[HTML3]When you’ve built a gathering of interesting people that is consistently lauded as the best spot to meet and greet folks in the Portland tech and startup scene, people start to take notice. And that’s exactly what’s happening to Beer and Blog, the weekly happy hour for the Portland tech scene started by Justin Kistner.
When I first posted on the “Oregonians Against Job-Killing Taxes” discussion at NedSpace Old Town—which is being held tonight starting at 4:30—it sparked an interesting conversation in the comments.
Well, as much as I love the blog comments, I’m hoping that a fruitful conversation can occur in person, as well. That’s why I’m encouraging you to attend the talk tonight, regardless of your stance on the subject. Read More
[HTML1]While it’s still early in the race, I think it’s important to realize that we’ll be electing a new governor for the state of Oregon in 2010. And it’s highly likely that whomever wins that seat will be having a significant impact on the startups you’re creating.
Given that you’re building the business you always wanted to build, we want to make sure you’ve got the best environment for doing that. So we should make sure that you’re getting the kind of information you need to make the right voting decision, right? Right.
Let’s do that shall we? Read More
If you’ve ever spent any time in the startup scene in the Silicon Forest, you’ve likely heard that there are two major hurdles for entrepreneurs around here: 1) that the State of Oregon—and sometimes the City of Portland—aren’t terribly friendly to startups and 2) that it’s really difficult to attract capital from investors.
What you may not know is that there are some new taxes on the books that—according to Oregonians Against Job-Killing Taxes—may make those two hurdles even higher.
[HTML3]Now, it’s no secret that the Barack Obama campaign did a phenomenal job with social media. Facebook, Portland-fueled iPhone apps, Twitter, the whole shooting match. Many—myself included—were in awe of the Obama campaign’s mastery of social media—and the potential it held for the presidency.
Well, we were. Until today. When a technical glitch seems to have Obama healthcare proponents from Oregon spamming Jeffrey Kalmikoff of Threadless with misdirected tweets intended for Oregon Senator Jeff Merkley.
Oopie. Read More
Why? In hopes of making Portland the “hub of open source” and—in a bit of throwing down the municipal open source gauntlet—vowing to “out open source” Vancouver, British Columbia, which has recently declared itself a completely open city.
“Bottom line: the city government has unnecessarily been closed in proprietary software and has been a a laggard in using open source software,” said Adams. And he wants to see Portland change that. 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
Obama ’08 is your official, comprehensive connection to the heart of Barack Obama and Joe Biden’s campaign, giving you the tools you need to make an impact and stay in the know.
Making a difference takes only moments using the Call a Friend feature. Want to do more? Find your local Obama for America HQ or look up local campaign events.
Creating this politically savvy iPhone app was a wholly volunteer effort. An effort that featured five Portland folks on the team: Raven Zachary, Jason Grigsby, Lyza Danger Gardner, John Keith, and Aileen Jeffries.
Aside from being beautiful, it’s a feature rich application designed to get individuals more involved in the political process. (In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if the opponents of the Obama campaign rival the proponents in downloads.)
The application has a “Call Your Friends” tool that helps you organize your contacts by key battleground states — a feature we’re hoping will generate thousands of additional personal contacts. You can also easily mark reminder notes to yourself on which friends you have called, who they are supporting and who wants a reminder call on Election Day. The information does not leave your phone (so your friends’ and your own privacy are protected) but the total amount of calls the application makes are tallied, so you can keep track of your progress as we close in on November 4th.
As Grigsby says on the Cloud Four blog:
Leaving politics aside for the moment, it’s a pretty impressive display of what is possible using the iPhone and iPod Touch platform.
[UPDATE] I just heard that the Obama ’08 for iPhone folks will be holding a launch party for the app during the next presidential debates. Head on over to the Mission Theater on Tuesday, October 7 to congratulate the team and watch some politicking. To RSVP, see the Obama ’08 iPhone App Launch Party and Presidential Debate Party on Upcoming.
Is Portland beginning to take center stage in mobile app development?
So yes, the app is super cool. (And if you agree, you may want to digg it.) But, I think—in my Silicon-Forest-centric frame of mind—that’s not the only cool thing happening in this story.
There’s something else that’s going on here. And when I say “here,” I literally mean here.
While the application is an impressive feat for a volunteer effort (or any effort for that matter) what I think may be even more interesting—and Zachary, arguably the premiere consultant for all things iPhone, agrees—is the underlying story about mobile app development in general—a development effort that, more and more, seems to be centered around talent right here in the Silicon Forest.
“This speaks to a growing trend in Portland toward mobile app development,” said Zachary. “We’ve really got something starting here.”
Grigsby echoes a similar sentiment about the creation of the Obama iPhone app:
I’m terribly proud of this application. I’m also honored to have been part of making it happen. It’s not simply that we built something that we believe will empower people to bring change to Washington, but it is also the fact that we assembled an exceptional team.
As does, Gardner:
The amount of energy that went into this was fun to be around. Raven Zachary and Jason Grigsby’s strategy genius, Jonathan Wight’s very powerful development fu, Mike Lee and Tristan O’Tierney’s hacking support, Louie Manta’s visual-zing-wow aesthetics, Aileen Jeffries and John Keith’s many-faceted support, and Dom Sagolla’s tireless testing work. Phew. That’s the lot of us.
We all hear, time and time again, how mobile is the next big thing. Wouldn’t it be nice if that big thing were happening right here in Portland?
I think it would. And I think it has the potential to happen.
And with efforts like this—and the growing ranks of mobile developers here in town—I’d say we’re well on our way.
Congratulations to the whole team—but especially the Portland folks—on launching an amazing app that’s sure to step on to a national, if not worldwide, stage.