tl;dr: I’m excited to announce that I have joined AppFog as their new Community Manager.
When I decided to move to Portland a year and a half ago, the choice was obvious. I was looking for a city filled with creative, brilliant people, a vibrant tech scene and a DIY attitude. I wanted to live in a place that was just on the edge of really being noticed for all it had to offer. Somewhere I could take the time to enjoy life while still making a noticeable impact in the tech world and my local community. Portland was the perfect fit.
After getting settled in, my goals became more focused. Improve my health and well-being. (I’m proud to say that I’m now about 50 pounds lighter.) Help the technology industry in Portland be most successful. Volunteer with local open source projects. Raise visibility for the Oregon State University Open Source Lab. Enjoy life. I’ll squelch my inner perfectionist just enough to take a “done, with more to come” on all of these goals.
While I was busy getting things done in academia, I simultaneously realized that I wanted to be more hands on in the local start up scene. I participated in Angel Oregon 2011 to get a better sense of how Portland’s businesses seek capital. I scoured Silicon Florist daily for all news start up. I had tacos with any number of folks who had great ideas and needed initial guidance or sage advice. The entrepreneurial energy in my new hometown was palpable, but I hadn’t quite found the best way to fit into it.
Enter Lucas Carlson and AppFog. I found my way into Lucas’ inbox via our mutual friend Nat Torkington, and while I was ending the year stint I’d promised to the OSUOSL, I wasn’t really looking. Yet. But “everyone gets tacos,” so I met with Lucas hoping I’d have some useful referrals for his marketing team. By the end of our meal, despite my initial hesitation, I was willing to interview. By the end of a brief code walk through by Jeremy Voorhis, I was figuring out how I could squeeze in time to interview before leaving for a month long trip to Sweden. (That’s a different long story.) I managed to make that happen and am excited to let folks know that I joined AppFog today as their Community Manager.
So why did I decide to join AppFog? Honestly, I missed the faster pace of industry and the opportunity to work with cool products and with a small team. As I mentioned previously, I moved to Portland wanting to see its technology sector getting the attention it deserves, and I’m confident that AppFog’s success will be a great part of that. The product has gotten rave reviews from my friends who’ve used the service, all of them noting that it will make their lives a lot easier and let them focus on what they love most: coding. Most importantly, though, I was incredibly impressed by the team. They’re sharp, they’re hungry, they believe in the holy mantra of getting stuff done and they’re real. I’ve been treated to conversations today on everything from anarchocapitalism to creating quality user experiences to what’s broken in our model and how we’re already fixing it. And it’s only day one and half the team is out of the office, wrapping up the holidays. I can’t wait for what the rest of the week is going to bring.