Tag: how to

Struggling with personal finance? Maybe more cats will help…?

When you’re a founder, dealing with your money—or lack thereof—can be yet another added stressor in your already overly stressful existence. And let’s be honest. Most of the issue—again, like many other issues of being a founder—is due to ignorance and naivety. If only there were a way to simplify your understanding of personal finance… and if only it had cats.

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Common sense isn’t common: Ryan Carson of Carsonified shares his startup insights

You may remember Ryan Carson from his startup DropSend—which has devolved into something much uglier than when he ran it—or maybe from Carsonified or Think Vitamin. Whatever the case, Ryan has an entrepreneurial bent. And a record for success.

Now, he’s sharing some of the things he’s learned about building and running startups. For free. That’s right. Sixty minutes of free insights on “How to Build a Startup.” Read More

How to build a successful startup in 21 days (Hint: Add bacon)

But the guidance on how to build a startup in 21 days has been all laid out for you in a new book from the founders of Bac’n: From Idea to Web Startup in 21 Days: Creating bacn.com.

[HTML4]Remember that whole Bac’n thing? That Portland startup that sold bacon on the Internet? Did you know that the entire project—concept to launch—only took 21 days? What the…? How the heck do you build a successful startup in three weeks? Furthermore, is this entire post going to be written in the form of questions?

Well, I can’t answer that last question. But the guidance on how to build a startup in 21 days has been all laid out for you in a new book from the founders of Bac’n: From Idea to Web Startup in 21 Days: Creating bacn.com. Read More

Ignite Portland 6: Tips and tricks or How to get the most out of your Ignite night

Rest assured, we want your Ignite experience to be as fun and rewarding as possible. So whether this is your 23rd Ignite event or your first, here are some tips and tricks for getting the most out of Ignite Portland 6.

[HTML2]Sometimes this content is so easy, it practically writes itself. Especially when I’m just repeating stuff I’ve written before. But it bears repeating.

So you’ve reached that special time in your life. And you’re headed to Ignite Portland 6, tonight. Exciting isn’t it? You may be experiencing some funny feelings about Ignite. That’s natural.

Rest assured, we want your Ignite experience to be as fun and rewarding as possible. So whether this is your 23rd Ignite event or your first, here are some tips and tricks for getting the most out of Ignite Portland 6. Read More

Portland Ten II: Your bootstrapping bootcamp awaits

The days of spring are quickly transitioning into the days of summer. And that means there’s no better time than now for dragging a new crop of startups—kicking and screaming—through the intensive bootcamp mud in hopes of creating viable, sustainable, and profitable companies for Portland’s future.

The days of spring are quickly transitioning into the days of summer. And that means there’s no better time than now for dragging a new crop of startups—kicking and screaming—through the intensive bootcamp mud in hopes of creating viable, sustainable, and profitable companies for Portland’s future.

Enter Portland Ten, round two. Read More

How-to Lunch 2.0

A comment left by Branden Johnson yesterday reminded me to do what I should have done ages ago, write a post on what it takes to host a Lunch 2.0.

Maybe I skipped this in the past because it’s really easy to do, by design, but it seems like a good idea. Plus, I can point prospective hosts to this primer in the future.

The short version is: provide some space and some free grub for lunch and people will come. What happens beyond that is purely optional. There aren’t many requirements, as you’ll see.

So, here goes the longer version. I like a good mnemonic device, so let’s think in terms of Ps.

Planning
This step is easy. Find me here, on Twitter, Facebook or IRL and tell me you’re interested. I like to keep Lunch 2.0 as a monthly event; this spaces them out pretty evenly, and so far, it’s been very scalable for me and the hosts. This isn’t a requirement, though, and I’ll work around a host’s schedule.

I also like to do Lunch 2.0 on Wednesday to break up the work week, but again, this isn’t a requirement. I also like to do Lunch 2.0 at lunch time, surprise. Usually 12-2 works, but that’s not set in stone.

Months are typically first-come, first-served, and I may have an interested host that hasn’t been officially announced. There’s no science here; I usually chat with prospective hosts about dates and work out a mutually beneficial one with ease.

Preparation
Once a host picks a date, I announce the event here and create an Upcoming event for RSVPs. I usually remember to add them to Calagator too, and typically, if I forget, someone else remembers.

I like to take a look at the space in advance to get an idea of how many people it can fit. If it’s a smallish space, I can set expectations early, which will help people with the RSVP process, and if need be, I can close the Upcoming guest list to keep it under control.

Catering is entirely up to the host; the only ask is that the host provide a vegetarian/vegan option. Also, beer is fine. Some hosts have provided swag; others have raffled off swag. These are extras, entirely up to the host.

The last piece of preparation is what (if any) self-promotion the host wants to do. We’ve kept it very light so far, which I personally prefer; Lunch 2.0 in the Valley can get a bit over-produced. However, since the goal of Lunch 2.0 is to introduce or promote the host to the Portland community at large, some self-marketing is expected.

Again, it’s up to the host, e.g. Bjorn didn’t do anything official at the Lunch 2.0 hosted at the Eclipse Foundation other than walk around and chat with people.

As an aside, people often ask me how they can follow the Portland Lunch 2.0 announcements. There are several ways:

  • Read here regularly (you should anyway). If you follow the tag “lunch2.0“, you’ll get all the Lunch 2.0 content.
  • Use Upcoming and add me as a friend. You’ll see the Lunches 2.0 as they’re added.
  • Check Calagator, which you should also do anyway, to keep up with Portland tech events.
  • Follow lunch20 on Twitter. This account is maintained by the originators of Lunch 2.0, and they usually announce lunches in other cities.
  • Follow Rick and any of the other heavy-duty Portland tweeters.
  • Find me IRL and ask me. This isn’t as dependable, but it works pretty well.

Promotion
I don’t do any promotion aside from blogging here (an announcement, a reminder and a recap) and tweeting. The host does the heavy lifting, so any additional promotion is optional.

We tend to attract pretty large crowds, so unlike other tech events, you can usually bank on drawing the number listed as attending on Upcoming plus 10% or so. This is due to the lunch time effect, e.g. when people leave for lunch, they often bring along coworkers who haven’t RSVP’ed. Even when the weather is bad (like it was for the Eclipse Lunch 2.0), we still can draw 70 people easily. Rick’s Lunch 2.0 at CubeSpace still holds the attendance record with more than 200 attendees.

That sounds like a lot of people, and 200 really is. However, 70-100 is very manageable, since people tend to mill in and out over the course of two hours.

Party
The last bit is to have some fun. Portland Lunch 2.0 is a networking event, and we like it that way. Because it’s during the day and not as tech-focused as other Portland events, you’ll see new faces. But never fear, you’ll also see the familiar faces you also see at the myriad of evening and weekend events.

That covers it. Drop a comment if you’re interested in hosting or have questions, or maybe you can chat me up IRL.

Creating community: Tips from the community master, Dawn Foster

Today, creating a vibrant and interactive community around your product or organization can be the difference between unheralded success and unimaginable failure. And no one knows that better than Portland’s Dawn Foster, one of the leading authorities on the subject.

Dawn has just completed a series of posts on corporate communities that is a must read for anyone attempting to work online with customers.

What’s a corporate community, you ask?

Corporate communities refer to any custom community created by an organization for the purpose of engaging with customers or other people who may be interested in the organization’s products and services. For the purpose of this post, custom corporate communities include communities created by corporations, non-profit organizations, educational institutions and similar organizations. These corporate communities can take many different forms: support communities, developer communities to help developers work with your products, customer and enthusiast communities, and many others.

See? I told you. How could you not fit in there?

So grab a cup of coffee (or some bubble tea if you want to be even more like Dawn) and dive into this great series of posts:

  • Custom Corporate Communities: Planning and Getting Started
    Before jumping in to create a new community, you should think carefully about the purpose of this new community including your goals and objectives, fitting your community efforts into your organization’s overall strategy, measuring success, and committing the resources required to make your community flourish.
  • Maintaining a Successful Corporate Community
    I decided to follow up my post on Monday about Custom Corporate Communities: Planning and Getting Started with this post containing tips about what to do and what to avoid doing if you want to have a successful corporate community. While some of these tips are specific to corporate communities, most of them also apply to other types of communities as well.
  • A Structure for Your Corporate Community
    I thought that it would be a good idea to also spend a little time on the things that you should be thinking about when coming up with a structure for your community. It is important to keep in mind that every community software package is likely to have unique strengths and limitations when it comes to configuring your community. From a design and architecture perspective, I strongly recommend looking at this strengths and limitations of the platform and taking them into account before starting any design or architecture work.
  • Promoting Your Community Efforts the Right Way
    In this final post for the corporate community series, we will spend some time on the right and wrong ways to promote your community efforts. Some of this advice also applies more broadly to promotion of other social media efforts as well.

For more from Dawn, head on over to Fast Wonder Blog.

OSCON 2008: Prepping for Portland, Oregon

Portland skyline at night

We here in Portland, Oregon, like to think of our town as the de facto hub of open source and open web technologies. I mean, Linus Torvalds lives around here, so does Ward Cunningham.

And, that’s not all. We’ve got the OpenID contingent with Vidoop and JanRain, too. What’s more, Portland is home to a bunch of cool open source shops and developers. Oh, and don’t forget, we used to host RailsConf, too.

But there’s one little get-together that causes our collective open source head to swell ever so slightly. And that event is just around the corner.

OSCON 2008, the premiere open source conference, will be again gracing Portland with its presence, beginning July 21. And with it, thousands of open source types will be descending upon town. No doubt, many of them will be wondering, “What the heck am I supposed to do when I’m not in sessions?”

Have no fear, open source aficionado! There are a few activities with which you can keep yourself entertained, a handful of establishments where you can slake your thirst, and a joint or two where you can get your fill of vittles.

As you’re planning your trip to Portland, here are some links that might help:

  • Hacking PDX: A geek’s guide to Portland International Airport
    “We have a great airport with plenty of features that just about any traveler could need. But, despite all its ease-of-use, there are always a few tips-and-tricks that make the experience that much better.”
  • Falling in love with Portland, again and again
    “This is the beginning of a fantastic renaissance period for Portland. It’s such a vibrant, eclectic, talented and diverse city with so many things going on, that it inspires the mind and spirit around every corner you turn.”
  • Amy Winkelman says “Hi Vidoop, Welcome to Portland!” (An extensive primer on the Rose City)
    “As a native Oregonian and fanatic Portlander, I love recommending things to new folks visiting the city.”
  • What to do in Portland while you’re at RailsConf (or OSCON)
    “If you’re attending RailsConf this year and are from out of town, you might be like me when you’re in another city: I don’t really find much outside of the touristy areas, or what’s immediately around where I’m staying. But you’re in luck! I live here in Portland, Oregon and I have a list of places to go and things to do that I think are quintessential Portland.”
  • Portland’s top 30 tech Twitter-ers
    “And that got me thinking. I began to wonder: Who is at the top of the Twitter heap when it comes to Portland startup and tech types? Who has the most ‘influence’? Who is the holder of the mythical ‘Twitter juice’?”

Still feel like you need some help? Drop a comment here, or feel free to ping me on Twitter. Or look for me at OSCON. I’d be happy to answer any Portland questions for you.

Whatever your question, rest assured that Portvangelists are standing by.

Photo courtesy Matt McGee used under Creative Commons.

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