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Who listens when someone tells them what to do, tells them to do it, “or else?”

Baby boomers have never been, as a group, interested in being told what to do.

First it was, “Turn down that racket you call music.”

Followed by, “Get a hair cut.”

What is the equivalent message to lady boomers? Shave your legs?

Now we’re getting a new message: Get out of the way, you’re blocking the progress of those in line behind you.

If you’re not ready to take your ball and go home, this is for you.

Portland, and Oregon in general, is a mecca of things new. That happens when a state built on farming, fishing, and timber turns to high tech, sports apparel, and beer.

This is what makes the state so boomer friendly. You have a chance to take a shot, the shot you dreamed about at your work desk every afternoon around 2:30.

Dreaming is one thing, doing something with the dream is another. One crusty boomer said, “Dream in one hand and cry in the other and see which one fills up first.”

Don’t start crying yet.

Why is Portland good boomer ground? Start with the Portland Community College Climb Center.

“Start your entrepreneurial journey with our SBDC New Client Orientation.

In the Orientation our team will help you assess your level of readiness and provide you with access to programs and resources. The Business Development path includes: THINKING about starting a business, LAUNCHING a new business venture, GROWING your current business, and RE-INVENTING or expanding a business. Each level of learning gets you to a higher level of business and personal development. Step out and enjoy the path to success  on the SBDC Business Development pathway.”

Yours truly took a class at the Climb Center with Jackie Peterson called Better, Smarter, Richer. Since then I’ve met lots of boomer age students hell bent on success. It’s a group of fired up people with contagious enthusiasm that you’ll catch.

If you’ve got a better way to spend your time, like watching Matlock and Mash and Perry Mason re-runs until you go nuts, everyone you know will understand. If you’re an Ivy Leaguer your friends might question the notion of PCC. Show them the new you.

Maybe the new you has been looking at mouse traps long enough to know you can build a better one. Like a good boomer, you are committed to staying active and in shape. The out doors are your friend and you spend as much time there as possible. But you want more from the experience. You want better gear and you know what it is.

If you develop better gear in Portland you’re join good company. From the Oregonian:

A Portland Development Commission-funded study of the industry said Oregon has more than 800 athletic and outdoor industry companies, with total employment of more than 14,000. The average wage, the study said, is more than $80,000 annually, 70 percent higher than the statewide average for all workers.

Portland State has a new program: Athletic and Outdoor Industry Certificate. If you are a life long learner, this is for you.

“From concept to consumer, the NEW Athletic and Outdoor Industry certificate program explores the unique challenges and competitive  issues within the athletic and outdoor industry. It is for students who  want to go beyond product design and sports management to examine the  larger competitive industry issues in marketing, retailing,  distribution, and sales.”

If you’re more of a driver who already knows where they are and where they’re going, that is, if you’ve already built the better mouse trap and you want to get it out in the open, you might need another path. This is when Portland shines brightest.

Dan Tiegs and Wild Outdoor Apparel are busy marking a trail for others to follow.

“WILD Outdoor Apparel is a small design house located in Portland Oregon that specializes in the fusion of street design with performance fabric and technology. All WILD garments are designed, developed and manufactured in Oregon in numbered limited editions. Nothing is mass-produced. The Burnside Alpha editions are 120/color each numbered with your unique edition number. When the 120/120 edition number is reached there will never be another of that color/style made again.

The Burnside Alpha Jacket is the first WILD style that is all Made in Oregon. A rugged work inspired design, the Burnside Alpha is made from a technical water proof / breathable twill or denim, lined with Thermotech hollow yarn flannel and insulated with Polartec Alpha insulation. With quality materials, fine craftsmanship and limited editions the Burnside Alpha will keep you out of the me-too mass-produced world of outdoor mega brands and will become your go-to jacket for all conditions. From the mountain to the bar, WILD Outdoor Apparel seeks to protect an individual’s individuality.”

The Burnside Alpha Jacket is Dan’s baby and he delivers with help from unusual places. Crowd Supply is the link on the Burnside Alpha Jacket. What do they do?

“We started Crowd Supply based on a single guiding principle: to be the product development platform we’d want to use for our own projects. As engineers and designers, we know the challenges of going from idea to reality, and all the important details in between. We built Crowd Supply from the ground up to handle as many of those details as possible so you can focus on your vision. Find out how Crowd Supply can help you.

This is the shot you’ve been waiting for. These are the targets. Old television shows aren’t going anywhere so when you decide to park it in front of the tube you’ll have their company.

Until then, apply your experience and skills toward the dream. Build something, then stand back and listen to the raves. Then do it again.

This is the sound of one boomer cheering you on. Stay warm.

Burnside Alpha Jacket via

Burnside Alpha Jacket





About David Gillaspie
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