In today’s world of rapid consumption, we often fail to take the time to learn the super interesting backstories of people in our community. And what motivates people to do what they do. This is especially difficult when those folks make their living telling other people’s stories. That’s why I was happy to hear that the And Uhhh… crew was grabbing some time with Malia Spencer of the Portland Business Journal.
There have been any number of fundraising announcements in the past two weeks. And as compelling as that news is, it’s even more exciting to see the companies putting that money to work. Like Rigado, for instance. Which recently raised $15 million. And that led to a bunch of open jobs. Like nine of them.
There was a time when Portland was at the forefront of access to civic data. Then we lost some ground. Maybe a great deal of ground. But we’re having a renaissance of sorts. With the Smart City PDX effort. And with Hack Oregon’s announcement of the new Civic platform.
Every once in a while, you get to be present to witness the establishment of a widespread platform. A platform that provides the means of making a market. Sometimes, it’s the first to market—like the iPhone or Roku. Sometimes, it’s a fast follower—like Microsoft Explorer or Google. We’ve seen it happen time and time again. With the Web and Mobile and Streaming Media. But it’s rare to see that happen locally.
In what now seems like ancient history, the Portland startup community used to have a gathering called Beer and Blog. Back when the community was smaller. And when people actually used to blog more regularly. Back then, it was the way to meet folks from our online community, offline.
Admittedly, I get a little cranky about the posts that appear on the Portland Startups Switchboard from time to time. But there are also a bunch of good posts that pop up there all of the time—posts that might not get the attention they deserve. So rather than focusing on the negative, I thought it might be nice to accentuate the positive.
Sometimes, I think that I miss podcasting. But then I listen to myself on a podcast. And then I realize… Yeah. Probably best left to others. Others who are more well spoken and entertaining. Oh. And interesting. Don’t forget interesting. Nonetheless, I may have said one or two compelling things. Either thanks to the talent of the interviewers or because, you know, even the broken clock is right twice a day.
Unless you’ve been around the Portland startup community for a while, you may not remember Meridian. Even if you have been around a while, the name might not immediately ring a bell. But it should. Because from my perspective, it was one of the more successful startup exits in Portland. Not in total value, but definitely in multiples returned to investors and the speed at which that investment was returned.