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Startups

Business Strategy

Business Models: Subscription vs. Freemium vs. Free in Lean Times

November 29, 2008

Have you invented a killer application that people will use in business or their personal lives on a regular basis? Are you ready to implement a great web/mobile experience in the context of building a web startup business?

Now what? You’ll want to evolve a business model that helps viral adoption, yet still allows for effective monetization of your great new

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Entrepreneurism

Counter-cyclical Optimism

November 23, 2008

Is this a good time for startups? In the midst of the greatest financial turmoil in most people’s living memory and with several posts about the challenges of startup finance, it’s time to counter with an optimistic message about startups.

Perhaps I’m sanguine, having almost always raised capital against some of the worst macroeconomic cycles, such as the Asian Financial crisis

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Entrepreneurism

Digital Policy #3: Startup Investment and Taxes

October 13, 2008
    Source: Sujathafan/Flickr

During the current credit crunch, you can imagine that getting startups financed is a big challenge. And, you’d be totally right. In Canada, with our rapidly diminishing venture capital system, startup financing was tough long before the current financial situation.

Yet, for our economy the healthy generation and regeneration of young companies is a motor that drives our future

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Entrepreneurism

Digital Policy #2: Taxing Talent Down the (Brain) Drain

September 18, 2008

The knowledge based economy is all about businesses finding, motivating and retaining the very best talent. And the quest for top talent goes way beyond the lofty C-suite and includes top developers, product managers, sales people, marketers — i.e. pretty well everyone in a knowledge-based company.

I personally view building talented teams as the number one determinant of business success

Technology startups tend to

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Entrepreneurism

How to Get Rich Quick With a Startup?

August 31, 2008

It’s surprising how often an aspiring entrepreneur or young technology executive has tried to pitch me with that implicit proposition. And, guess what? When I hire executives, invest in a company or otherwise have to work on the same team, such “get rich quick” rhetoric suggests the best course is to steer well clear.

The notion that a real business, with

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Entrepreneurism

ARISE Fair Sun …

August 21, 2008
Ian MacLellan, ARISE Founder

The reference to Romeo and Juliet was apt when last week I had the pleasure to meet with Ian MacLellan, of ARISE Technologies (TSX:APV)

The Founder of ARISE, Ian is now Vice Chairman and Chief Technology Officer and I met him just after a great quarterly release to the public markets.

Having worked

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Entrepreneurism

Entrepreneurial Toolkit #5: The Power of Two (or Three)

August 11, 2008

As an investor, the most important lesson I’ve learned over the years is that great companies are built by great teams. Furthermore, great teams rarely are one superhuman “A” player surrounded by a supporting cast of “B” players. And unlike the Borg Collective which seeks to “… add your biological and technological distinctiveness to our own”, great management teams need

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Business Strategy

Entrepreneurial Toolkit Summary: It’s All About Personal Growth

July 10, 2008

New York Times on Sunday contained an article which immediately caught my attention, as it appears to provide the missing piece pulling together all of my recent postings outlining an “Entrepreneurial Toolkit”, so far consisting of these five core skill sets:

“Fearless Passion” “Don’t Drink Your Own Bathwater” “Embrace Change” “Taste the Cash Burn” “The Power of Two (or Three)” (coming soon)

The article, “If You’re

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Business Strategy

Entrepreneurial Toolkit #4: Taste the Cash Burn

July 8, 2008

Whether you run a startup (pre-revenue and running on fumes), a larger, later stage company (with actual revenues and earnings) or even a public technology company, the topic of cash should never be far from your consciousness. And, it goes without saying that keeping tabs on cash is generally even more germane in social enterprises.

For many early stage entrepreneurs, skilled

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Business Strategy

Entrepreneurial Toolkit #3: Embrace Change

June 28, 2008

Successful entrepreneurs must push themselves to develop a set of, often seemingly contradictory, business and life skills. We’ve already talked about fearless passion and not drinking your own bathwater.

Today, we’ll expand on a skill that is becoming ever more important in these times of rapid technological, social and business evolution — the need to embrace change. In my own

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