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Business Strategy

Go East Young Startup!

March 8, 2016

 

“The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step.”

“千里之行,始於足下”

Laozi c.580 BCE

Building on 19th Century US westward expansion (“Go West Young Man”), much of the current innovation in technology has been West Coast focused, particularly in California’s Silicon Valley, which has for more than 50 years been an intellectual epicentre of the technology world.

Over my long tenure in the vanguard of technology

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Business Strategy

Snapshot of the ACA Summit 2015

May 30, 2015

In mid-April, I attended the 10th annual ACA Summit hosted by Angel Capital Association in San Diego. With about 600 people in attendance from dozens of countries, it was an excellent chance to get tuned into the latest trends happening in angel world at large.

And since Angel Investing is now a global phenomenon, it is interesting to note that ACA Summit can have two faces.

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Business Strategy

Top 25 Waterloo Technology Acquisitions – Wisdom from the Data

February 8, 2015

The acquisition of MKS by PTC in 2011, caused me to reflect a bit on what good acquisitions might look like and what they might teach us about building (sometimes elusive) long term shareholder value. As a result, over the last 6 months, I’ve progressively assembled a collection on the most significant acquisitions in the Waterloo area. To my knowledge,

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Business Strategy

Canadian Angel of the Year Award

October 3, 2014

At the NACO Summit in Québec City, it was truly humbling to receive the Canadian Angel of the Year Award. I see this partly as a calling to be an ambassador to continue to help raise the Angel bar in Canada in the coming years. I wish to thank all those kind colleagues who, unbeknownst to me, wrote letters of nomination. Also,

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Business Strategy

“How ya gonna keep ‘em away from harm?” – The Sequel

November 22, 2012

Almost four and a half years ago, I penned what some called the obituary of Blackberry (see “How You Gonna Keep ‘Em Down on the Farm”). My intentions in writing that missive were, in fact, quite the opposite.  Back in 2008, a year after the first iPhone, Blackberry didn’t appear to be heeding the threat of major market disruption, let

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Business Strategy

Tech Terroir

October 29, 2012

In the world of wine, the concept of terroir describes a centuries long process in which the climate, soil, grape varieties and dedicated vintners, symbiotically develop a unique “sense of place” for a wine region. A favourite of mine, the garrulous  and quintessential Californian vintner, Randall Grahm, while trying to establish the old World notion of terroir in California postulates that it

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Books

{Book Review}: The Innovator’s Dilemma

September 2, 2012
The innovator’s dilemma by Clayton M. Christensen

Published by HarperBusiness WorldCat • Read Online • LibraryThing • Google Books • BookFinder

 

This summer I took time to re-read an oft-overlooked volume that I believe to be the essential to anyone working in marketing and innovation. In this review, I’ll provide a few examples of why this book needs more attention, particularly

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Business Strategy

Have Lean Startups Helped Us Scale Larger Technology Companies?

August 4, 2012

Building larger technology companies is critical for our future economic well being, yet somehow we seem to pay more attention to the seed and startup phase. This post and a subsequent missive, Wisdom from Recent Waterloo Technology Acquisitions, aim to analyze some recipes for building technology businesses to scale first from the perspective of recent companies and then specifically through the lens of local acquisitions.

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Entrepreneurism

Who Will Revive Canadian Venture Capital (Part I)

June 14, 2012

Today was a banner day for announcements involving a reset of the technology funding ecosystem in Canada.

For a long time, the slow demise of Canadian Venture Capital has concerned me deeply, putting us at an international disadvantage in regards to funding and building our next generation of innovative businesses. You may recall my 2009 post Who Killed Canadian Venture Capital?

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Arts

Social Innovation – Can Social Sector Learn from Tech Startups?

April 3, 2012

It is notable that much of the recent trend towards Social Innovation has come from people who began their careers in technology startups, in Silicon Valley or other technology clusters. Some notable examples include:

Bill Gates, partly at the instigation of Warren Buffet who added his personal fortune to that of Gates, left Microsoft, the company he built, to dedicate his

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