If you haven’t talked to voice activated artificial intelligence by now, I’d be kinda surprised. You’ve got Siri, Alexa, Cortana… they’re all over the place. And always listening. But let’s be honest… they don’t always do what you want them to do. So if you’ve got an idea on how they could be better but you feel like you could use some guidance, you might be interested in Alexa Dev Day in Portland.
You’ve noticed it. It’s difficult not to. As Portland has grown in popularity and population, congestion, traffic, and even crowded public transit are becoming more the norm than the exception in the City of Roses. It impacts everyone. And rising housing costs only exacerbate the problem, as the distance between work and home continues to expand. If you run a business, you’re seeing the impact from a variety of angles, from consumers to employees—especially when one of the primary hiring promises has been Portland’s “livability.”
As much as I love Portland, I have to admit that, generally, we do a fairly poor job of tracking metrics or outcomes. I mean, we talk. A lot. And we have tons of anecdotal evidence. Or the feeling that stuff is happening. But metrics? Not so much. That’s why it’s really nice to see Cozy providing some insights into what they accomplished in 2017.
Whenever folks ask me for ways to test drive an idea or find cofounders, one of the programs that is always at the top of my list is Techstars Startup Weekend. Why? Because it’s a 54-hour sprint that gives you a ton of insights into what it takes to test an idea, recruit a team, and build a product—even if you’ve done it before. Your next opportunity to get that experience is Techstars Startup Weekend Eugene.
Much like the city of Portland itself, we’re starting to see Portland startups becoming more attractive to executive talent. Both folks from outside the region and folks who happen to live in Portland and work elsewhere (and I am happy to bend your ear with a hypothesis on the latter, anytime). What’s that? Have we cured the “it’s hard to find executive talent” refrain from startups in town? No. But we’re definitely chipping away at it. Take for example Lytics, who just named a new CMO.
Never underestimate the value of peer support and connections. It’s one of the things that makes services like Switchboard so compelling. And now they’re using that same power of connectivity to help innovative folks get more connected to their peers—in the real world. Introducing the Switchboard Higher Education Innovation Fellowship, a structured year-long program with both real world and virtual collaboration.
If you’ve ever worked in a services industry—like law, design, or consulting, for example—you know that keeping track of your hours can be the very lifeblood of your business. But it can also be a complete pain. Wouldn’t it be great if keeping track of time were as easy as talking about it? Now, it is. With Tali.
As we meander our way toward the end of 2017, it’s only natural that our thoughts stray to the future. To what you might do. To 2018 and beyond. And for many folks, that means assessing their current job. And maybe, just maybe, considering something different for the new year.