Startup culture has become somewhat of a cliché: ping pong tables, bean bag chairs, unlimited snacks. But snacks do not make a culture. These surface items mean nothing if they do not reflect a deeper satisfaction within the work place. So, how can burgeoning startups dig deep and ensure engaged employees and a positive environment?
In the hustle and bustle of our busy lives, we often become immune to how convenient and productive our lives have become thanks to innovation. What was once unthinkable even 10 years ago, like the way we binge watch entire series on Netflix, or using Waze to decide the best way to get to a meeting, is now commonplace and almost taken for granted.
Toronto is showing signs of the city coming into its own as a global technology hub. More firms are making the move to Hogtown, and the city is also turning out its fair share of hometown heroes when it comes to successful tech companies. So, what is making Toronto such a coveted destination for tech companies and eager employees alike?
With the rise of smart phone technologies and development of lower cost health tech, there are more and more convenient and inexpensive ways to connect providers and consumers. There are in fact a growing number of services offering on-demand medical services like medication delivery, house calls, and tele-medicine. In other words, we haven't seen the new health-Uber yet. But why not?
Every innovator and entrepreneur wants to leave their mark on the world, something they've created (possibly "the next big thing") or something that has truly made a difference. As a serial entrepreneur and innovator/designer, I've always been curious about how things work and matched it with a drive to solve a problem.
Many things go into building a successful company -- awesome people, vision, and strong systems, to name a few. But the biggest and best companies get to where they are because their leaders make time to prioritize one thing: thinking. I mean taking time to ponder issues, develop strategies, and plan for the future.
Many people in corporate roles fantasize about breaking free and launching an entrepreneurial venture. Three years ago I took the plunge and did just that, leaving behind a senior role in management consulting to start a talent marketplace for freelance consultants. Unfortunately, my business model didn't gain traction, but the experience was the best thing that ever happened to me professionally speaking.
There are many things that are expected to go hand-in-hand with growing a business, such as little sleep, cash flow concerns, stress, and endless coffee consumption, but with so many tasks to complete (and endless decisions to make), many entrepreneurs fail to acquire the proper tools to successfully transition from startup to successful business.
Log management systems are largely based on one concern; finding the root cause of a problem, like security breaching, diagnosing issues, chasing down server errors and looking up customer activity. There is now a market for the logging management industry, whereas there's nothing new about all softwares and systems producing log files.
It is time that Metro Vancouver bands together to form a regional strategy that collectively concentrates tech into a defined area that can serve as the catalyst for greater overall success for the industry. Toronto's tech community understands its value in being close to the financial centre of the country, and clustering will similarly allow Vancouver to better develop our brand and competitive advantage for the future.
I think becoming an entrepreneur is not as hard as some might think, but staying an entrepreneur with passion and drive is not for everyone. It's not a label of courage or wisdom by any means, it's about one's personality. But when you've decided to build a business you need to do all it takes, without burning out, and this could mean being selfish.
Research regularly shows that the millennial generation are actively looking to work differently and are increasingly drawn to the type of careers the gig economy offers. As the gig economy grows, so do the opportunities for organizations of all sizes to increase their impact and profits in a way that is cost effective and creative.
Some of Canada's biggest success stories show us that if you want to make it big, you've got to move south. Slack, the popular chat application for business teams, was originally founded in Victoria but is now headquartered in San Francisco, where access to capital has helped the company achieve explosive growth. So why-oh-why would anyone want to live and work in Vancouver?
Like many other fintech startups, we only replace one or another aspect of banking services, but we obtain capital through private investment, not customer deposits through a chequing account. This fundamental difference is often overlooked in the conversation around regulating fintechs like banks and credit unions.
Approximately 140,000 new businesses are started every year in Canada, yet half of them don't make it to their fifth year. Small businesses are key drivers of economic growth in our country and we must equip entrepreneurs with the tools and resources they need for long-term success in order to help transform Canada into the innovation hotbed we know it can be.