As the pandemic wears on, it’s only reasonable that people continue to rethink the value of “place.” If you can work from anywhere, how much do regional hubs of activity — proximity to other humans — truly matter? Some of that thinking comes into play in this Rise of the Rest take on the “Silicon Whatever” naming convention.Read More
As folks think through how to disentangle and deconstruct systemic racism in many of our institutions, it comes as little surprise that the tech industry falls under similar scrutiny. Long a falsely held “meritocracy,” our largely white industry has any number deeply troubling racist dynamics to it, from its current demographics to its culture to its technology. And it’s going to take long term work — and constant dedication to that work — to address these issues and implement necessary changes.Read More
We all know the mythology. The magical land of unicorns. And billions in funding. And exponential growth. But what about the reality of the dynamics of Silicon Valley and the folks who are grinding out their existence there? I just picked up Anna Wiener’s memoir, Uncanny Valley, in an effort to get some of that unvarnished context. And as luck would have it, she’ll be here in Portland at Powell’s Hawthorne location next week to provide even more insights.Read More
Going into the long weekend, I thought you could use some longer form stuff to read. And clearly, I’m never going to find the time to write it. So I’m going to give you someone else’s content. Like Willamette Week which just published a cover story on the current state of Oregon startups and the infrastructure that seeks to support them.
It’s happened before. Many of us lived it. And if my reading list this weekend is any indication, it’s happening again. Like the days of the dotcom boom and bust, folks seem to be growing increasingly tired of the Silicon Valley way of doing business. And they’re getting fairly vocal about that disdain.
Early stage investing has definitely changed. Huge seed rounds. Challenging pre-seed rounds. Organized angel groups that behave more like institutional investors. It can be confusing for the uninitiated. That’s why it’s always good to hear from folks who are in the thick of it. Like Shane Johnson, an early stage investor from Eugene, Oregon.
When I first started this blog—way back in the dark ages of this current generation of Portland startups—it seemed that time and time again the prevailing wisdom was “move to the Valley.” And that left a bit of a mark on me. So I can’t help but be lifted every time someone provides a counter argument to that thinking, especially when it has an eye toward the future. Like this TechCrunch piece by Eugene’s Pat McCarthy. Read More
If you’re in the startup scene, you’ve probably happened across the HBO series Silicon Valley, a Mike Judge vehicle that does a great job of capturing the inanity of the startup world. For many of us, it’s a cringe inducing slice of life that is sometimes more torture than entertainment. But Series 2 episode 4 may be a little more bearable—because Portlanders contributed to it. Read More