I know you’ve been busy making stuff. But I didn’t want you to lose track of the fact that the deadline for applying to be a maker at the Portland Mini Maker Faire is rapidly approaching. Like tomorrow.
Startup folks, am I right? They’re always thinking of creative solutions to problems. And in Portland, unlike some of differently motivated neighbors to the south, they’re often thinking about solutions that make life better for everyone in our community. Like Business for a Better Portland. An ad hoc chamber of commerce that sprung out of a desire to inform a collaborative—rather than contentious—model of public-private partnership.
If you were part of the Portland startup or open source community a decade ago—or if you were a startup type who visited Portland during that time period—you probably had the chance to attend Beer and Blog once or twice. If you weren’t around Portland then, you’ve no doubt heard me wax nostalgic dozens of times about the event, a weekly happy hour that served as the point of connection for our fledgling community.
It’s OSCON week in Portland. Which means our usually jam-packed meetup schedule is even more jam-packed than usual. There are any number of events happening around town to showcase Portland to the visiting open source types. And if you’re looking for something to do tonight, Portland startup Stackery has you covered. They’re hosting a fireside chat on serverless with Kelsey Hightower of Google Cloud.
In today’s world of rapid consumption, we often fail to take the time to learn the super interesting backstories of people in our community. And what motivates people to do what they do. This is especially difficult when those folks make their living telling other people’s stories. That’s why I was happy to hear that the And Uhhh… crew was grabbing some time with Malia Spencer of the Portland Business Journal.
There have been any number of fundraising announcements in the past two weeks. And as compelling as that news is, it’s even more exciting to see the companies putting that money to work. Like Rigado, for instance. Which recently raised $15 million. And that led to a bunch of open jobs. Like nine of them.
Yes. $200 million. For a Portland startup. It’s really really easy to blanche at that number. I get it. It’s a big number. Especially for a homegrown Portland company in the software world. And were this earlier in the life of Silicon Florist, I could have easily focused on the number, cheered for a company raising that much, and moved along my merry little way.
There was a time when Portland was at the forefront of access to civic data. Then we lost some ground. Maybe a great deal of ground. But we’re having a renaissance of sorts. With the Smart City PDX effort. And with Hack Oregon’s announcement of the new Civic platform.
Every once in a while, you get to be present to witness the establishment of a widespread platform. A platform that provides the means of making a market. Sometimes, it’s the first to market—like the iPhone or Roku. Sometimes, it’s a fast follower—like Microsoft Explorer or Google. We’ve seen it happen time and time again. With the Web and Mobile and Streaming Media. But it’s rare to see that happen locally.