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
Among many interesting developments announced at the Intel Developer Forum (in San Francisco, where the technology discussion was largely about what Intel is doing in Oregon) was the announcement that Intel’s somewhat understated Custom Foundry business would be building processors for ARM and its customers, including LG, servicing the mobile and IoT markets. While this is not as big as a win as having the dominant branded design, it underscores Intel’s continuing leadership in manufacturing technology—led by Intel’s Hillsboro Ronler Acres site. Read More
[Editor: I apologize for the heavy Silicon-Florist-oriented content this week. Lots of stuff swirling about the site while news has been light. I’m digging around for more stories to get the focus back on you. Have something interesting? Drop me a line or, better yet, add your Silicon Forest startup to my watchlist.]
We’ve lost our lease! Everything must go!
Oh wait. This isn’t one of those posts. But it is about dropping prices.
Given that the Silicon Florist Gig board is all about helping Web startups, boutique development groups, and other companies with Web-tech oriented positions find the talent they need, it makes sense that, well, folks actually feel comfortable using it.
And unfortunately, since the free postings have been exhausted, the board has gone a bit stagnant. Which makes me think that the price to post may have been aggressive, at best, and perhaps oppressive, at worst. So, I’ve decided to drop the prices for posting.
Pricing is now a buck a day: $15 for 15 days. Hopefully, this will pique some interest and lower the pain of posting to the board.
Honestly, I’d just really like to see this work for employers, for jobseekers, and for the Silicon Forest tech community. So I’d love to hear from you. Still too expensive? Not long enough? Think I should givep the dream and just go free? What can I do? Let me know.
Feeling more comfortable with this direction? Please consider posting a gig.
In the comments below, Jason Grigsby asked, albeit in a bit more couth fashion, “What the heck am I getting for my hard-earned cash?”
Great question. As far as overall Silicon Florist exposure goes, the blog’s traffic numbers are always available via Quantcast or Compete. And the RSS feed subscribers are always available via that FeedBurner chiclet up top.
Below, you’ll find details on the specific number of views each job posting received (from most views to least).
- Community manager – Evangelist MyStrands (132 views)
- Web design freelance (130 views)
- Interactive Strategist Wieden+Kennedy (120 views)
- Web Application Developer Intrigo (93 views)
- Web Developer WeoGeo (87 views)
- Web Application Graphic Designer Intrigo (73 views)
- Rails Developer Planet Argon (69 views)
- Marketing and Sales Intrigo (67 views)
- Software Engineer, Level 1 Jive Software (60 views)
- Interactive Information Architect Wieden+Kennedy (55 views)
- Interactive Senior Designer Wieden+Kennedy (49 views)
- QA Engineer Tripwire, Inc. (46 views)
- Interactive Traffic Manager Wieden+Kennedy (45 views)
- Interactive QA Engineer Wieden+Kennedy (33 views)
- Senior Software QA Engineer Jive Software (30 views)
- Software Engineer – Library Development – Contract Position Lightfleet Corporation (19 views)
- Senior Optical Design Engineer Lightfleet Corporation (19 views)
- Director of Channel Sales Lightfleet Corporation (19 views)
- Director of Pre-Sales Engineering Lightfleet Corporation (15 views)
- Senior Software Engineer – Linux Kernel Lightfleet Corporation (14 views)
- Senior Staff Software Engineer – Linux Kernel Architect Lightfleet Corporation (13 views)
- Senior IC Verification Engineer Lightfleet Corporation (11 views)
I wanted to highlight some of the interesting (read “the only”) jobs that have been posted to the Silicon Florist gig board, this week.
- Marshall Kirkpatrick is looking for freelance Web design talent
“I’m looking to have a couple of people I can refer to consulting clients who need web design help. These requests come my way every once in a while and I don’t know anyone who’s available and awesome. Let’s save the world from ugly web apps!”
- MyStrands is looking for a Community Manager – Evangelist
“This position will play a key role in creating a community around upcoming services. You will evangelize, create, execute, and evaluate community building and online marketing campaigns in line with MyStrands’ overall strategy. You will develop marketing campaigns, community programs and proactively drive communications, with a strong focus in Portland, Oregon and the Northwest.”
Remember, if you’re interested in test driving the Silicon Florist gig board, now would be a great time to stick your toe in the proverbial water. Until the end of March,
you can post up to three jobs the first 20 jobs posted will be absolutely free of charge. (Turns out the Jobamatic discount code total isn’t “per user” as I had assumed.) First come, first served. Simply use the discount code “earlybird” at checkout.
It’s officially Spring. And Spring is always a good time to plant some new stuff.
As I strive to make this site more useful for both the folks who are trying to create startups here in the Silicon Forest and the folks who are interested in following those startups, one thing has become abundantly clear to me: there are a lot of people looking for other people to help them.
And sometimes, they’re looking for people to work for them.
So I thought it might be helpful to launch a gig board of sorts. And then I posed a hypothetical question on Twitter. And the response absolutely convinced me it was the right thing to do.
So, I scrambled to create the Silicon-Forest-startup-oriented job and gig board.
Now, it’s not terribly pretty (neither was this blog up until a short while ago), but it is functional.
In the interest of time, I decided to use a canned solution for the proof-of-concept. Call it an agile mentality or use Guy Kawasaki’s phrasing. Either way, it seemed best to get it out there so we could start gathering requirements. But I would like to build something custom that better meets your needs.
So please bang on it, and then let me know what features you would like to see. And if I can’t accomplish that with the canned solution, I’ll work your ideas into the custom solution I’m planning to commission.
Oh, and at this point the job board is completely blank. Which is sort of detrimental to the whole “job search” thing. And, really, who wants to be the first to jump into the pool? [Update: Thanks to Marshall Kirkpatrick (Web designer) and MyStrands (Community Manager – Evangelist) for taking the plunge!]
Well this may help. Until the end of March, anyone can post up to three jobs completely free of charge by using the discount code “earlybird” at checkout.
What have you got to lose?
Now, I know many of you have more than three jobs to post. And the “underwriting the Silicon Florist” survey directed me to get creative about finding ways to fund the continued development of this site. So, I’ve started the cost of a job posting at $50 for 2 weeks.
That seems reasonable without being exorbitant. So, let’s see how that goes.
Again, I’m looking forward to your feedback. And I’m hoping that we can make the Silicon Florist Job and Gig board a valuable resource for all of the startups here in the area.
Don’t forget “earlybird” gives you a chance to try it out for free. So please do.
Earlier this week, I tried to shoot a hole in news that the “Web 2.0 sky is falling” by highlighting that Web 2.0 investments may be down in the Silicon Valley and Texas—but Web 2.0 venture amounts are up practically everywhere else, including the Silicon Forest.
In 2007, the median deal size was $5 million, up 22 percent. And the median pre-money valuation was $10 million, up 66 percent (from $6 million in 2006). Both deal size and valuation for Web 2.0 companies remained below the average VC deal across all industries ($7.6 million and $16 million, respectively)
But again, there’s a silver lining to this Silicon-Valley cloud. For us, at least.
Take a look at where the top investments landed. Lo and behold, there are two Silicon Forest companies on the list. Corvallis-based MyStrands appears on the list twice with nearly $50 million combined investment, and Portland-based Jive Software appears courtesy of their $15 million round, last year.
This is the kind of news that begins to put Portland and the entire Silicon Forest on the map. It’s news that, hopefully, makes the venture capital community take notice. And maybe, just maybe, the type of news that motivates those investors to take a second look at the Rose City technology scene.
I can’t wait to see what 2008 holds for our local companies. But the bar has been set. And I hope to see more than two of our companies on the list, next year.
(Hat tip Jeff the Great)
Something dawned on me this weekend as I was watching the streams of Portland-based tweets stream across my screen. I think Portland may have more another “per capita” stat we can start quoting. I think it’s highly likely that Portland has more tweets per capita than any city in the US.
With all of these Twitter users and tweets flying by, it comes as no surprise that Portland and the Silicon Forest have created a number of cool side-project Twitter-related tools and views. I use a number of these tools every single day. And they’ve greatly improved the utility of Twitter—and the information it holds—for me. (Of course, as always, I also remain hopeful that some of these side projects have the potential to form—or at the very least inspire—full-fledged Silicon Forest startups.)
While I’ve covered most of these individually, I thought it might be wise to round them up for future reference. Both to highlight the work that is going on, and to hopefully, stimulate some more ideas for development.
In no particular order:
- Pulse of PDX provides a view of Portland Twitter users and what they’re posting to Twitter. The best thing about Pulse of PDX? You don’t even have to be a Twitter user to use it, so it’s a great way to dip your toe in the proverbial Twitter water. Of course, once you use it, you may want to become a Twitter user.
- Twitterwhere let’s you find all the Twitter users in a particular geographic region. Want to find all of the Twitter folks in Corvallis? What about Vancouver? Portland? And since the service provides a feed, it’s another “try before you buy” Twitter tool. Add the feed to your feed reader if you’re still debating whether to sign up for Twitter or not.
- Tweetpeek allows you to create quick widgets and pages using the followers of a particular entity. Think Pulse of PDX for whatever you want. Create a Twitter entity, follow the folks you would like to include, and run it through Tweetpeek. Easy.
- Ever wish you could see Twitter conversations in a threaded, rather than linear, format? Well, then Twitterthreads may be for you, my friend. Simply log into Twitterthreads with your Twitter credentials, and you’ll be able to see your
- Heavy Twitter users will find times when they simply don’t see all the replies that were meant for them. And that’s where Portland’s Twitter Reply Sniffer comes into play. Use the tool to search for your Twitter name and you’ll see all the replies from all the folks who are interested in conversing with you.
- I don’t use public transit as much as I would like, but when I do, NextTrimet has been a welcomed addition to my Twitter toolset. Simply follow NextTrimet (and wait for it to follow you back), then send your stop number in a direct message to NextTrimet and it will let you know when the next ride will be arriving.
- Sandy isn’t a Twitter tool per se. But I have to tell you, since I discovered Sandy’s Twitter account, I’ve been working with her more and more. Like anyone else on Twitter, she’s cordial, intelligent, and helpful. And she’s helping me keep track of more and more things.
Those are just a few of the cool tools built on and around Twitter that I’ve been lucky enough to find. I, for one, can’t wait to find more hometown-built tools that make Twitter even more valuable.
Have you built a cool Twitter app or found one that I haven’t listed? Please, by all means, let me know.
First of all, I wanted to thank you. For your readership and your support. And, for your continuing to pursue your side projects, your part-time projects, and your full-on entrepreneurial pursuits.
And especially for being brave enough to read a post called “I could use your advice.”
This one is a tough one for me. And I’ll apologize in advance for my rambling explanation. But here we go…
It’s no secret that I started Silicon Florist on a whim. Because I saw a gap in the news coverage. Because I saw incredibly exciting things happening in Portland that didn’t seem to garner coverage—either by local pubs or by the juggernauts of the tech industry.
In short, I’ve been humbled by the response to the blog. And I can’t tell you how much I appreciate your continuing to read it.
I started Silicon Florist because I thought it was a good idea. But I like to think I have a lot of good ideas. It was a side project. A passion project.
But as Silicon Florist continues to grow, it begins to slide into the “part-time gig” column. And I’m happy to see it do that, because I can confidently say that my passion for Silicon Florist and the potential it holds only continues to grow.
After talking with literally hundreds of people (with whom I would have never had contact without this blog), I can see a number of other “gaps” that could be filled. That could improve our startup community here in the Silicon Forest. That could help other folks—kids, business people, venture capitalists—get more involved in the tech industry, here. That could move help Portland and its surrounding areas take a rightful place on the technology map, again.
And that’s something I desperately want to do.
But. (There’s always a “but,” isn’t there?)
There are only so many hours in the day. And I would very much like to dedicate some of those hours before midnight to Silicon Florist pursuits. And to the greater good.
But in order to do that, I have to reduce the number of consulting hours to which I commit. And we all know what that means, don’t we?
Well, it means, I need to find another way to replace that cash that’s currently underwriting all of the Silicon Florist efforts. So that I can spend more than side-project time on Silicon Florist. And, quite honestly, to keep this burgeoning dream alive that maybe—just maybe—Silicon Florist has the potential to be a full-time gig.
So, finally, we come to my question:
What should I do?
I have some baggage about even considering this whole thing. But, someone far wiser than I told me, “The first time you covered a topic because you felt you had to cover it, rather than because you wanted to cover it, Silicon Florist stopped being your blog.” And that message has been echoed by others.
So, I feel I have logical justification. But, it’s that selfsame logical defense that also tells me that this blog belongs to you, too. So, I need some more feedback. I need to ask those of you in the silent majority who haven’t had the chance to say your piece.
I’ve been thinking about this a great deal. And I see a number of potential options for getting Silicon Florist out of my basement and on its way to paying some of its own bills. But I’m also open to your feedback.
Here are some ideas I had:
- Do nothing different from today. Keep the coverage at the same—or lower—level. Keep on keeping on, and look for other passion projects to which I can dedicate my time.
- Introduce the OPB-esque idea of “Sustaining sponsors,” be that individuals or corporations, who provide funding to underwrite Silicon Florist projects.
- Pursue good old fashioned Web advertising. Rest assured, I’m not talking about anything gaudy, whack-a-mole-ish, or mortgage-financing-ish. I have to look at the site, too. And ideally, it should be advertising that actually helps Silicon Forest startups and other readers. Shocking concept, I realize.
- Come up with a more creative solution for solving the problem with which I find myself faced.
- Or, your idea may be the right thing to do. So feel free to share your ideas in the “Other” area or via comments.
Suffice it to say, that my most important concern is that, you, as a reader do not feel put upon or alienated as a result of my pursuing this direction. Because if this blog fails to keep you interested or if you’re going to be offended, I’d rather suck it up and do nothing.
Wow. That was a lead-up if I’ve ever composed one. If you’re still awake… without further ado, is my appeal for your feedback. I’m looking forward to hearing from you. (Poll not showing? Please access the Silicon Florist poll here.)
And, as always, please feel free to use the comments to expound upon your answers.
Thank you. Sincerely. I really appreciate your advice.
[Editor’s note: Continuing the Silicon Florist’s guest editorial series, we welcome Scott Kveton, a well-known force-of-nature in the Portland technology community. And, as you’ll see, the de facto Chamber of Commerce for the Portland startup scene.]
Image courtesy Modified Enzyme under Creative Commons
Falling in love with Portland again and again
Having grown up in-and-around Portland, it’s always fun to see the reaction to everything-that-is-Portland from someone who doesn’t live here. (Oh, and the weather we had last week didn’t hurt either.)
I got a chance to talk a little bit about this at Ignite Portland 2, but I’ll say it again: This is the beginning of a fantastic renaissance period for Portland. It’s such a vibrant, eclectic, talented and diverse city with so many things going on, that it inspires the mind and spirit around every corner you turn. Even more, I think Chris Logan had it right: it’s time for Portland to step up and take its place.
There has been some talk about how “if you don’t live in the Bay Area and you’re in tech, you’re basically a wuss.”
So be it. The very last thing I want is for Portland to turn into the Bay Area or Seattle. I want it to be Portland. I want other cities to be saying “wouldn’t it be great if we were more like Portland?” I simply want Portland to come into its own in tech, in the arts, sustainability, green, etc.
But, how do we get to that point?
Well, it takes a bunch of us, it takes some time and, ironically, the city does most of the work for you.
For the past couple of years, I’ve made it a point to try to help people who are considering a move to Portland. I’ve spent countless days taking people around the city, introducing them to others in the city, and generally trying to give them a “locals’ view” of the city.
Now, the tour I take folks on covers a bit of ground and I’m seeking some input on the route. A couple of places I go to:
- Tour of SW waterfront area with gondola love
- Sellwood district (possibly for lunch, definitely for dinner at Saburo’s if it’s a weekday night)
- SE towards 78th or so … Marshall has been kind enough to meet me more than once at the Bipartisan Cafe… soooo PDX
- Alberta or Killingsworth… I used to live at Billy Reed’s at the turn of the century and I can’t believe how much it’s all changed since then
- Pearl District for coffee (Caffe Umbria is amazing) or drinks (the Vault or even the Clyde Commons)
- NW on 21st or 23rd… just too much to do, to eat, to see
Where would you take a touring visitor to get a taste of Portland from a local’s point-of-view? Bear in mind, I’m not looking for just a tech-person view on this. I’m all about diversity here.
The key to all of this, and the thing that I keep in mind at all times, is serendipity. Yeah, yeah, I know. Hard to quantify, huh? Well, I’m not the cheerleader type unless I really, really believe in it. Portland I can believe in. This city, the people, the places. It’s easy.
If you’re not predisposed to drink the PDX Kool-aid, then you’re probably not the type of person I’d want here anyway. And, if you’ve ended up in my Inbox or with my phone number, odds are, there’s a reason.
I’ll put this out there; if you have a friend or colleague that is thinking about making the move to Portland I’ll offer up my time for coffee or even the full-fledged tour to introduce them to the city and the people I know. It’s just the right thing to do. And, I’d challenge you to do the same.
Again, it’s not about trying to make Portland something it’s not… it’s about embracing serendipity and helping Portland realize its potential.
P.S. – first round is always on me … 🙂
Scott Kveton is a digital identity promoter, open source advocate, and Chairman of the OpenID Foundation. He has worked at Amazon, RuleSpace.com, JanRain, and MyStrands, and founded the Open Source Lab at Oregon State University. He is a regular speaker on the topic of identity and open source. Kveton currently serves as the Vice President of Open Platforms for Vidoop, a company he recently wooed to the Silicon Forest.