what he does during his tenure.
What do you think of this move? Does it have potential? And, if so, what would you like to see happen with the SAO, if anything?
I can guarantee that now is the best time to voice those opinions.
[Editor: Let me preface this by saying that I know, full well, that Kveton hates it when I do this. But I think it’s newsworthy. And I thought I should let you know. For that, I’m willing to incur his wrath.]
But it’s likely that far more of you know Kveton for one thing: bacon. Or perhaps more appropriately Bac’n.
And now, what began as side project—albeit a passionate one—has drawn Kveton into the world of consulting as a full-time gig.
But it’s more than just his passion for that wonderful magical meat animal. It’s truly a desire to help organizations understand how to better use technology and community to achieve business worthy ends—regardless of their particular focus.
It’s really hard to explain but selling bacon is honestly one of the most interesting/fun things I’ve ever done. Its not just technology-for-the-sake-of-technology. Jason, Michael and I created something out of nothing using off-the-shelf tools to make a solution that delivers real things to real people. And we did it all in less than a month.
Long story short, Kveton is taking the opportunity to do something he loves—and to make it a viable business. And given that that is something with which many of us struggle, I personally couldn’t be happier seeing him take this chance.
I know Portland will gain from this move. And I’m already seeing some local startups beginning to take advantage of his talent and guidance.
Building a successful startup takes years, right? Well, months? Weeks and weeks? How about 21 days?
That’s about how long it took Scott Kveton and team to build and launch Bac’n, a site that sells high-end bacon and bacon-oriented paraphernalia.
How did they do it in such a short time period? Well, you can find out. On Monday March 2, Kveton will speak at the newly opened Nedspace—a startup coworking space in downtown Portland—about his experience creating Bacn.com:
Come hear Scott Kveton (Bac’n co-founder) talk about how he and his team launched this successful tasty bacon monster in under just three short weeks. You will oink yourself to happiness as Scott weaves true tales of bare-hooved bootstrapping and entrepreneurial maneuvers in the dark.
Tail curling stories designed to share with you what works, what does not, and having the bacon to move ahead like a greased, well you know. This little piggy went to market, and it owns the bacon market online.
And of course, true to form, bacon will be provided.
Pricing is listed as free to entrepreneurs, “$15 to numbskulls, $25 to vegetarians.”
But just how much Portland-associated influence will there be on the show? Well, we’re lucky to have some of the heavy hitters from the world of OpenID—and Portland—in attendance. Brian Kissel of Portland-based JanRain, Scott Kveton of Portland-based Vidoop, Chris “@factoryjoe” Messina of Vidoop (who doesn’t live in Portland, but thankfully, travels up here on a regular basis), and David Recordon of Six Apart (who is originally from Portland). And, of course, Marshall Kirkpatrick, who heads up ReadWriteWeb content development, is a Portland resident, as well.
That’s a lot of Portland. And a lot of OpenID knowledge.
Today, the group will be discussing ideas for increasing adoption of OpenID, plans for the OpenID Foundation, and opinions on Google Friend Connect and Facebook Connect. If there’s a topic you’d like to propose, visit the RWW Live post to offer it as potential discussion point or throw it out in the chat room during the call.
Speaking of chat rooms… it would probably be wise to tell you how to participate:
The show will be broadcast LIVE at 3.30pm PST Monday (6.30pm EST). We invite you to tune in and interact with us via the chat, by clicking here. You can also use the Calliflower Facebook app to listen and participate.
Can’t make the show? No worries. RWW Live is a podcast, after all. You can always listen to the discussion by heading over to ReadWriteTalk, the archive of all ReadWriteWeb podcasts.
So whether you’re saying “Open wha…?”, a staunch OpenID proponent, or an OpenID opponent, it would be well worth your time to swing by the podcast and hear these knowledgeable folks talk about the future of managing your identity on the Web.
[Editor’s note: Continuing the Silicon Florist’s guest editorial series, we welcome Scott Kveton, a well-known force-of-nature in the Portland technology community. And, as you’ll see, the de facto Chamber of Commerce for the Portland startup scene.]
Last week was amazing. I spent most of it with Luke Sontag here in Portland, meeting with folks, spreading the good word about Vidoop and generally being in the city.
Having grown up in-and-around Portland, it’s always fun to see the reaction to everything-that-is-Portland from someone who doesn’t live here. (Oh, and the weather we had last week didn’t hurt either.)
I got a chance to talk a little bit about this at Ignite Portland 2, but I’ll say it again: This is the beginning of a fantastic renaissance period for Portland. It’s such a vibrant, eclectic, talented and diverse city with so many things going on, that it inspires the mind and spirit around every corner you turn. Even more, I think Chris Logan had it right: it’s time for Portland to step up and take its place.
There has been some talk about how “if you don’t live in the Bay Area and you’re in tech, you’re basically a wuss.”
So be it. The very last thing I want is for Portland to turn into the Bay Area or Seattle. I want it to be Portland. I want other cities to be saying “wouldn’t it be great if we were more like Portland?” I simply want Portland to come into its own in tech, in the arts, sustainability, green, etc.
But, how do we get to that point?
Well, it takes a bunch of us, it takes some time and, ironically, the city does most of the work for you.
For the past couple of years, I’ve made it a point to try to help people who are considering a move to Portland. I’ve spent countless days taking people around the city, introducing them to others in the city, and generally trying to give them a “locals’ view” of the city.
Now, the tour I take folks on covers a bit of ground and I’m seeking some input on the route. A couple of places I go to:
Tour of SW waterfront area with gondola love
Sellwood district (possibly for lunch, definitely for dinner at Saburo’s if it’s a weekday night)
NW on 21st or 23rd… just too much to do, to eat, to see
Where would you take a touring visitor to get a taste of Portland from a local’s point-of-view? Bear in mind, I’m not looking for just a tech-person view on this. I’m all about diversity here.
The key to all of this, and the thing that I keep in mind at all times, is serendipity. Yeah, yeah, I know. Hard to quantify, huh? Well, I’m not the cheerleader type unless I really, really believe in it. Portland I can believe in. This city, the people, the places. It’s easy.
If you’re not predisposed to drink the PDX Kool-aid, then you’re probably not the type of person I’d want here anyway. And, if you’ve ended up in my Inbox or with my phone number, odds are, there’s a reason.
I’ll put this out there; if you have a friend or colleague that is thinking about making the move to Portland I’ll offer up my time for coffee or even the full-fledged tour to introduce them to the city and the people I know. It’s just the right thing to do. And, I’d challenge you to do the same.
Again, it’s not about trying to make Portland something it’s not… it’s about embracing serendipity and helping Portland realize its potential.
P.S. – first round is always on me … 🙂
Scott Kveton is a digital identity promoter, open source advocate, and Chairman of the OpenID Foundation. He has worked at Amazon, RuleSpace.com, JanRain, and MyStrands, and founded the Open Source Lab at Oregon State University. He is a regular speaker on the topic of identity and open source. Kveton currently serves as the Vice President of Open Platforms for Vidoop, a company he recently wooed to the Silicon Forest.
I’ve heard rumors that Scott Kveton, open-source proponent Silicon Forest Twitterati, and local tech dynamo, has had plans to get more involved in the Portland tech scene—by moving up to the Rose City.
But I never expected that he’d bring a company with him.
Now, it’s official. Not only is Kveton headed to Portland, but he has the newest addition to the Portland tech scene—Vidoop—in tow. Starting in February, Kveton will serve as the company’s Vice President of Open Platforms and the director of Vidoop’s new Portland office.
“The tech community [in Portland] is amazing, and we hope to contribute to it in a big way,” said Luke Sontag, Vidoop co-founder and President, Technology.
What’s more? Get your resumes ready. The Portland office plans to employ a dozen software engineers within three months, said Joel Norvell, president, CEO and co-founder of Vidoop.
What’s Vidoop? Headquartered in Tulsa, Oklahoma, Vidoop has created a user credential technology that replaces passwords with a dynamic grid of images that is interpretable only by valid users. Vidoop’s technology was originally developed in 2006 to secure user accounts for financial institutions and corporations and has recently been licensed by several Fortune 500 companies.
Personally, I’m looking forward to more exciting news out of this crew.
Scott Kveton is fixture of the local tech and open-source community. A digital identity promoter and open source advocate, he has worked at Amazon, RuleSpace.com and JanRain, and founded the Open Source Lab at Oregon State University. Working closely with projects like Mozilla, Linux, Drupal and Apache led Kveton to OpenID in mid-2006. He was named to Red Herring’s 2007 list of ‘25 Titans in Waiting’. Kveton speaks publicly about identity and open source and holds a bachelor’s degree in computer science from Oregon State University.