“Exploring the intersection of technology, strategy, investment and social innovation…”

Randall Howard

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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Entrepreneurism

Dennis MacAlister Ritchie (1941-2011) – My Inspiration by a Great Man Who Quietly Shaped an Industry

January 1, 2012

NOTE: The intrusion and profusion of projects in my life, has prevented blogging for some time. As 2011 draws to a close, I thought I needed to make an effort to provide my perspective on some important milestones in my world.

Back in October, when Rob Pike posted on Google+:

I just heard that, after a long illness, Dennis Ritchie (dmr) died at

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Business Strategy

How You Gonna Keep ‘Em Down On The Farm?

August 3, 2010

“How You Gonna Keep ‘Em Down On The Farm” (excerpt) by Andrew Bird

Oh, how ya gonna keep ’em down? Oh no, oh no Oh, how ya gonna keep ’em down? How ya gonna keep ’em away from Broadway? Jazzin’ around and painting the town? How ya gonna keep ’em away from harm? That’s the mystery

______________________

This week, my 18 month old Blackberry finally bit the

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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

Technology Visionaries in the 1990’s: A 21st Century Retrospective

January 1, 2010

“It is sobering to reflect on the extent to which the structure of our business processes has been dictated by the limitations of the file folder.”

-Michael Hammer and James Champy, Reengineering Your Business

Recently, I unearthed a 10 year old book by Bill Gates, Business @ the Speed of Thought and took a bit of time to re-scan that 1999 book.

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Economics

Die Berliner Mauer – 20 Years After “The End of History”

November 9, 2009

“What we may be witnessing is not just the end of the Cold War, or the passing of a particular period of post-war history, but the end of history as such: that is, the end point of mankind’s ideological evolution and the universalization of Western liberal democracy as the final form of human government.” – Francis Fukuyama, 1989

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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

Gore Mutual Insurance Company Board Appointment

August 15, 2009

I am extremely pleased to share today’s announcement from Gore Mutual Insurance Company that I have been appointed to their Board of Directors. I was officialy appointed at the July 28, 2009 Board meeting and initially, I will serve on the Audit, Pension and Conduct Review & Governance Committees.

Because people may see this diferent from other activities I’m

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