January 2010

Deal Watch: Ochoco to build wood pellet facility

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Articles - January 2010
Thursday, December 03, 2009
OBM-091709--153Hit hard by declining harvests, the housing slump and the recession, Oregon timber towns have turned to everything from mountain bikes to microbrews to try to fill the economic void.
 

Portland Harbor sinks under Superfund stigma

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Articles - January 2010
Wednesday, December 16, 2009

_MGH0032Portland Harbor is a critical economic engine stalled by the uncertainty and stigma of being a Superfund site. It will take decades to restore the Lower Willamette River and the transition will be unpleasant, expensive and complex. And crucial.

 

Ambition sparks Oregon Iron Works VP

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Articles - January 2010
Wednesday, December 16, 2009

1109OregonIronWorks01Chandra Brown started as a temp at Oregon Iron Works. Now she's a hard-charging VP who's snapping up big streetcar contracts and building a reputation as one of the state's most influential players.

 

Portland food carts push through recession

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Articles - January 2010
Thursday, December 17, 2009

OBMFoodCartsNongs-154Portland’s ubiquitous food carts provide more than great food at a bargain. With low operating costs and the lure of self-employment, hundreds of immigrants, chefs and first-time business owners have turned to food carts as recession-busting businesses.

 

Bot detector targets cheaters

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Articles - January 2010
Thursday, December 17, 2009

GoblinWu-chang Feng has a solution to a problem that irks producers and players of “massively multiplayer online” games (MMOs) such as World of Warcraft.

 

Eugene real-estate company grabs new markets

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Articles - January 2010
Thursday, December 17, 2009

GorillaGorilla Capital, a Eugene-based buyer and seller of foreclosed homes, has expanded into Arizona, Idaho, southwest Washington and Florida as part of a broad strategy to become the dominant national player in distressed residential real estate.

 

New publishing platform helps comic book artists

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Articles - January 2010
Thursday, December 17, 2009

Shishkaboom-WebsiteTwo entrepreneurs in Portland say their comic book publishing platform will predict and deliver content fans want to buy and read. The magic principle behind the platform: democracy.

 
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OB Poll: Wineries and groceries

News
Friday, October 24, 2014

24-winethumbA majority of respondents agreed: Local vineyards should remain Oregon-owned and quality is the most important factor when determining where to eat or buy groceries.


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The short list: 5 hot coffee shops for entrepreneurs

Contributed Blogs
Friday, November 14, 2014

CupojoeBY JESSICA RIDGWAY

Oregon entrepreneurs reveal their favorite caffeine hangouts.


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Growing a mobility cluster

News
Friday, October 31, 2014
0414 bikes bd2f6052BY LINDA BAKER | OB EDITOR

Why are there so few transportation startups in Portland?  The city’s leadership in bike, transit and pedestrian transportation has been well-documented.  But that was then — when government and nonprofits paved the way for a new, less auto centric way of life.


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Powerbook Perspective

January-Powerbook 2015
Friday, December 12, 2014
BY LINDA BAKER

A conversation with Oregon state economist Josh Lehner.


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Corner Office: Pam Edstrom

January-Powerbook 2015
Saturday, December 13, 2014

Seven tidbits of information from an agency partner and co-founder of Waggener Edstrom in Lake Oswego.


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Leading with the right brain

News
Tuesday, December 09, 2014
120914-manderson-thumbBY LINDA BAKER

On the eve of the Portland Ad Federation's Rosey Awards, Matt Anderson, CEO of Struck, talks about the transition from creative director to CEO, the Portland talent pool and whether data is the new black in the creative services sector.


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Editor's Letter: Power Play

January-Powerbook 2015
Thursday, December 11, 2014

There’s a fascinating article in the December issue of the Harvard Business Review about a profound power shift taking place in business and society. It’s a long read, but the gist revolves around the tension between “old power” and “new power” as a driver of transformation. Here’s an excerpt:

Old power works like a currency. It is held by few. Once gained, it is jealously guarded, and the powerful have a substantial store of it to spend. It is closed, inaccessible, and leader-driven. It downloads, and it captures.

New power operates differently, like a current. It is made by many. It is open, participatory, and peer-driven. It uploads, and it distributes. Like water or electricity, it’s most forceful when it surges. The goal with new power is not to hoard it but to channel it.

The authors, Henry Timms and Jeremy Heimans, don’t necessarily favor one form of power over another but merely outline how power is transitioning, and how companies can take advantage of these changes to strengthen their positions in the marketplace. 

Our Powerbook issue might be viewed as a case study in the new-power transition. This annual book of lists provides information on leading businesses, nonprofits and universities in the state. Most of the featured companies are entrenched power players now pursuing more flexible and less hierarchical approaches to doing business. Law firms, for example, are adopting new technologies and fee structures to make legal services more accessible and affordable.

This month we also take a look at a controversial new U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission rule requiring public companies to disclose the median pay of workers, as well as the ratio between CEO and median-worker pay. 

Part of the 2010 Dodd-Frank financial reform law, the rule will compel public companies to be more open about employee compensation, with the assumption that greater transparency will improve corporate performance and, perhaps, help address one of the major challenges of our time: income inequality.

New power is not only about strategy and tactics, the Harvard Business Review authors say. “The ultimate questions are ethical. The big question is whether new power can genuinely serve the common good and confront society’s most intractable problems.”

That sounds like a call to arms. Or a New Year’s resolution. Old power or new, the goals are the same: to be a force for positive change in the world. Happy 2015!

— Linda


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