In some ways, what’s happening right now is somewhat familiar. The economic downturn. Companies going through layoffs. New forms of inspiration that have folks with creative and entrepreneurial minds pondering new ideas and solutions. Making the best of a bad situation.Read More
This is just weird. And every year it just gets more so. There’s no other way to put it. I literally had no idea that the night I scrambled out of bed and to my computer — inspired to register a new domain name, discovering that name was taken, and then tongue-firmly-in-cheek registering one that was available — would result in this. How could I? And yet, here we are. Twelve years later. And this side project just keeps going. And going. Yep, it’s still here. It’s still Silicon Florist.
Well, will you lookie there? My how time flies. And any number of other platitudes. Silicon Florist has managed to make it another year. Thanks, of course, to all of you and that awesome stuff you’re doing. Day after day. In this amazing town. And this amazing state. Silicon Florist is now nine years old. Read More
Rick had reason to celebrate because this blog is now one year old, which is like 10 human years or something. Anyway, Rick’s hospitality brought out the largest crowd yet for a Portland Lunch 2.0. The event was really inspiring for me, as the Lunch 2.0 guy, and for Rick, as the guy everyone came out to see.
At most points during the lunch, there was a line three to six people deep to talk to Rick. Bram and I joked that he needed a “Now Serving” sign to keep track of who was next in line. Rick was so busy chatting up his guests, he forgot to eat. That’s why we all like him so much though. Because he doesn’t eat much.
- Nicholas catered the lunch, always a good day when you eat Nicholas, especially for free.
- There was a Marshall Kirkpatrick sighting. He even blogged while he was there, simultaneously standing on one leg, eating, chatting with two people and doing his taxes.
- I got to see about half the people I follow on Twitter IRL, and I met several new people including a bunch interested in keeping the Lunch 2.0 train rolling.
- Ryan Snyder of recently launched Shizzow and his fellow Shizzites (Dawn, Mark and Sam) introduced their new service and handed out a bunch of beta invites.
- A good time was had by all, even Rick.
All-in-all, it was a highly successful and entertaining lunch. Thanks to all who made it. Thanks to Rick for picking up the lunch tab. Thanks to Eva and CubeSpace for providing the space. Thanks to you for reading all the way to here. Keep going, there’s more.
In typical Portland fashion, the party didn’t stop at 2 when Lunch 2.0 ended. Shizzow hosted their first Shizzup at the Green Dragon (on the brand new patio and place for Beer and Blog this Friday). After that you had to choose between the monthly game of Werewolf and Back Fence PDX. Someone should have hired a party bus. This is one (of many) things I love about Portland. Always so much to do.
Anyway, if you love Lunch 2.0, there are more on the schedule. We’ll be at SplashCast on September 17; please only RSVP if you’ll be there for sure because the space is a bit small. And then, on October 15, the Art Institute of Portland opens its doors to Lunch 2.0. RSVP on Upcoming.
I have a definite date for November and several solids for the next few months. So, it looks like we’ll keep this thing going for a while; maybe I’ll pencil Rick in for another Silicon Florist birthday party/Lunch 2.0 next August.
Can’t believe it was that much fun? Or maybe you want balanced coverage? Check out a few other accounts of the Lunch 2.0 and Silicon Florist birthday that was.
- Lunch Ideas | Friends Networking Sharing | Fun Games
- Lunch 2.0: My Twitter-y Experience
- In which Verso has a Lunch (2.0) date.
- Confessing My Dad Attitude
- Aaron Hockley’s Photos of Lunch 2.0
Photo courtesy of Aaron Hockley used under Creative Commons.
A week ago, I went off on a little rant about the sorry state of Oregon’s technology and education mix. And how I hoped that all of us startup types could use our creativity to figure out how to fix the problem.
And while all of this was inspiring, it suddenly meant that I actually needed to do something.
The problem is a big one. And we’re not going to solve it tomorrow. But if we take small steps, we’ll get there.
But, we need to get the ball rolling. And quickly.
So I’m happy to report that I think I’ve come up with one of those small steps. I think.
I was going to announce this on Tuesday, but given the date, I was concerned about the announcement being perceived as a joke. And then I saw the hubbub about April 3 being Good People Day. And that seemed like the perfect day to announce the idea.
You let me know if this sounds feasible and we’ll go from there.
The Silicon Florist Internship Challenge
Summer break is right around the corner. And at the same time, most of the startups to whom I’m speaking are crunching on more work than ever.
Let’s see, underly busy people and overly busy people. What could we do with some of those smart kids and some of those startups needing help?
That’s right. Internships.
Just think. What if you had had the opportunity as a high-school or college student to shadow an entrepreneur like you? What if you had had the opportunity to learn some of the secrets of business or coding or planning or writing or whatever? How cool would that have been? How much better prepared would you have been to do what you’re doing now?
I think the value to the students is pretty obvious.
So, I’m suggesting that we all work to take on some interns this summer. Could be paid. Could be just a learning and experience kind of thing.
I don’t really care how you structure the compensation arrangement. I just want to see you do it.
Set up an internship. Make it 6 weeks or so. Get a few kids to spend 5-10 hours a week learning about your work.
You can do it. I know you can.
Oh, I hear you. “That seems like a lot of work. What—besides warm fuzzies—is in it for me?”
Well, you get some help doing some of your work for one thing. You get a fresh viewpoint, for another. You have to explain what you do and why you do it to someone else. You get to validate your reasoning. You get to teach. And, perhaps best of all, you get someone who actually wants to listen to you blather on and on about your project.
But, I’ll also work to throw in some other benefits. I’m not exactly sure what they are yet. But every company that volunteers to participate in the Silicon Florist Internship Challenge will receive something along the lines of:
- A dedicated Silicon Florist article featuring your company and your internship program. Maybe I even let your interns post some entries about why your startup is so cool.
- A mention in the press release I plan to put out when I pitch this program to the traditional media and schools. As well as my help flacking that release and your company to the best of my abilities.
- A free post on the Silicon Florist Gig board to advertise your internship, and just for good measure, I’ll throw in a free job posting for use whenever you like. (I know that your company is going to be growing.)
- Some cool Web graphic that helps you promote your participation in the program.
- My promise to promote your internship opportunity, to help you find the candidates to get it filled, and to continue to support your program throughout the summer.
- Oh, and of course, there will have to be some Silicon Florist swag.
… and probably some other things that folks more creative than me will suggest. As I said, I haven’t really thought through your fabulous prize package, yet. But I will.
So what’s next?
Well, first, you need to tell me if this is even a good idea. I’m going to work to hire a couple of interns this summer, one way or the other. But I’d like you to join in the fun. If you think it might work.
And while I’m really interested in seeing what the small Web startups and individuals are capable of doing, I’ll more than welcome the big tech companies around town if they want to join in on the fun.
I just need to know if you’re up to the challenge. We can discuss specifics later.
So let me know, as quickly as possible. We’ll plan on doing the heavy outreach and promotion of the program and its participants on May 1, 2008. That gives you a few weeks to get your ducks in a row. And it will give me a couple of weeks to help formalize the internship guidelines.
I’m looking forward to this. I hope you’ll join me. This could be really good for both the kids and companies of Portland, Eugene, Corvallis, Bend, Vancouver—the entire Silicon Forest—in a number of ways.
Let’s get going on this.
Call me crazy, but it seemed like it was time to step away from the slightly tweaked default template. Because quite frankly, gentle reader, you’re worth it.
Obviously, as with all new digs, we’re still working out some of the kinks (like resurrecting the OpenID comment log-in). So your patience is appreciated. As is your feedback. We tried to implement this quickly, over the weekend. And we’ll continue to iron out the rough spots over time.
Before you start lobbing critiques (and I do appreciate the critiques), I’d encourage you to first lob congrats at Justin Kistner of Metafluence, whose Conversation theme for WordPress and design recommendations served as the foundation for the Silicon Florist redesign.
Word around the campfire is that a few other folks are already using the Conversation theme—or are preparing to implement it soon. And, I can see why. I’m still learning my way around it, but I’m really liking it so far.
A heartfelt, “Thank you,” Justin, for offering this theme up for use, sweating through the tweaking over the weekend, adding some incredibly nice features to the blog, and—last but not least—putting up with my nitpicking. I cannot thank you enough.
Hopefully, all of you will like this new direction as much as I do. I mean, I can only read my own stuff so much. So keeping you readers around—and happy—is of utmost importance.
And please, rest assured, that despite the snazzy new look, the writing around here remains fair to middling, as always. 😉
I’m looking forward to your feedback.
So, that’s that. Enough navel gazing. Without further ado, we now return you to your regularly scheduled Silicon Forest startup news, already in progress.
I try my best to stay on top of what’s happening in Portland—and the Silicon Forest, as a whole. But much to my chagrin, I must admit that I’m still haunted by the feeling that I’m not covering all that I could be.
I get the feeling that there are still a whole bunch of cool side projects, new Web apps, interesting blogs, amazing companies, and brilliant people that aren’t even on my below-the-RADAR RADAR here in the Silicon Forest.
So, I’m going to ask for a little bit of help.
I’ve thrown together a quick submission form to capture some information about what you’re doing. So that I can add you to my watch list.
You know your project well enough. It should only take a few minutes. So enlighten me.
Even if I happen to have covered you or your projects before, I would encourage you to spend a few minutes filling out the info. Maybe I flubbed your positioning? Maybe you’d prefer another URL? Maybe it would be nice to have me following you Twitter?
Whatever it is, please take a few minutes to share your project with the Silicon Florist, so that I, in turn, can share it with all of the folks who are deeply interested in that cool project upon which you’re working.
Thank you. I look forward to hearing about what you’re doing.