The day and age of schools having shop class are, sadly, a thing of the past. So what is the next generation of would-be makers to do when they need space to muck around with tech or production equipment? The Beaverton School District is proposing one solution. It’s a mobile maker space housed within an old school bus. Meet the #FutureBus. Read More
Whether it’s the first time you’ve built a company or the fifth, every early stage founder wants to take every advantage available. And for some folks, accelerators and incubators can be a beneficial means of getting that much needed help in a very concentrated format. But you can’t get in if you don’t apply, so maybe consider these looming accelerator deadlines. Read More
The Portland area has no shortage of startup accelerators. But the vast majority of them are focused on products that could be best described as ethereal. What about folks working in the physical world? Well, meet e1ectr0n, a Beaverton based accelerator designed to help folks working on hardware-based technology. Read More
Why does Oregon borrow most of its town names—like Portland and Salem? Truth be told, because when left to our own devices to create names for towns, Oregon comes up with names like “Beaverton.” Read More
It’s always nice to wake up to another nail in the “it’s hard to find funding in Portland” coffin. And this time, not only is it funding for a cloud-based company in the Portland area, it’s funding for a company that sits outside the Old Town/Pearl region of town that has been a recent magnet for capital. Way outside. Like Beaverton.
Act-On software has secured $10 million in C round funding, led by Trinity Ventures. Why does Trinity sound familiar? Oh, because Trinity also just sunk some cash into ShopIgniter. Read More
Let’s be honest. There are only so many hours in the day. And if you’re on the Internets, a lot of those hours are spent reading. And reading. And reading. So much content. So little time.
But what if you could ingest that content faster? And get through more reading in less time? Well, it’s possible that you could, if you take a spin with Beaverton-based QuickReader, an iPhone and iPad app that helps you improve your reading speed and comprehension. Read More
On Wednesday, April 22, we’re headed back to the ‘burbs, Beaverton to be exact, for a lunch hosted by Denney Cole and TechShop Portland.
What is TechShop? Glad you asked because it may not be what you’re expecting.
TechShop is a 33,000 square foot membership based workshop that provides members with any skill level to have access to tools and equipment, instruction, and a creative and supportive community of like minded people so you can build the things you have always wanted to make.
TechShop is perfect for inventors, “makers”, hackers, tinkerers, artists, roboteers, families, entrepreneurs, youth groups, FIRST robotic teams, crackpots, arts and crafts enthusiasts, and anyone else who wants to be able to make things that they dream up but don’t have the tools, space or skills.
In short, TechShop is DIY paradise.
I took a brief tour last week, and if you ever had an itch to build something, you should know about TechShop. Amenities include: every metal and wood-working tool you can imagine, kilns and furnaces, a CNC router, a painting space, a tech hardware tinkering space, a robotics course, a textiles area, and more that I can’t recall right now.
If the tool you need isn’t on the list, they might get one, just ask. Don’t know how to use any tools safely? No worries, there’s a safety class.
TechShop is also home to OpenTechSpace, an open lab space for electronics and computer projects that you can use for free. There are also offices for rent and a computer lab, so it’s an incubator of sorts, with a shop attached.
Denney mentioned he might start a wiki for projects completed at the TechShop, which sounds like a fun time.
Ever had a tree toppled by a windstorm? Maybe the city comes to cut and chip it or maybe you pay some company to do that. What a giant waste of perfectly good timber.
Urban logging consists of a guy with a tractor and a big log cutting machine who removes these trees, transports them to TechShop, cuts them down, dries them out in a kiln, and leaves them there, much to the delight of the wood-working members.
So. Very. Portland.
Anyway, Denney is giving us a sneak-peak at the TechShop. He’s been taking members for a while, but the official opening isn’t until April 25. You can get a deal on membership until it opens.
So, head out to the ‘burbs if you’re in Portland, or if you’re in the ‘burbs already, swing by TechShop and say hello. If you’re driving, there’s parking in the front, and if that’s full, you can park in the loading dock area.
As always, please make sure you RSVP over on Upcoming so they know how much food to get and drop a comment there if you’re a vegan or vegetarian.
Hope to see you there.
Don’t forget these Lunch 2.0s, coming soon:
- April 22 at TechShop Portland in Beaverton
- May 20 hosted by WebVisions at the Oregon Convention Center
- June 24 hosted by ISITE Design
If you’re wondering about the WebVisions’ lunch, it will be open to anyone, attending the conference or not. There’s also a rumor that Open Source Bridge may be hosting a lunch before the conference (June 17-19) sometime. Any ideas on venue? Drop a comment.
Ever wondered what it’s like to submit an iPhone application to the Apple App Store? Now, Beaverton-based FastFigures provides some much needed insight into the whole process with the lessons they learned after one month in the iPhone App Store.
The post provides a fascinating look into the planning of the launch, including struggling with issues like pricing:
The price sensitivity data showed a starting price of $9.99 maximized revenue but I was concerned that these customers were too familiar with our products and wouldn’t represent the broader world of iPhone users. After agonizing over this for over a week, I decided to adjust the pricing based on some additional factors and settled on $5.99. This decision is proving to be both a good one and a bad one, and I struggle with selling our applications so inexpensively to this day.
And this is where not understanding the process hurt us. First, I didn’t realize that there was some additional paperwork that needed to be completed. That was completed on the 23rd. Then, once everything is signed off, it takes 24 hours to show up in the AppStore. Finally on the 24th, I’m looking for the application in What’s New and can’t find it!
And valuable lessons learned:
Two things happened around March 19th that changed our fortunes. For one, we hit that magical 20 review level I’ve talked about before. Second, one of the products in the Finance category most similar to ours went free. There has been a lot of discussion on the web about free applications versus paid applications and that the two customers aren’t the same. And this competitive application proved that.
Plus, some insightful suggestions:
Can you make money in the AppStore? Yes. But the competition is fierce and it’s very hard to differentiate your product from others. My suggestion: Spend plenty of time up-front figuring out how to get above the noise with factors you can control.
Long story short, if you’ve even remotely entertained the idea of building an iPhone app, this post is a must read.
Thanks to the folks at FastFigures for opening up and providing this valuable insight into the process.