Portland. You know, the town where folks are driven to create solutions to problems whether there’s a business model or not. Like Calagator. Which for more than a decade has served as the go-to resource as the aggregated calendar for Portland tech and startup events. For free.
If you were part of the Portland startup or open source community a decade ago—or if you were a startup type who visited Portland during that time period—you probably had the chance to attend Beer and Blog once or twice. If you weren’t around Portland then, you’ve no doubt heard me wax nostalgic dozens of times about the event, a weekly happy hour that served as the point of connection for our fledgling community.
It’s no secret that the world of online advertising has devolved into a means of using any and every accessible data point to convince consumers to purchase products. But it wasn’t always that way. There was a time when online advertising was far more simple and less invasive. And it still worked. But it was difficult. Portland startup Read the Docs has spent time building an ad platform that provides simple, ethical advertising. But in a world of ad blockers, that can be more difficult that one would think.
Ten years ago, the current Portland startup community was just starting to coalesce. And it’s no secret that many of the connections, gatherings, and events that made that possible were very much due to a substantially larger and more well connected tech community—the open source community—whose activity served as the foundation for the growing community of tech entrepreneurs.
I’m not going to lie: I love that the increasing accessibility—both in terms of costs and programmability—of hardware is inspiring new and creative pursuits. Sometimes, they create new business concepts. Sometimes they’re just cool. And when folks give you an inside look at how they made it? That’s even cooler. Which is why I loved this LEGO Saturn V project writeup from Portland’s Asa Miller.
Even though there’s less focus on it than previous years, Portland is—and remains—the de facto hub of open source activity. It’s just something in our blood. So it only stands to reason that—as more things become open—Portland would be a great spot for those open pursuits to congregate. Take for example Open Hardware Summit. Read More
I really enjoy highlighting projects other folks are creating. Really really. Conversely, I always hate highlighting my own projects. That’s not why I started this blog. This is always weird. Still, I wanted to let folks know that PIE—the ongoing experiment between the Portland startup community and Wieden+Kennedy that I helped cofound and continue to run—is changing what it’s doing. And that may impact you. Read More
As we work to create a more welcoming and diverse startup and tech scene, it’s important to recognize that there are any number of individuals who have already spent untold hours on this effort over the years. Making inroads without a great deal of support. Laying the foundational groundwork that will enable a more diverse community. And championing the effort tirelessly. Read More
There was a time before blogs and social media and all of that, when the democratization of the Web was far more simple. And ugly. But everyone has to start somewhere. And many folks started out on Geocities, a platform that enabled you to build your own home on the Web without setting up a server. Well, that magic is back. In a new and prettier way. With Neocities. Read More
Portland is pretty in tune with the experimental uses of technology. It’s our hobbyist culture. We like to muck with stuff. And technology, for many of us, is just another brush with which to paint. Which is what I found so compelling about Meatspaces, a chat environment created by Portland’s Edna Piranha, that mixes in short form gifs snapped by your laptop camera. Read More