I work at a startup. Not a tech startup or, to be honest, according to some, any kind of startup at all. I help lead a growing, young, small media business that happens to cover technology companies and startup culture, so I’m around conversations about definitions a lot.
Let me be clear: in this post, I’m using the definition I use for ‘startup,’ meaning a young company testing a business model. I’m writing here about what type of person I’m finding can work best in such an environment, which is different (but neither better, nor worse) than a large corporation or even another smaller, but more stable and more clearly defined, organization.
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After four years with the same Technical.ly Philly WordPress theme and six months after our Baltimore launch, we united our brands with a complete redesign under Technical.ly in March.
The design was led by Tom Rose and we partnered on the WordPress development (WordPress multisite) with WebDev Studios. We’re still making our way through bugs and looking toward a second phase, but I’m proud enough of a few design elements that I want to share.
My colleague Brian Kirk and I put no less than a year of thought into the effort, so we offered considerable direction and then watched Tom and WebDev exceed in making those plans a reality. Read a more general assessment of the redesign on our company blog here, and find a recap of our old site here.
Below, find some small elements that I’m most proud of and think should inform your design work.
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The largest event we helped organize during the second annual Baltimore Innovation Week was our opening party that drew 1,000 people to Penn Station Plaza in partnership with the Gathering food trucks and Station North Arts and Entertainment Inc.
The party activated a public space, as seen in the above photo from the event’s beginning, widened the reach of a narrow technology community and brought about other partnerships. It was fun and exciting and big.
But likely the event with bigger direct impact was the small Baltimore City Council hearing we helped launch with District 7 Councilman Nick Mosby, the first ever city council hearing dedicated to the innovation economy in Baltimore.
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Both Technically Philly and Technically Baltimore were honored in the prestigious annual ‘Best of’ lists from their respective city magazines this year. It’s really validating and rewarding to get nods in two different cities from prestigious city magazines.
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The third annual Philly Tech Week was the largest yet, and its impact was clear.
Rather than recite the more than 80 events and 150 partners, I thought I’d share a few Instagram photos I saw that helped me feel the week was growing and proud about my involvement. That’s mostly because the photos were taken by people I didn’t know.
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Standing at left with reporter Juliana Reyes, events coordinator Corinne Warnshuis and my cofounder Brian James Kirk. Photo stolen from Colleen Reese of Geekadelphia.
Back in September, my cofounder Brian James Kirk and I moved our Philadelphia operations from Temple University Center City at 1515 Market Street to the new University City headquarters of First Round Capital.
This month, Geekadelphia visited the 10,000 square foot renovated space, in which we are now based.
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Relationships are a currency.
They’re worth something — friendships, acquaintances, colleagues, sources. They enrich our lives and, yes, they are integral to any success. Things get done by people who have relationships, to help guide, support, advise and strengthen goals.
This goes for everyone, but there are surely some industries that need them more than others: construction and development, politics and government and, certainly, reporting and community building. So I think a lot about the connections and people who make up community in all of its forms.
If relationships are one of the most valuable resources we have, why do we so often ignore their impact and why do three types of people so often abuse the role of connection?
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The early crowd at Thursday’s Future of College Media ONA event.
College newspapers are facing the same challenges of their commercial counterparts have had for decades but, despite their advantages, are struggling to fundamentally innovate.
Nearly 40 professional journalists, students and college administrators attended representing a half dozen universities and student newspapers attended Thursday the Future of College Media event I helped organize with Temple University Journalism Department Chair Andy Mendelson for our monthly local Online News Association get-together.
None of the newspapers represented had made any revenue outside of print and web advertising.
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Penn Professor Ted Hershberg
A dense, 30-minute look at the past, present and future of education reform in the United States was the focus of a presentation by the celebrated University of Pennsylvania professor Ted Hershberg last week.
Though his lecture was part of a class I’m taking that is officially off-the-record, because I know Hershberg’s work through a friend of mine who is part of his research team and what he said follows what he often speaks on, I thought it was okay to share what I felt was a helpful top-level look at the problems and opportunities.
For context, Hershberg is an open left-of-center thinker, but he has a reputation for being an outspoken critic of the teacher’s unions. I share some easy-to-digest notes below.
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First shared in April and then announced more fully last month, earlier this summer, I helped soft-launch Technically Baltimore, another local technology news site committed to covering and growing the conversation around technology bettering the region there.
What’s even better is that, with the help of more than a dozen partners, we’re also organizing the inaugural Baltimore Innovation Week the last week of September, featuring more than 20 events.
It’s an entirely new challenge to go to a new city, though we’ve spent at least a year familiarizing ourselves with Charm City and its meaningful, passionate technology community and have hired a full-time reporter there. Our goal is to take what we’ve learned in Philadelphia and do it better in another city we love: connect entrepreneurship, enterprise, digital access, smarter government and creative and artistic communities at their intersection and try to use news as convener and connector to raise awareness and strengthen their impact on Baltimore.
Let me know if you know anyone we should know. It’s a thrilling opportunity.
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