portland region software cluster insights

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Over 800 individuals took part in a 3-month online & in-person exercise to define the Portland-Metro region's attributes and needs related to the growing jobs in the high tech sector. This presentation is from the first of three rounds of progressively deepening large-scale interviews. Ultimately this process led to the development of a branding program for the entire cluster in the region captured on Techlandia.org


  • 1. Increasing the Competitive Advantage of our Software Industry Findings from the first communityconversation May 2010

2. Software industry one of the key clusters ofPortlands Economic Development StrategyThe Cluster Strategy is the City ofPortlands 5-year commitment toeconomic development and job creationin the 4 traded-sector industry clusters atright.For the Software Cluster, the goal of thePDCs work is to enhance thecompetitiveness of the industryA cluster strategy is especially critical fora market like Portland, where limitedresources require selective investmentsin the concentrated groups of firms thatdemonstrate the most promise of growth 3. Developing new ways to guide theinnovation process for cluster growthGoalEngage industry professionals to co-develop new public/private initiativesdesigned to strengthen the connection with the regionApproachUsing new technologies, create a series of online dialogues & face to faceconversations designed to make software an even more vibrant, job-producingclusterEnabling TechnologyIntelligent dialogue technology from Portland-based i-OP used for thedesign, development and analysis of the communitys feedbackThis technology will help to guide our future efforts 4. First community dialogue: quickly framingthe opportunities and challengesResponses:Total intelligent dialogues completed271Software company respondents71%Executive/CEO respondents 50%Average time 15.2minDateApril 16th-26th, 2010 5. A broad cross-section of our community respondedto this survey, from independent developers tolarge corporations 6. Most enjoy doing business in Portland 7. Themes emerged about what people enjoy:community, talent & quality of life..."Theres a sense of excitement about being part of a community like what is here inPortland. People see value in the quality of people here.""The community is extremely supportive from a peer standpoint.""Love the creative startup vibe in Portland and the focus on sustainability.""There is a nice palatable non cut-throat creative vibe here. I feel supported in my efforts tostart up a business here. Also the vibe has been contagious for me in a good motivatingway.""Infrastructure, quality of life, talent pool.""Talent base, attractive environment/surroundings, proximity to Seattle, San Francisco, LosAngeles video game industry without the cost and other downsides.""There is a high level of technology knowledge in the area. This probably comes from thepresence of Intel and other technology companies. People seem to embrace technology.""Portland is clean, efficient and has all the supporting infrastructure to conduct a globalbusiness in or from." 8. Most would recommend Portland to theirpeers as a place to work or build acompany 9. Most of their customers, however, areoutside the Portland region 10. As a result, Portlands software industry isvery aware of other regions 11. Most felt that the Portland region provides afertile environment for innovation 12. R&D is essential for this innovation 13. Most of this R&D occurs in Portland 14. This creates an important local asset: talent 15. Another important asset for many is localmentorship 16. When looking at localinfrastructure, education seen as mostimpactful 17. Analysis shows that attitudes are actuallyimpacted by 3 things: taxes, politics & education 18. Focusing deeper on our key driversWhile most respondents enjoy doing business inPortland and would recommend doing business here totheir peers, the PDC wanted to discover ways toincrease our competitive advantageAn analysis of a smaller subset of respondents(those who were very passionate proponents anddetractors) identified some interesting motivations fortheir points of view 19. Attitude toward taxes most likely to predictoverall attitude (both positive & negative) 20. Attitude surrounding politics is another leadingindicator of happiness or dissatisfaction 21. Attitude about the education system alsostrongly predicts a respondents view of PDX 22. Summary of findings:The Portland-area software cluster distinguishes itself inseveral important ways:Driven to be innovative (with local R&D)Big importers of monetary & intellectual capital to theregionVery aware of and networked in other regionsMentoring relationships weave the community togetherWorking on 3 infrastructure issues will result in an evenmore dynamic cluster: taxes, politics & education 23. Next step: Engage community to work withthe PDC on key issues 24. Focusing, developing and initiating:Come to our next PDC gathering (#PDCgathering) May21st (3pm at PDCs offices in Old Town) to further discuss& identify new ways to address key issuesParticipate in future online intelligent dialogues to developcommunity alignment around new initiativesShare ideas in our Facebook group PDX Software!Click here if you want to know more about PDCs clusterapproachQuestions? Please drop Thompson a noteThompson Morrisontmorrison@fuseinsight.comBlog> theRadicalEar.comTwitter> twitter.com/thompsNmorrisN


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