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Startups

Business Strategy

Post-acquisition Reflections on MKS

January 5, 2012

First of all, I would like to congratulate Phil Deck, Michael Harris and the entire team for finding both a fabulous new home for MKS, but also one which represents a significant strategic financial transaction, valuing MKS at just over 4 times estimated FY2011 sales.

Many people have asked for my perspective. In short, I continue to view the acquisition as favourable to customers,

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Business Strategy

FourSquare – Re-writing the Rules While Killer Application Remains Elusive

April 10, 2010

“Nature is by and large to be found out of doors, a location where, it cannot be argued, there are never enough comfortable chairs.” – Fran Lebowitz

I’m a believer that Location Based Services (LBS), coupled with the latest smartphones, will evolve a number of indispensible, and unexpected, killer applications.

That said, it’s pretty clear that those mission critical applications

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Business Strategy

Ignite Passion before Money

February 5, 2010

This week I had the pleasure to be the luncheon speaker during the Ignite Entrepreneurship course put on by Guelph Partnership for Innovation,  aimed at University of Guelph graduate students from various technical fields including biology, life sciences, materials, agribusiness, etc.

It’s always a thrill to get into a room with 40 or so energetic and bright grad students who are

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Business Strategy

MobileMondayToronto – Striving for Canadian Leadership in Global Mobile

October 2, 2009

Through the 1960’s, 1970’s and into the early 1980’s, Canada leveraged many of its best minds to develop technology solutions that span the great distances and empty spaces in our vast country to position Canada as a world leader in Telecommunications. Today, numerous examples from world leading companies like Blackberry to startups like Viigo or Iotum continue to show world

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Investing

Lessons from Maplesoft Acquisition

September 23, 2009

“There is more to life than increasing its speed.” Mahatma Ghandi

Recently I received a cheque as part of the Maplesoft acquisition and was led to reflect how this was definitely not “How To Get Rich Quick with a Startup“. Last night a Maplesoft co-founder reminded me that this strategic exit was “only 23 years in the making.” (See Cybernet Systems Co.,

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Business Strategy

Has Microsoft Morphed from “Hungry/Nimble” Startup to “Fat/Stupid” Behemoth?

July 20, 2009

Bunny: Don’t you think you’d better go? The tortoise has the lead. Max Hare: Say, I’ve lots of time to play. My middle name is speed. SOURCE: Tortoise and the Hare, Walt Disney/United Artists, 1935

While I typically leave reviews of even major new products to others, my personal experience in the much heralded Windows 7 Beta to launch process provides  some interesting

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Entrepreneurism

Who Killed Canadian Venture Capital? A Peculiarly Canadian Implosion

March 15, 2009

“Fortes fortuna adiuvat” – “Fortune favours the bold” – Latin proverb

The current economic meltdown has unleashed brutal forces acting on all aspects of the business world, but certainly innovative startups in fields like software, web, wireless, green technologies and life sciences are at grave risk. In Canada, our startups have generally been world class innovators, but severely underfunded when benchmarked

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Arts

Getting Creative – “Yes We Can” or “Mind the Gap”?

February 15, 2009

In today’s challenging economic times, it is extra important for governments, academics and individuals to plan our future economic prosperity. Thus, it is timely that Richard Florida and Roger Martin from the Martin Prosperity Institute, Rotman School of Management, University of Toronto this month published Ontario in the Creative Age, which provides a detailed future-oriented policy blueprint.

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New Media

Choices, Choices – Sorting Out Social Media

January 17, 2009

“Editor: a person employed by a newspaper, whose business it is to separate the wheat from the chaff, and to see that the chaff is printed.” – Elbert Hubbard

Being an inveterate early adopter, and loving the fusion of new research and web reach coming from the innovation in social media (see Science Fairs, Social Media & Fads –

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Entrepreneurism

Ray Simonson Video Replay of MaRS Entrepreneurship 101

December 14, 2008

I wanted to share a great presentation by Ray Simonson who spoke on December 3rd, giving a “Lived It” talk as part of the Mars Entrepreneurship 101 lecture series at MaRS Discovery District in Toronto.

I’ve known Ray for a long time and, not only is he a great guy, but he’s an amazing storyteller. Certainly Ray’s stories can serve to

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