Minnesota Morning: Nerdery Layoffs, Apruve Funding, Remote Work And Hack The Gap This Weekend


Good news… we have had a warmer than average winter so far and we are more than halfway through meteorological winter. Bad news… it’s gonna get freaking cold next week. We’re getting a taste of it now and next week it’s going to be full on arctic for a few days. Which gets me to this Tweet:

19-1 Weather Tweet
So what do you call it when the high temperature starts with a ”-“ sign?

I’m hoping I can take this time to get a bunch of things done versus being under a blanket on the couch. Although… that would lead to a nap and I should add that on the list of things to do.


Nerdery Layoffs

Last week the Nerdery announced that they had let go 32 members of the team including closing the Kansas City office (a few were asked to remain remote) and a few from Minneapolis and Chicago. The announcement was posted on the company web site => Nerdery increasing focus and investing in areas of growth. Their post includes a note that they are “adding talent in the areas of data science, cloud, systems architecture, platform modernization, experience design, and more — including three C-level positions: Chief Technology Officer, Chief Revenue Officer and Chief Human Resources Officer.” Clicking => Nerdery Careers finds a number of roles with what at this time seems an emphasis on the Phoenix office. For me this is another example of a company making some changes that I wrote about => 2019 Minnesota Jobs Prediction. Many companies are going to add, cut and shift people around a lot this year.


Apruve Funding

Minneapolis’ Apruve Raises $6 Million in Funding was the news from Apruve yesterday. I first met Michael Noble 5+ years ago when they working at Fueled Collective. They’ve worked very hard to find the right problem/solution to work on. They’ve been close and now it seems they have it nailed down. Click Apruve Jobs to see what roles they are adding to the team.


Remote Work

I am always on the look out for articles about remote teams. This one => Why We’re All in on Remote Work had my full attention on the first line “People are always shocked when I tell them that SureSwift Capital is a completely remote workplace with 75 people working across 14 timezones.” Kevin McArdle, CEO and Co Founder of SureSwift Capital, walks us through the why and how they do remote work including the systems and tool they use. Click => SureSwift Capital Careers if remote work is of interest to you.

 

Hack the Gap

One of my favorite events is this weekend… Hack the Gap. In their 5th year “Hack the Gap is a two-day hackathon aimed at creating a high-energy weekend where women and non-binary people from all backgrounds and experience levels can enjoy an accessible, approachable, positive experience.”

I am a past sponsor of the event and this year spoke with a few companies to lend their support. They can be a much bigger help than I can as an individual. Click Hack the Gap Sponsors and if you see a group you are familiar with send them a note thanking them. Click => Demo Day… I think you can still get tickets. And follow #hackthegap on Twitter.


Minnesota Photos:

This week we had the Super Blood Wolf Moon. I have been a moon gazer for as long as I can remember and I wanted to be sure to at least take a moment to witness it. I put on a bunch of layers to deal with cold thinking I had some walking to do but as I walked out the door and looked up, there it was. I could have likely taken some more artistic photos by getting the trees involved but it was late and I wanted to sleep. Click => Super Blood Wolf Moon to more Instagram photos.

 

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Minnesota Morning: HomeSpotter Expands, More On The Code42 Layoff/Reorg, Google Data Center And What’s Next For Minnesota Headhunter Part I



I didn’t get much sleep this week. And I’ve already been restless the past two weeks and did not know why until a conversation with a friend at the Enterprise Rising Happy Hour and another this morning. Let’s say… I was challenged. There are a lot of things I want to do and rather than do them, try it, test it… I over think it (them) and days become weeks become months become (sometimes) never. Or some over thought idea that I squeezed the fun out of and now is not as cool as it could have been.

Enough of that failed strategy Smile

Do you remember the Diet Coke and Mentos videos from a decade ago? That’s how I feel. And I am going to go with it.

More on that below…

Here is a photo from the Enterprise Rising Happy Hour:

19-1 Enterprise Rising Happy Hour

Save the date for the next Enterprise Rising Conference May 8th & 9th 2019.


HomeSpotter Expands

Good news from HomeSpotter yesterday… they announced their first acquisition, Spacio, HQ’d in Vancouver and the addition of Dug Nichols (@dugnichols) to the team => HomeSpotter makes first acquisition, hires former Kidizen CEO (MSP Business Journal). I’ve been a long time fan of Aaron Kardell (@akardell) , CEO. We worked together a few times between 2012 and 2015 as Aaron was growing the team. He is one of the best people, personally and professionally, I’ve been around. I am assuming prepping for the announcement the HomeSpotter web site has had a refresh. Click HomeSpotter Careers… they are hiring.

Continue reading "Minnesota Morning: HomeSpotter Expands, More On The Code42 Layoff/Reorg, Google Data Center And What’s Next For Minnesota Headhunter Part I" »


Minnesota Morning: Recruiter Jobs, Foundry And Arthur Ventures Partner, Minnesota May Jobs Report And Flipgrid Acquired By Microsoft


I haven’t posted one of these in a while (and started writing this last Friday)… mostly because it seems so many things are moving so fast (not necessarily a good thing) I’m not keeping up. I have also noticed the number of updates on @MNHeadhunter and LinkedIn have declined. I’ll be working on that.

Maybe it’s also in part because we went from winter to summer in a few weeks and I have been doing my best to enjoy it. And the dock was finally installed last week so no longer shore fishing. I am hoping to find some bigger fish than the past couple of weeks. Some photos are below.


Minnesota Recruiter Jobs

I started Minnesota Headhunter in 2005 as a way to get things out of my head, share some news and create some conversations. Jan 1 0f 2008 I started posting Minnesota Recruiter Jobs as a way to better network the local recruiting community. Since then I have posted 1,271 recruiter jobs.

Over the years there are some trends I have noticed about the time of year when recruiter jobs are posted and then 6 months or so later there is an uptick in hiring. Also, when recruiter jobs lag then one sees a slow down in hiring. Of course at the beginning of every calendar year there is a spike. The past 2 years I have had 30 jobs posted around the New Year. That number has always dropped to the low 20’s by the end of Q1.

This year it happened again but this time… the numbers have continued to increase. I blew by the 40 number for the first time 6 weeks ago. Last week I went over the 50 mark and stayed above it this week.

While there have been a number of economic surveys predicting a slow down or recession in 2020 there is little sign of it right now in the Minneapolis and St Paul jobs scene.

Click


Foundry and Arthur Ventures Partner

Yesterday this was posted on the Foundry Group blog, Our Investment in Arthur Ventures including:

“We’re excited to have partnered with the Arthur Ventures team to get more exposure to companies outside Silicon Valley as we are big believers that incredible companies can be built anywhere.”

I am a big fan of Patrick Meenan and the team at Arthur Ventures and have been fortunate to work with a couple of their funded companies. They do a great job supporting their portfolio. Their partnering with Foundry is a big win for all.


Minnesota May Jobs Report

I have not mentioned a monthly jobs report in a long time. This one catches my eye for a couple of reasons… as we get closer (or are already at) to “full employment” I am wondering what types of jobs are being filled and at what compensation. And the second part is an obvious one… our job growth is lagging behind other states. But that makes sense. If other states have more people to enter the work force of course they will grow more jobs. I guess this is good and bad news… we have more jobs than people who can fill them.

Continue reading "Minnesota Morning: Recruiter Jobs, Foundry And Arthur Ventures Partner, Minnesota May Jobs Report And Flipgrid Acquired By Microsoft" »


Minnesota Morning: That Time When A Fresh Blanket Of Snow Gives Perspective


Minnesota Snow, Lake Minnetonka 

Over the past weeks I have been having a lot of conversations with myself… what I jokingly call a company meeting of me, myself and I. For 20+ years I have been a solopreneur and while blessed with very smart friends who have my back I can’t always call them when I have something on my mind.

Sometimes I need to figure it out on my own. This is one of those times.

The photo above is after a recent decent sized snow storm left a fresh blanket of snow on the lake. At first I had this feeling of dread… that spring was pushed off a little further down the road. Then I reminded myself that without the snow (and spring rain) we have lower lake levels. That this blanket of snow was a good thing.

The next “feeling” I had was that this was like a clean slate… a fresh white board if even for a few hours or day until the snowmobilers would go out and create new tracks.

And that… the fresh start and laying down new tracks struck me hard.

The past months, maybe a year, I have felt unsettled with my work. Mostly that I am seeing there are “holes” to fill and I’m not sure how to fill them, if I have time to fill them or if I can fill them.

Continue reading "Minnesota Morning: That Time When A Fresh Blanket Of Snow Gives Perspective" »


Minnesota Morning: CoCo Launches Fueled Collective, MinneDemo #28 Presenters And Minnesota IT Jobs

 

Prime Digital Academy, UX Bootcamp Graduates, phData, Sarah Schoolcraft, Mickeli Bedore, Minnesota Headhunter, Minnesota Recruiter A fun day last Friday… working at CoCo Downtown Minneapolis sourcing and recruiting DevOps Engineers and Python Developers. At one point I bumped into Mickeli Bedore of Bedore Business Group and had a chat about building sales teams, recruiting, podcasts and of course a mention or three about #LakeLife. I do wonder… which one of us logs more cell phone minutes?

I then saw Sarah Schoolcraft who is the new Employee Experience Advocate at phData. We caught up bit and I look forward to our future conversation about company cultures, hiring teams, onboarding and more.

I ended the day upstairs from CoCo where Prime Digital Academy is. It was graduation day for the UX cohort and it was fun to see them relaxed (for a moment) and meet their friends and families, If you are hiring a junior UX pro I gladly help you with introductions.

Continue reading "Minnesota Morning: CoCo Launches Fueled Collective, MinneDemo #28 Presenters And Minnesota IT Jobs" »


Minnesota Morning: CoCo Pitch Night, Prime Digital Academy Graduates And Super Bowl “Help Wanted”


The Super Bowl is 6 days away and if you have been in Downtown Minneapolis you are fully aware of the impact. Last week with the snow storm and Super Bowl preparations parking became a pain and traffic patterns interrupted. Not a big deal as long as one plans ahead.

Areas near US Bank Stadium and Nicollet Mall were seeing final touches on venues Friday and I took a walk down the Nicollet Mall to get some photos.

Super Bowl In Minneapolis, Super Bowl LII

Good news is last weeks snow storm dropped a blanket of fresh snow. More good news it was warmer than average so workers doing prep work enjoyed warmer than average temperatures . The forecast for Super Bowl weekend will leave a number of people shivering. If you are from out of town and looking forward to winter… we have it.

Continue reading "Minnesota Morning: CoCo Pitch Night, Prime Digital Academy Graduates And Super Bowl “Help Wanted”" »


Minnesota Morning: Happy New Year And Winter 2018 Minnesota Tech And Startup Events


We will open the book. Its pages are blank. We are going to put words on them ourselves. The book is called Opportunity and its first chapter is New Year's Day

My favorite New Year’s Day quote:

“We will open the book. Its pages are blank. We are going to put words on them ourselves. The book is called Opportunity and its first chapter is New Year's Day.” - Edith Lovejoy Pierce

I don’t get nostalgic about the end of the year and I don’t do resolutions. I do like the idea of new beginnings and the optimism a new year brings. It feels fresh.

2017 for me was a full year personally and professionally with a lot of good change and some big steps taken. I kind of would like to have a “normal” year with not so much new stuff going on. If I were a house… a foundation has been poured, the walls are up, the roof is on and it’s time to pay attention to the finishing of things. I want to do that before thinking about an addition, deck or new project. That’s how I am feeling.

Continue reading "Minnesota Morning: Happy New Year And Winter 2018 Minnesota Tech And Startup Events" »


Minnesota Morning | Q4 2017 Minnesota Startup And Tech News Roundup


Minnesota Blogger Interns, Feel Like You're Being Watched?

Have you been working at home and get the sense that something is not right, a bit weird? That’s the photo above.

Raise your hand if you woke up one of the past days wondering how it is that we are in the last two weeks of the year. I was in control of the calendar until mid November… then lost it. Now I am in  “oh heck” mode.

Catching up a bit…

There’s been a bunch of Minnesota startup and tech news this quarter (Q4 2017). Some of which I will highlight with some commentary and others just links (in no particular order):

Continue reading "Minnesota Morning | Q4 2017 Minnesota Startup And Tech News Roundup" »


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

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


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…

Continue reading "Minnesota Morning… Change Of Seasons" »


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).

Continue reading "Minnesota Morning: Kidizen And Foodsby Funding, Minnesota Tech Podcast And TCF Bank Hiring" »


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).

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


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.

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


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.

Continue reading "Minnesota Morning | Scott Burns, Target Takeoff And Enterprise Rising" »