No doubt you’ve heard Portland has this “Maker” thing going for it. No. It’s true. It’s a thing. I swear. People make stuff here. Sometimes they make stuff out of stuff that’s been stuff before. Sometimes they make it from scratch. And sometimes they print it on machines that print stuff.
My oh my. How time flies. It seems like just yesterday that I came up with a cockamamie scheme to start writing about what I saw happening in the Portland startup community. And suddenly, it’s been a side project for a decade.
I don’t know if you heard this, but apparently *looks around* Portland is seen as a hotbed for talent. No really. I swear. Talented people keep moving here. Awesome companies keep starting here. Already amazing companies open up offices here. It happens on a daily basis. Now if only there were a way to better connect all of that talent and all of those companies…
When Portland’s The Fullbright Company released its first major title, Gone Home, not only was it well received by players, it was heralded by critics for its immersive experience as well as the creativity of its approach. Long story short, it set the bar—and the expectations for Fullbright as a studio—extremely high. Now, nearly four years to the date of Gone Home’s release, we get access to their next title, Tacoma.
Like email, I’ve used digital calendars for decades. And yet, I’ve never quite managed to master them. In fact, more often than not, they’re just a swirling mess of missed opportunities and days filled with back and forth emails about a time and location that seems to work for both of us. There has to be a better way. And Portland startup Appointlet is working to build it.
While PDX Maker Week is still a ways off, recent discussions around RSVPs and attendance have motivated me to start promoting events early and often. Rather than waiting until the last minute. That’s why I wanted to take the opportunity to share an event taking place in collaboration with Maker Week, Science Hack Day Portland.
In addition to the awesome companies who regularly post to the Silicon Florist job board, there have been a few new names posting interesting gigs as of late—and a couple of particularly high profile roles. So I wanted to be sure that you and/or your friends who are searching for new gigs didn’t miss them.
As the Portland startup community continues to grow, we all have the opportunity to meet more and more people. But that can also make it more and more challenging to meet folks with similar interests. And while Portland has more than its fair share of meetup and user groups, there’s always room for more events. That’s why Magnet is launching its Portland chapter and providing new way for folks to network.
As much as I love Portland and our startup community, I’ve got to admit that it has some flaws. It happens. It can’t be perfect. It’s got foibles. And things that are downright broken. We’re actively working to fix some of those flaws. But there’s one particular flaw that I often fear is beyond repair. One that rears its head more often than any other—and creates a crazy amount of stress and heartache for every single local event organizer to whom I’ve spoken.
[Editor: This is a guest post from Jared Wiener, the software industry liaison for Prosper Portland (the organization formerly known as the Portland Development Commission (PDC)). As part of his role, he has helped manage the TechTown Portland program which includes the Diversity Pledge. Here, he provides an update on the progress with that program.]