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|Articles - March 2011|
|Wednesday, March 02, 2011|
Pierce Lamb met Daniel Starling online, splattering each other with digital paintballs at the ripe age of 13. They remained digital comrades, but only met in real life last year, at Portland’s Open Government Hackathon. It was at the Hackathon where they conceived and began building their new company, BarBird.
BarBird is a Tweet aggregating service for happy hours. It allows users to search Tweets from surrounding bars using a handful of categories, including “Specials,” “Tonight Only” and “Live Music.”
BarBird currently is live in 44 cities nationwide and six international cities. It’s growing quickly, says Lamb, because bar owners don’t need to actually register with BarBird to participate. They simply create a Twitter account in the bar’s name and start Tweeting; BarBird pulls and organizes the information for the user.
With so many mobile apps, it’s becoming increasingly difficult to stand out, says John Furukawa, director of product development at Uncorked Studio, the Portland firm that built the BarBird iPhone app. “I’m very skeptical in general of products in a marketplace where there are hundreds of thousands of options,” he says. But he adds that BarBird offers immediacy. “Mobile is about immediacy, and every time someone tries to make it about something other than immediacy, they run into the problem that nobody has patience for it,” he says.
The team is looking to raise $600,000 this summer to hire two developers and two marketing people. They need the support, says Lamb, to scale faster and reach the non-geek audience who may be slower to adopt the service.
The app is free to download, but the duo plans to make money by offering sponsored “Hot Tweets,” which would appear at the top of a user’s search query, similar to Google Adwords or Yelp’s sponsored results.
BarBird is banking on user demand for fresh information on specials and events and businesses willing to pay for the attention. “The BarBird idea was simple and solved a problem in my life I assume a lot of other people have,” says Lamb.
Friday, April 04, 2014
BY ERIC FRUITS
The rapidly rising cost of higher education has left even the smartest researchers and the wonkiest of wonks wondering what’s happening and where’s all that money going. More and more, prospective students—and their families—are asking: Is college worth the cost?
Tuesday, February 25, 2014
Brad Smith, founder of Hot Pepper Studios, and Travis Boersma, president of Dutch Bros. Coffee, share their recent reads.
Tuesday, April 08, 2014
BY HANNAH WALLACE | OB BLOGGER
It may be obvious, but most farmers don’t make a lot of money. According to preliminary data from the 2012 Agriculture Census, 52% of America’s 2.1 million principal farm-operators don’t call farming their primary occupation. Farm cooperatives may offer a solution.
Thursday, April 10, 2014
BY JESSICA RIDGWAY | OB WEB EDITOR
SEMpdx hosted a workshop this week for entrepreneurs, website developers and others interested in search engine optimization (SEO). Here are a few tips and tricks aimed at bumping up your search engine rankings.
Tuesday, February 25, 2014
BY BRANDON SAWYER
Sales of small businesses surged in 2013 according to the biggest Internet marketplace of such transactions, BizBuySell, increasing to 7,056 reported sales, a 24% increase over 2012, when they dropped 7%. Portland Metro sales tracked by the site grew 9% to 73, capping three years of solid growth. On top of that, Portland’s median sale price jumped 67% to $250K, versus just 13% to $180K nationally. Portland was one of just six metros tracked where the median sale price matched the median asking price, with sellers getting, on average, 92% of what they asked.
Tuesday, April 01, 2014
BY APRIL STREETER | OB CONTRIBUTOR
Three years ago, PPS set out to begin to convert the 1930s-era boilers from diesel/bunker fuel to cleaner-burning natural gas. Oregon’s largest school district has realized impressive carbon dioxide emissions reductions, setting an example for public and private institutions.
Thursday, March 27, 2014
BY MARY SPILDE | OP-ED CONTRIBUTOR
Community college career, technical and workforce programs present an opportunity to bring business and education together as never before.
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