Portland parochialism

December 23, 2013

I love Portland, Oregon, where I live, but, although there are some notable exceptions, it’s a business backwater compared, particularly, to Seattle, our neighbor to the north.  There are lots of really smart, creative people here, but, as a group, the business community seems not to look beyond its borders and sticks to “The Portland Way.”  (“That’s how we do things here.”)

If you read the local Portland business news, it sounds like business is really popping, but if our business leaders subscribed, as I do, to The Business Journal’s “Industry Watch” email newsletters; e.g.,

  • Commercial real estate
  • Technology
  • Travel industry
  • Manufacturing
  • Retailing and restaurants
  • Logistics and transportation

they would discover that Portland is almost never mentioned.  I wish that community leaders would ask themselves, “Why?”  I think part of the reason is that we too seldom look beyond our borders.  It was interesting to me that community leaders from Austin, TX, have visited Portland to see what we do right, but I have never heard of a delegation from Portland going to Austin……