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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

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

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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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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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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