Portent moves downtown

So, here we are: Downtown. Smith Tower.

At first, I started this post with “When I started my company…” Then I slapped myself. This isn’t about me. Here’s what this move is about:

A great team creating growth

Portent’s been truly firing on all cylinders for a while now. I’m very hard on myself, and my company, but I can’t point at anything in the last couple years that screams “We’re screwed!!!”. Which is remarkable for a 99% pessimistic, angst-driven CEO.

I’ve got 25 people who are all really, really good at what they do and like it. Corny? Maybe.

But competence is hard to find. And passion is infectious. The two together are unbeatable. It means you have people who do the work, and find ways to do the work better.

That combination grows any company. We’re soon going to need more room, and to be a little more geographically desirable. Our Smith Tower digs give us both.

Lower Ian-tervention risk

Portent now has 25 people onsite, every day. We fit in our old space, but only by having:

  • No conference rooms;
  • Three offices;
  • And one gigantic open space. Well, two, actually, but since you could hear a belch from one side of the office while sitting in the other, it was effectively one.

Phone calls were challenging. And we suffered very high Ian-tervention risk. An Ian-tervention occurs when:

  1. I overhear a conversation;
  2. Misunderstand what I heard;
  3. Think it’s a catastrophe;
  4. Get involved;
  5. Thereby creating a catastrophe.

The new space has enough offices for all of our strategists, plus spares for phone calls and conferences. We even have a real conference room:

conference room

A real conference room!!! Already used. Hence messy chair configuration.

A real conference room!!! Already used. Hence messy chair configuration.

And everyone gets a window:


Lots of windows

Lots of windows

Ian-tervention risk is now at an all-time low.

A better location

We’ve been located in Tukwila since 2000. Being near Southcenter Mall has its advantages: Oodles of free parking, plus access to any fast food you want. But for local clients, it meant a 20-minute drive for us or them, every time we wanted to meet.

Now, we’re centrally located, and have quick access to Seattle’s… er, sufficient public transportation.

Oh, plus my bicycle commute just fell from 31 to 12 miles. Maybe this is just a little bit about me.


We’ve wanted to offer in-person, workshop-style training for a while now. Last month’s social media seminar was a huge success. But renting a training space every time gets expensive, and depending on someone else to set up internet access, etc. the day of the seminar is nerve-wracking.

Plus, we had to meet a minimum attendance requirement to make the seminar pay—if we didn’t get at least 20 attendees for the last seminar, for example, we would’ve had to cancel.

Now we have a training room:

the Portent training room

It doesn't look like much now, but it's gonna be great.

It doesn't look like much now, but it's gonna be great.

It’ll seat 30 (if we’re all friends), use Portent’s nice, fat internet pipe, and let us be a lot more flexible about attendance.

Come say ‘hello’

We’re planning our open house (likely in July). But in the mean time, stop by and say hi:

Portent, Inc.
506 2nd Ave, Suite 1700
Seattle, WA 98104-2354


Finally, I have to say thanks to lots of people who’ve helped us get here. This move is a huge, huge milestone for the company, and we couldn’t have done it without:

  • All of our great clients, who not only work with us, but also help us refine what we do with excellent feedback and teamwork;
  • The team. I can’t say it enough times;
  • My family, who put up with the ongoing mood swings, travel, ridiculous hours and pasty complexion of an internet marketing CEO;
  • All the people who’ve given me so much fantastic advice over the years. Too many to list!

Thank you all! Hope to see you at our offices soon.

CEO & Founder

Ian Lurie is CEO and founder of Portent and the EVP of Marketing Services at Clearlink. He's been a digital marketer since the days of AOL and Compuserve (25 years, if you're counting). He's recorded training for Lynda.com, writes regularly for the Portent Blog and has been published on AllThingsD, Smashing Magazine, and TechCrunch. Ian speaks at conferences around the world, including SearchLove, MozCon, Seattle Interactive Conference and ad:Tech. He has published several books about business and marketing: One Trick Ponies Get Shot, available on Kindle, The Web Marketing All-In-One Desk Reference for Dummies, and Conversation Marketing. Follow him on Twitter at portentint, and on LinkedIn at LinkedIn.com/in/ianlurie.

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  1. Ah! So the Smith Tower, is it? How very cool to be lodging in this downtown Seattle icon. Kudo’s and well done! I’ll have to drop in and see your digs for myself!

  2. Congrats Ian and Portent team – exciting times! “Change is good as a holiday” so enjoy the new digs and keep up the great work. If I can recommend one thing I have certainly appreciated from my new job is an office with a PingPong/Table Tennis table – hard to beat.
    P.S. It was great to see at least one Mac in the office (some SEO’s are so windows 7).

  3. Don’t forget a big shout out to my Brother Dan Mathews (at Kidder Mathews) for helping you with the space. Realtors deserve credit too…

  4. Congratulations. Im looking forward to some good meet ups/workshops. Also, way to add a local citation at the end of this post, that was clever ( especially if you turn this into a PR.)

  5. Congratulations. Good to see that you were able to humble yourself and focus on the growth on the company instead of yourself. The pics of the new office look awesome.

  6. Congrats on the move Ian! We just moved our offices too. And glad to hear that I’m not the only one has creates “ian-terventions”. Though I have a slightly different and less cool name for them.

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