[Editor: This is a guest editorial from Thursday Bram.]
James Damore is scheduled to speak at Portland State University in February. I don’t think you should attend. I could give you a dozen reasons why I’m not interested in Damore’s opinions on diversity, but plenty of people have already written that article. The fact we really need to talk about is that a speaker like Damore isn’t exceptional in the Portland tech community. Damore will fly in and fly out and we’ll still be working on our local issues.
It’s no secret that the Portland startup community has more than its fair share of virtual reality and augmented reality activity. But it’s only going to be a truly interesting, compelling, and vibrant with a variety of voices and experiences. That’s why it’s awesome to see folks like Kerri Lynne Thorp who are working to ensure that everyone feels welcome in this burgeoning community.
Describing the Portland tech scene to anyone who hasn’t experienced it in person is difficult. We’ve got some of the same sorts of startups you might see in San Francisco, but we also have tech companies that follow their own path. Portland also has nonprofits, a strong open source community, and a meetup scene that larger cities struggle to match. (Seriously, count the number of meetups in town just related to the Python programming language.) As a result, we’re starting to see hints of diversity: entrepreneurs from marginalized backgrounds, products built for wider user bases, and conference with diverse lineups. Read More
If you tend to follow a lot of Portland startup folks on social media, there’s no doubt that, today, your social streams were lit up with images of the governor of Oregon in a Microsoft HoloLens, a jam-packed crowd at Oregon Story Board, and news of Portland’s newest VC, Elevate Capital, and the big reveal of their first six investments—with four technology local startups among them. Read More
One thing I love about Portland: When people get really motivated and passionate about fixing a problem and start going full speed to make something happen. One thing I hate about Portland: Folks who do that usually find themselves in a vacuum, not realizing that they have peers pursuing similar ends. That’s one of the reasons I started Silicon Florist—and any number of other dot connecting projects—in the first place. And it’s why I’m glad to see things like the Inclusive Competitiveness event, this Friday. Read More