Minnesota Morning | Ageism In Tech, Minnesota Has More Jobs Than Unemployed Workers And Make It MSP Recap

CoCo Minneapolis, Coworking
I am back spending more time at CoCo in the Minneapolis Grain Exchange. With the expansion there are more places to work, engage, be social and hide out. I still find my best place to work is “the balcony”. It’s a sweet view, quiet and I still feel like I am near the action without being in it.

And… I will be spending more time in the building. Look for an announcement in the next day or two.

Squirrel moment: Monday I posted 6 new including experience for The Wildflower Foundation.

Ageism In tech

A little more than a year ago I wrote this post, and was not surprised at the number of private messages and email I received from tech pros with a similar story.

Indeed came out with this Report: Ageism in the Tech Industry:

Our survey of tech workers found that close to half of respondents (43%) worry about losing their job because of their age. Even more troubling, nearly one 5th (18%) say they worry about it “all the time.”

That’s a lot of people #ObviousThingToSay

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Minnesota Morning… Change Of Seasons

Two weeks seems like not a lot of time in the big picture. 14 days… 336 hours… 20160 minutes. Not a lot of time.

And then I think about the past two weeks with Twin Cities Startup Week and ERE Fall Recruiting Conference and I am overwhelmed in a good way with all the conversations, learning, networking, meeting new people, recruiting and when possible thinking about how all of this fits in the big picture.

Two weeks ago some of our trees still had green leaves and I couldn’t see much of the lake. After some much cooler nights (leaves changed color real quick) and strong winds of the past days most of them have fallen giving me a view I haven’t seen since last spring.

Lake Minnetonka, Fall Leaves, #LakeLife

I have some blog posts to write about events from the past weeks. For the moment let me share a couple of observations…

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Minnesota Morning | Nerdery Layoff, Structural Funding And Minnesota Tech Events

Lake Minnetonka

Summer in Minnesota… no other place I rather be.

A bunch of 2017 summer photos at the bottom of the post from the past weeks. Hover over the photos for captions. So far the weather has been a bit varied. We’ve had a few really hot days, currently “below normal” in the 70’sF, a couple of severe storms and a few foggy mornings. Add in a full moon or two.

And this view when I can get some writing done:

Lake Minnetonka


Happy 5th Day of Summer.

Nerdery Layoff

A couple of weeks ago announced a staff cut of Designers, QA Engineers, Solution Engineers, Development Managers and Business Development Reps. 21 people (4%) of the team were impacted and a lot of people were speculating on Twitter and LinkedIn about what happened. While The Nerdery posted this press release, they are one of the most transparent companies in the region, but still people were speculating on what was going on:

My take on it was that business and technology change all the time and companies need to be nimble in how they operate.

Kathy Grayson at the Minneapolis St Paul Business Journal had an interview with Tom O’Neil, CEO:

This one quote from the article:

“O'Neill emphasized the job cuts were about eliminating positions, not specific people.”

Look… things change. Customers come and go. Technology changes. How business is done evolves. I think why everyone was “shocked” about the layoff is that it is The Nerdery… a high profile and large group. Give them a break. At least they owned the situation and communicated with everyone.

Sure it sucks to be let go. I get that. Thankfully the Minnesota tech scene is in a good place and very busy. Last I heard most of those let go will be in new roles very soon.

This is another reminder to my friends in the tech space in Minnesota, the Midwest and around the country… while you are in demand you are not immune to these kind of things. You need to be maintaining your career just like everyone else.

Structural Funding

Scott Burns CEO of Structural, MinneAnalytics, Big Data Tech 2017 Scott Burns CEO of Structural, MinneAnalytics, Bog Data Tech 2017

These photos are of Scott Burns (@smburns), CEO and Co Founder of Structural, presenting a couple of weeks ago at Big Data Tech 2017. Scott was the CEO and Founder of GovDelivery until its acquisition last year for $135M by Vista Equity Partners and then a merger with Granicus. Scott has been a highly respected leader in our tech company for a long time.

Last month Structural announced its launch with support from venture studio High Alpha. The press release:

It’s good news that Scott is already working on a new venture and staying in Minnesota. Specifically in St Paul where he has been a long time supporter of the St Paul business and civic community.

Some stories about Structural:

And this video with more info on their focus… nearly every day I hear companies talking about this topic:

Introducing Structural from Structural on Vimeo.

Minnesota Tech Events

Big Data Tech 2017

There have been a couple of large tech events in Minneapolis the past two weeks. Big Data Tech 2017 was held at Normandale Community College with 1000+ registered and another 500+ on the wait list. This was a MinneAnalytics event and as always a great event to be at. They have the best data analytics events in the Midwest.

I only took a few photos… between being knee deep in content and networking my phone was in my pocket most of the day. Hover over the photo for description:

Paul DeBettignies, Nick Roseth from DocuMNtary, Scott Burns from Structural Dan Mallin from Equals3 Sanjib Basak from Digital River Batool Haider from UnitedHealth Group

Paul DeBettignies and Minnesota Headhunter

Open Source North was the next day and while I was out of town and unable to attend followed the Twitter stream #OSN2017. 100’s of developers attended a day long event. I had a number of friends attend and they had high praise for the organizers, speaker and sponsors.

Next up for big tech events will be DevOps Days Minneapolis July 25-26.

Some people say tech slows down in summer… no, not really.

Summer in Minnesota 2017

Lake Minnetonka Lake Minnetonka Lake Minnetonka, Full Moon Baker Park

Lord Fletchers, Lake Minnetonka, Memorial Day Weekend

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Minnesota Morning: Kidizen And Foodsby Funding, Minnesota Tech Podcast And TCF Bank Hiring


After 13 years, 7 months and 4 days of living in the North Loop of Minneapolis I have moved to the Lake Minnetonka area. The North Loop was a great place to live (and work) and I will continue to be there quite a bit with business activities. The area has changed a lot for the better. I will miss the late night views of  the city, river walks and well… walking everywhere but it was time for new scenery.

For those wondering yes, the quiet of #LakeLife is freaking my senses out. I have not heard sirens (police, fire or ambulance) in the 23 days since I moved. But I am adjusting well :)

Last days in the North Loop:

North Loop, Downtown Minneapolis, Warehouse District North Loop, Downtown Minneapolis, Warehouse District North Loop, Downtown Minneapolis, Warehouse District

First days on Lake Minnetonka:

Lake Minnetonka, Lake Life Lake Minnetonka, Lake Life Lake Minnetonka, Lake Life

Kidizen Funding

I first met Mary Fallon, Dori Graff and Dug Nichols at CoCo years ago and have been able to watch their path. It’s been interesting to watch them build the business and now for it to take a next step. Kidizen announced a $3.2M round of funding with some of that geared towards hiring. Check out Kidizen careers (scroll down).

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Minnesota Morning | Arthur Ventures $50M Fund, Titans Of Technology And Tech Cities 2017

Downtown Minneapolis      St Anthony Main, Downtown Minneapolis Lake Minnetonka      Downtown Minneapolis

OK… I know it seems I talk a lot about the weather but when you get a string of 40F - 60F days you want to talk about it. And take photos, walk and daydream. Yes this is coming to an end with a snow storm predicted for later in the week. That’s OK too. we need the snow (water).

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Minnesota Morning | SWAT Solutions Open House, Twin Cities Startup Week 2017 And 10 Articles To Read

Minneapolis Winter Weather Forecast

Yes… a photo of the extended forecast. If you give me temperatures in mid February that start with a “4” or “5” I am going to celebrate it. Sure we need some snow or rain to get us out of a minor deficit but I’ll take what the next week or two are going to bring.

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Minnesota Morning | Scott Burns, Target Takeoff And Enterprise Rising

Downtown Minneapolis


Really sad news this week with the passing of Ray Christensen. Ray was the voice of Gopher football and basketball and his voice is engrained on my brain. I remember jumping into leaf piles with a football listening to games. I was in my cousin’s basement playing floor hockey in 1986 when the Gophers won at Michigan. I had the TV on mute with the radio on when the Gophers upset #1 Penn State.

All of the basketball games... 1,309 of them and 510 football games. I was trying to wrap my brain around how many people over a 50 year career heard this man.

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Minnesota Morning | Clay Collins At Enterprise.MN And Target Kills Goldfish

Lake Minnetonka, #LakeLife

After 13+ years living in the North Loop of Downtown Minneapolis I am trading my #CityLife photos for 2 years to this #LakeLife view of Lake Minnetonka. Now that I have a commute I’ll have to do a much better job of scheduling my work days. Well worth it.

Clay Collins At Enterprise.MN

Enterprise MN, Clay Collins

This months Enterprise.MN was with Clay Collins, CEO and Co Founder of Leadpages. Cole Grolmus always does a great job asking questions of tech leaders in town and getting attendees to ask follow up questions.

If you’re curious about the Leadpages story click the videos below and check out Leadpages Careers… they are hiring.

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Minnesota Morning | Minnesota Engineering Blog, Minnesota Q4 2016 Venture Funding And Snoopy And Charlie Brown For Sale

Mississippi River, Downtown Minneapolis

The photo above was from this past weekend on the Hennepin Avenue Bridge looking east. It was a very calm and quiet evening in Downtown Minneapolis and it was good to take a few minutes and do some “reflecting”.

Minnesota Engineering Blog

I am a big fan of companies that show off their culture be it on Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn or a company blog. Just as when we recruit we are hoping to find more about candidates… candidates are doing the same with us. They want to check out the CTO’s Tweets, Instagram photos showing events and culture and a blog where one can understand the “voice” of a company.

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Minnesota Morning | phData, Sportradar And US IT Employment

Lake Minnetonka, #LakeLife

Yesterday I was in the Lake Minnetonka area, Minneapolis west suburbs, and found myself day dreaming about #LakeLife summer days. I took this photo imagining it to be 80F and in June. Good news… days are noticeably getting longer now and winter is more than half over.


Tech.mn has an article Minnesota’s Big Data Bros Are Crushing It on Brock Noland and Mac Noland (@mcdonaldnoland) co founders (and brothers) of phData. I have seen, but not yet met, them at CoCo.

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