Blogs

The recession is finally over in Oregon

ben-blogIntel is building a $2.5 billion factory in Hillsboro. Facebook is pouring millions into Prineville and Google is investing $100 million in Eastern Oregon wind power. Crop and beef prices are up - as are crab and salmon prices. Bank of the Cascades, MBank and others have avoided the wrath of the FDIC. Trucking is up 26 percent year over year, online job ads are up 23 percent, and business and personal bankruptcies are down 3.4 and 8 percent respectively. To me, this adds up to a preponderance of evidence.

On the Scene: Intel exec calls for ed investment

sceneblogbwIntel VP Renee James used the podium at today's Portland Business Alliance annual meeting to advocate for investment in education in order to compete globally for the need for skilled workers. Oregon is 49th among states for college enrollment.

On the Scene: Entrepreneurs Anonymous

sceneblogbwEntrepreneurs young and old gathered at Oregon Entrepreneurs Network's April 2011 PubTalk. The OEN gatherings allow entrepreneurs to gain feedback on their pitches from a group of peers. Two emerging entrepreneurs present a 5-minute pitch, and then one featured entrepreneur gives a longer overview, fielding questions from the audience. Yesterday, the entrepreneurs ranged from a "mompreneur" to a snowboarder.

Mobile apps for the little people

thelatestPortland-based Night and Day Studios has in the past two years transitioned from building media installations for museums into a mobile app company. Founder Nat Sims managed to steer the company through an economic recession by shifting industry, radically restructuring, and following a fortuitous idea after reading a children’s book to his daughter.

The economics of cities

imo-blogEvery business leader should understand the role that cities play in economic, and corporate, growth. A good way to get that understanding is Ed Glaeser's new book, The Triumph of Cities.
Glaeser makes the critical point that cities are where people communicate the most.

On the Scene: hot trends in foodservice

sceneblogbwA group of high schoolers waited in line for pulled pork sandwiches alongside women in business attire and men in brewery T-shirts. A few booths over, restaurant owners contemplated investing in shatterproof drinkware, and nearby, a group of restaurateurs exclaimed over Torani's new fruit smoothie mixes. The event was the 49th annual Northwest Foodservice Show.

Local app monitors Japan radiation

thelatestPortland-based Uncorked Studios has been getting a lot of press lately — CBS news, the BBC, Time and Fast Company, among others. But what’s drawing the attention isn’t another project for Nike or Wieden+Kennedy; it’s something the team put together in their free time — a website to monitor radiation levels in Japan after the tsunami disaster.

How to rescue the problem project

imo-blogAs CEO you are the last line of defense in stopping a problem project from spinning out-of-control. How can you ensure that projects stay on track — and when they do not, how do you identify them, and save them or cut them off? According to Todd Williams, long time project rescue professional and author of the new book Rescue the Problem Project, the first sign of trouble is … silence.

A mini-boom in commercial real estate

imo-blogOregon economist Bill Conerly says we are currently under-building commercial real estate, which will lead to a mini-boom. The pipeline of new buildings is thin, so as the economy improves, there will be very little additional space coming to market. Occupancy rates and rents will rise. The resulting increases in operating earnings will cause the mini-boom. However, a true boom requires easy money, which is not part of our future, at least over the course of the upcoming cycle.