What I Learned About Portland Transport from Michael Porter

As I mentioned, on Monday I attended the Oregon Business Plan summit, and the featured speaker was Harvard’s Michael Porter.

Porter is THE guru on competitive strategy (I even read some of his stuff in business school, back in the middle ages). He was chartered to advise us on how to tighten up our plan, and the crowd clearly enjoyed his remarks (delivered by satellite from a classroom at Harvard).

But he also said a few things that I think we can apply to Portland Transport:

1) High technology is not an industry, rather there are only companies and clusters that have adopted technology and those that haven’t – the latter are on their way out…

Portland Transport is our way of bringing Internet communications technology to the public discussion of transportation policy in our region.

2) One of the dimensions of competition is ease of logistics, lowering transaction costs.

Portland Transport applies this concept to transit with our Transit Surfer tool. Our goal is to make it easier to use transit and lower the costs (in time) of using it.

Finally, Porter said that Oregon’s natural resources and ethic of sustainability were advantages we needed to continue to leverage!

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