Tag: raven zachary

Portland Mayor Sam Adams talks open source, mobile, coworking, and the startup environment

Last Sunday, a group of folks representing the Portland open source, mobile, and coworking community got the chance to sit down and chat with Portland Mayor Sam Adams. Among those in attendance were Rubyist and Calagator lead Audrey Eschright, CubeSpace’s David Komisky, Software Association of Oregon Interim President Scott Kveton, the Mayor’s Economic Development Policy Advisor Skip Newberry, CubeSpace’s Eva Schweber, General Counsel at Extreme Arts & Sciences J-P Voilleque, and Small Society’s Raven Zachary.

Eva has a great recap of how the meeting played out, including insight on the topics we covered from telecommuting to open source to mobile. [UPDATE] And Skip Newberry from the Mayor’s Office has posted his recap, as well. So I wanted to take a different tact. I wanted to find out how the attendees perceived the meeting and the Mayor’s willingness to engage this group in conversation.

Here’s what they had to say. Read More

Zachary and Keller iPhone agency has a name: Small Society

Back in February, we got word that Raven Zachary and James Keller were starting a new iPhone agency to help clients build compelling and beautiful iPhone applications.

An agency model for application development? Would it work? Given the resulting backlog of clients—which is always impressive but especially in this environment—it seemed that it was an idea whose time had come. There was only one small problem: the agency didn’t have a name.

Now, the small team has managed to carve out enough time from client work to name the fledgling agency. Introducing Small Society:

In times of great innovation, cross-disciplined and talented individuals have come together to bring new ideas to life. It is in this spirit that our team has built a company that wants to help change the way people connect with each other and experience the world around them through iPhone OS.

We believe that the iPhone platform represents a major shift in mobility and provides a compelling opportunity for businesses to deliver new products and services, whether native or web-based, to a global audience.

Why did it take so long to come up with a name? Quite frankly, the team has been busy with other pursuits.

iPhorest mapLike what? I’m glad you asked. Here are a couple of their recent releases.

  • iPhorest, while developed prior to the official agency formation, has been released to the App Store. It’s an application that allows users to purchase a virtual tree to grow on their iPhone. Even better? Purchasing and planting a virtual tree results in a real tree being planted, as well. According to the map, though, the so-called Silicon Forest is seriously lagging on the tree planting.
  • CLIF Bar Save Our Snow app allows users to get check resorts for the latest skiing and snowboarding conditions from their iPhones. But the coolest feature is the most useless one: blowing into the microphone causes the screen to ice over.

The Small Society site is still under development. Until it is complete, raven.me remains the primary resource for information on the agency and its efforts. For more information, you can also follow @smallsociety on Twitter.

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No-name iPhone agency starts with two big names: Raven Zachary and James Keller

Why is the Brady Bunch theme song running through my head?

Maybe it’s because I’ve just heard the story of a man named Raven and a woman named James who’ve decided to combine their incredible talents.

Raven Zachary started his own iPhone consultancy last year. And he’s been overwhelmingly successful. Being involved in the Obama iPhone app can do that to you. And helping with something like iPhorest only continues the momentum.

So, he decided it was time to do something more.

“Since the Obama app, I’ve encountered some amazing brands and amazing opportunities,” said Raven. “And they were affecting my ability to remain an independent advisor in the iPhone community. It became very clear to me that there was the opportunity to build an iPhone agency.”

Enter James “@semaphoria” Keller, a wizard at Interaction Design, Information Architecture, and User Experience with a rich agency history. Her most recent gig? Serving as Interactive Strategist at Wieden + Kennedy.

“I love technology and how companies communicate with their community,” said James. “Getting to really dig deep and find a place for that within such a new—and gorgeous—platform is really a dream come true. It’s a once-in-a-lifetime, follow-your-heart pursuit.”

Now, they’re joining forces to form a strategic iPhone agency.

James Keller on the new gig

Why an agency model instead of pure app development? Raven and James are both interested in helping people develop and interact with their communities. The iPhone platform is a means to that end—albeit an incredibly creative platform for doing so.

The agency will also likely build apps of their own—Andrew Pouliot and Jonathan Wight, the lead dev on the Obama app, help round out the team—but it’s the strategy on which they will focus the majority of their time and effort.

Not only is this big for all of them, it’s big for Portland and its continued place in the mobile space.

“I think it’s a great fit for Portland because of the long history of creative services and technology,” said Raven. “We’re focusing on both. It’s really more of an agency than a development shop. But it’s really a small, small boutique agency.”

“I think you can be creative and strategic and develop well,” James said. “It’s a uniquely Portland thing.”

So what’s it called? Well, they don’t know yet. But you can find them at Raven.me.

“Maybe instead of Raven.me [Raven’s current consultancy], we can call it Raven.us?” said James.

At the very least, Todd gets his wish.

TiEsQue on Raven and James

iPhorest: New iPhone app launching at TED has Portland connection

iPhorestIf you’re in Portland and involved in a the Web and mobile startup scene, any mention of “iPhone” is usually immediately followed by a mention of “Raven Zachary.”

Portland isn’t alone in that regard, the iPhone consultant—who helped create iPhoneDevCamp before there was even such a thing as iPhone development—has seen more and more attention for his services as the burgeoning iPhone market has come into being.

And it’s thanks in no small part to his involvement in a little iPhone that played a role in putting Barack Obama in office. The other part is that he’s one of the most intelligent and well-spoken people I know. And of course the final part is that he’s one of the nicest guys you’ll get the chance to meet.

Well, now Raven has his hand in another app that’s sure to increase the iPhone limelight for him. Meet iPhorest, a new iPhone app launching this week at TED, the premiere “cool leading edge technology thinking and stuff” conference.

Raven Zachary on iPhorest

And Raven isn’t the only one excited about it. There’s this guy you may have heard of named Kevin Rose who told his 98,700 (and counting) Twitter followers about it.

Kevin Rose on iPhorest

And then there’s Ashton Kutcher’s wife. She likes it, too.

Demi Moore on iPhorest

It’s clear that iPhorest is on to something.

What’s not so clear is exactly what iPhorest does—since it’s not yet available in the App Store. But it has something to do with planting trees. On the iPhone.

By downloading the app, the user activates a seedling both virtually and physically. As the seedling on their phone grows, users can also send seeds to other phones, starting a new forest.

For each virtual tree planted, The Conservation Fund will plant a native tree in real life – starting with restoration of vulnerable wildlife habitats along the Gulf Coast. They will work with the nation’s leading public natural resource agencies to ensure the long-term protection of each iPhorest.

iPhones and sustainability? What could be more Portland-y than that? [UPDATE] More Portland people of course! Raven adds:

The lead developer and designer, Andrew Pouliot @andpoul, is in Portland, as is the 3D modeler, Alex Jetter. Thanks to Bram Pitoyo for the recommendation for Alex.

It’s a very cool concept. I’m looking forward to getting the opportunity to test drive it—and help a few flowers bloom trees grow.

As soon as I know more, you’ll know more. But I wanted to congratulate Raven on iPhorest as soon as I could.

New Legion of Tech board members announced… err tweeted

In a very Barack-Obama-naming-his-running-mate-esque moment, I saw Bram Pitoyo congratulate the new Legion of Tech board members in a tweet. I’m struggling to find an “official” post on this , but If texting is good enough for Barack, then Twitter is absolutely perfect for Legion of Tech. [Update] Legion of Tech has posted the new board for 2009.

New Legion of Tech board

The new board members are Amy Farrell, Craig Fisk, Chris O’Rourke, and Chris Pitzer. They join existing board members Josh Bancroft, Adam DuVander, Dawn Foster, Todd Kenefsky, and Raven Zachary.

An advisory committee is being established, as well. Names of the advisory committee were not announced (or tweeted by Bram, either).

Congratulations to the new board members! I know we’re all looking forward to another amazing year of Legion of Tech events.

Six Portland-area mobile app developers and consultants to watch

I keep an eye on a bunch of people who work on mobile apps. Most recently with the Obama for iPhone app. I thought it might be helpful to give you a glimpse of some of the Portland Oregon mobile app scene.

[HTML1]Yesterday, it dawned on me that I keep an eye on a bunch of people who work on mobile apps. I’ve covered them from time to time—most recently with the Obama for iPhone app—but I thought it might be helpful to give you a glimpse of some of the folks who are making things happen in the mobile app scene.

And lo and behold they just happen to be from the Silicon Forest. Go figure.

Avatron Software (Vancouver, WA)

Talk about starting off on the right foot. Avatron’s first commercial application for the iPhone, Air Sharing (NOTE: iTunes app store link), is well on its way toward becoming the most popular iPhone application, ever.

“Founded in April 2008 by Dave Howell, a six-year veteran Apple engineering manager, Avatron is a leading developer of popular applications for the iPhone and iPod touch. Avatron’s Air Sharing application, downloaded by nearly one million users in its first week, has raised the bar for iPhone application design and software quality.”

For more information, visit Avatron.

Cloud Four (Portland, OR)

The folks at Cloud Four have really come into their own in the world of consulting on mobile apps—especially when it comes to things like usability. (What? You actually want people to be able to use the app?) They’ve put in some impressive (volunteer) work on the Obama for iPhone app and equally impressive (paid) work on the interface design for the Mobile Wall Street Journal app.

“But what’s remarkable about Cloud Four is not our individual talents, as extensive as they may be. It’s where we overlap that we really shine. Instead of working separately in our spheres of aesthetics and engineering, we look at the building of Web sites and applications as a cohesive process, not just a series of database views or mockups. Cloud Four is proudly based in Portland, Ore., but we serve customers worldwide.”

For more information, visit Cloud Four.

FreeRange (Portland, OR)

If any company is the “founding father” of the burgeoning Portland mobile scene, FreeRange is it. With customers like the Wall Street Journal and the Portland Trail Blazers—and one of the most impressive mobile feed readers on the market—FreeRange is sure to keep Portland associated with mobile apps for a long time to come.

FreeRange Communications was created in 2004 because using the browser to get information on a mobile phone didn’t work so well. It still doesn’t work well enough (no offense to the wizardy of Apple’s iPhone), and it’s not likely to become really great for a very long time.

For more information, visit FreeRange.

GoLife Mobile (Hillsboro, OR)

The folks at GoLife Mobile are working to make mobile application development and adoption easier for both developers and consumers. And by building a Java-based framework that runs on practically any handset—and in so doing allowing practically any application to run on any handset—they’re moving down the right path.

“GoLife Mobile Corporation was founded by industry veterans with the desire to create a mobile lifestyle environment that enhances how people interact with technology, each other, and the physical world around them. This is the true birth of ubiquitous computing. We foresee information flowing smoothly between ubiquitous, integrated devices and networks, seamlessly converging to provide useful, personal, context sensitive services.”

For more information, visit GoLife Mobile.

Don Park (Portland, OR)

The owner of the first—and only—Openmoko open-source phone I’ve ever seen, Don is always working to make things as open as possible. His latest project? Developing a mobile social location application for the soon-to-be-released open-source mobile platform, Android.

In his own words (via the Los Angeles Times):

“But Don Park, an independent developer in Portland, Ore., said he would focus on Android phones for his location-tracking software because he likes that openness.

“‘Phones weren’t interesting a few years ago,’ he said. ‘Now cellphones have become the new personal computer.'”

For more information, visit Don Park’s personal site.

Raven Zachary (Portland, OR)

Ever since the iPhone was introduced, Raven Zachary has been leading the thought on developing for the platform. As the creator of iPhoneDevCamp, chair of the upcoming iPhoneLive conference, and consultant to a number of iPhone developers in town and around the nation, Raven knows everything happening in the world of iPhone development—and he’s influencing a great deal of it, as well. Not only that, he served as the project manager on the Obama iPhone app, one of the most popular iPhone apps in history.

But don’t take my word for it. Here’s what Raven has to say.

“I love the iPhone. But that shouldn’t surprise you, because 90% of people who own iPhones love theirs too. But if you look into that 90%, I’m in the .1% of those people who don’t think of it just as a lovely phone, but as some agent of change that impacts us on a deep level – makes us more connected, more informed, more a part of the global network. And, hell, it’s wicked cool.”

For more information, visit raven.me. [UPDATE] Raven Zachary has co-founded an iPhone agency called Small Society. For more, see the Silicon Florist coverage on Small Society efforts.

BONUS! Mobile Portland (Portland, OR)

If you really want to stay in tune with what’s happening in the Portland mobile development scene, there’s no better place than the Mobile Portland group. The fledgling organization also holds regular meetings to discuss topics affecting the mobile scene.

“Mobile Portland is local user group focused on mobile development. We gather on the fourth Monday of every month for presentations, discussion and networking.”

For more information, visit Mobile Portland.

Who else?

As I mentioned, these are the folks I’m tracking. No doubt there are countless others I’m missing.

Has someone impressed you with their mobile development fu? Or maybe you’re a mobile developer who needs to toot his/her own horn a bit more?

Please, by all means, link it up below.

Raven Zachary chairs iPhoneLive, a new iPhone conference for O’Reilly

Raven Zachary Apple iPhoneThat’s right. Portland’s master of all things iPhone, Raven Zachary, has been tapped by O’Reilly to lead its latest conference, iPhoneLive.

And while this event is not going to be held in Portland (don’t get me started), I still chalk this up as a major win for both Raven and the Portland tech scene, as a whole. Anytime we have a local chairing a cutting-edge technology event, that’s a win. No matter where they hold it.

And it leads me to wonder… could Portland become more iPhoney than other technology hubs? It’s too early to tell, but let’s wait and see.

One thing is for sure: with Raven’s focus on this eyes-on-ubiquity Apple device, the interest in events like the Raven-founded iPhoneDevCamp, and Portland’s proclivity for the little bugger, it may only be a matter of time.

So, what’s iPhoneLive?

iPhoneLive will be a gathering of the best and brightest participants in the iPhone ecosystem today. Whether you’re already building apps for the iPhone or are a developer who wants to make a move to the iPhone platform; if you’re an entrepreneur or simply an enthusiast of the emerging iPhone industry, this is the event for you. It’s going to be a mind-blowing day filled with information that you just can’t get anywhere else. We’ll cover development issues from coding to release, as well as general market information and lessons learned from leading iPhone developers and entrepreneurs.

And, truly, what’s an Apple-oriented conference without some top-secret launch activity?

iPhoneLive will also feature Launch Pad, a showcase for the coolest, not-yet-public apps and startups. The iPhoneLive Launch Pad presents an opportunity for iPhone developers and entrepreneurs to unveil new applications and startups at a major event. There are a limited number of slots available for iPhoneLive Launch Pad, and there is no cost to participate. The deadline for submitting a proposal to participate is September 30th.

iPhoneLive will be held in San Jose, California, on November 18. For more information on the conference, see Raven’s post on the O’Reilly Radar. Already sold? Hit the iPhoneLive conference site to figure out how you can participate.

REMINDER: Portland tech types at Inverge Thursday and Friday

InvergePortland’s Inverge conference starts on Thursday, and a few of our favorite Portland tech types are taking the stage. If you’ve got time to attend, I highly suggest catching:

Not registered for Inverge? No worries. Passes will be available at the door. A Full Conference Pass will run you $495 or you can get a day pass for, well, roughly half that at $249.

For more information, visit Inverge.

Raven Zachary’s Apple iPhone obsession now his full-time gig

Raven Zachary Apple iPhoneWithout a doubt, one of the busiest people in Portland—when he’s actually on the ground here in Portland—is Raven Zachary. Working with Legion of Tech. Founding iPhoneDevCamp. Running around consulting on Open Source. Standing in line waiting for iPhones. And helping folks with all things iPhone.

Yeah, you caught that, didn’t you?

It’s no secret that Raven’s interest has definitely been leaning more and more toward the iPhone, as of late. And you know what they always say? Follow your passion.

So now, Raven is taking the opportunity to do exactly that, turning his iPhone obsession passion into full-time gig.

For those of you who know me as the founder of iPhoneDevCamp, this will probably not come as much of a surprise. Over the past few weeks, a number of professional opportunities relating to the iPhone have emerged that are too compelling to pass up. Some of these project I can’t talk about just yet, but I am looking forward to sharing them with you as soon as I able to.

Well, sort of.

Raven will still be supporting some of his consulting clients for The 451 Group. But instead of being a full-time analyst, he’ll move into the part-time role of contributing analyst.

So, he’ll still be crazy busy. Just with a different priority ranking on his efforts.

I, for one, couldn’t be happier for Raven. His passion is infectious. And this opportunity to channel his energy into this gig will be a delight to see.

And it looks like I’m not the only one. Twitter is running rampant with congratulations for Raven, this morning. Including a retweet from none other than Tim O’Reilly, himself:

Tim O’Reilly on Raven Zachary

Raven’s new venture can be found at raven.me or you can follow him on Twitter at ravenme.

raven.me is an iPhone site. It serves two functions – to provide interesting iPhone content to the general public and to promote my iPhone advisory business and other iPhone-related pursuits.

Again, best of luck to Raven. I know he’s going to be a phenomenal success. And that bodes well for all us here in the Silicon Forest.

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