BY LINDA BAKER | OB EDITOR
Urban Airship is moving into the Vestas building in the Pearl District. That's what you call ironic. Urban Airship, of course, is the wunderkind startup leading the Portland mobile app boom. The company has raised millions in venture capital and hired 30 people in the past three months.
Then there’s Vestas, a company that rode the renewable energy boom yet built its new U.S. headquarters just as the market for wind energy began to wane. The company had nearly 400 employees in Portland when it moved in last year; that figure clocks in around 260 today.
A clean energy business, Vestas aimed to disrupt the fossil fuel market. Now Vestas is being disrupted (in a manner of speaking) by the "new" new economy, exemplified by a company whose core technology enables "push" notification inside smartphone apps, alerting users to breaking news, special deals or promotions.
Market demand for renewable energy is being superseded by market demand for specialized consumer experiences.
This is the way the wind is blowing.