As always, I’ll start this with the caveat that I promised Bill Lynch, cofounder of Jive, that I wouldn’t just write posts that celebrate funding for the sake of funding. Which is actually more work. (Thanks, Bill.) But in the long run, I’m hoping my bag-full-of-cats startup-history brain full of tangential facts and likely little known context can be helpful in providing a broader picture of why these funding events are important.
While they tend to be fairly quiet around these parts, Portland has been home to Mozilla employees — and more recently, a Mozilla office — for years. So even if they weren’t in a court battle to protect one of the very most basic tenets of the Internet as we know it, I’d still be looking for ways to write about them. But lucky for us, that’s exactly what they’re doing.
I love seeing Koan starting to get more engaged in the Portland startup community. First, they’ve been out and about running workshops designed to help companies better understand management through Objectives and Key Results (OKRs) — in a really grassroots and Portlandy way. And now? They’ve signed on Portland startup juggernaut Vacasa as a client.
You’ve heard me talk about the growing prevalence of regional offices as a compelling and growing part of the Portland startup community. To date, many of these offices — which often rival or fully eclipse (Intel) full fledged Portland companies in size — have played the role of employers, event hosts, and sponsors for the community, as a whole. And that’s a trend that I hope to see continue.
In the early days of any new technology, there is always the challenge of compatibility. As various file formats, schemas, and structures spring to life, interoperability is often the last thing to consider. So it’s always nice to see this sort of thing happening sooner rather than later. Like Portland startup The Wild enabling folks to work with SketchUp files within The Wild VR environment.
Given that you’re in the startup world, you likely know a few folks who work from home — or that might describe you. But what you might not realize is that it’s far more likely to have those kinds of acquaintances and gigs around these parts. With nearly 10% of the workforce employed remotely, Portland ranks as the fourth most popular metro areas for remote workers.
Remember how I said that one of the issues with creating a self-sustaining ecosystem in Portland was the irregularity of liquidity events? Well, I don’t want to get my hopes up, but… we just started the third month in a row with a liquidity event. This time, it’s Janrain getting acquired by Akamai.
These days, it’s hard to believe there was a time when the Web wasn’t driven by community. But hasn’t always been like this. And in the early days of the Web, one site in particular—which happens to have Portland ties—stood out as a engaging, nontoxic, supportive community. A role it still plays even today. That site is MetaFilter. And they could use our help.