An Era of Unlimited Rhino Horns

By |2018-01-02T23:16:42-04:00January 2nd, 2018|Business Community, Cloud Offices, Customer Service, Entrepreneurship|

We have entered the era of unlimited replica rhino horns. I’m not sure I’ve ever written as silly a serious sentence but it is true. In an interesting attempt to discourage the ivory trade, a Seattle based biotech firm named Pembient has created a synthetic rhinoceros horn using keratin and a 3D printer.  Keratin is the substance hair, fingernails, and rhino horns are made of.  The goal is to produce a biofabricated horn that is indistinguishable from the real thing on all but a cellular level and to thus save the endangered rhinoceros. Welcome to 2018, the year of good people doing good things with the grace of knowledge, talent and technology available to them. This might seem redundant but it is constantly amazing how much knowledge and technology is available for free to anyone with an Internet connection. One can earn a university level education by taking courses available […]

Why the Sudden Changes with the Web?

By |2017-12-05T01:08:18-04:00December 5th, 2017|Business Networking, Entrepreneurship, Featured News|

These might be the waning days of the new economy created by the digital communications revolution. For the better part of the last three decades every aspect of our culture has been altered, accelerated, surpassed, and often destroyed by the Internet and most importantly, by the Internet’s favourite four letter F word, F-R-E-E. It’s been a wild ride but it was never really sustainable. Along the way, we’ve devalued our recent cultural creations and made it far harder for artists to scrape out a semblance of a decent living. A recent story in The New Yorker magazine, “Who Owns the Internet?” outlined the experience of Levon Helm, drummer for the seminal rock group The Band. After The Band broke up and Helm retired from rock music, he was living a comfortable life on royalty cheques from the tens of millions of times The Band’s music was purchased, played on radio, […]

On Killing the Goose that Lays Golden Eggs

By |2017-11-22T22:46:42-04:00November 22nd, 2017|Business Networking, Cloud Offices, Entrepreneurship|

Trump appointed Federal Communications Commission chairman, Ajit Pai, is about to cancel the Obama era protection that regulates the Internet as a public utility in the United States. The end of an open and free era will soon be behind us. Sometimes people confuse theory and ideology with tradition and practicality. This mistake usually leads to disastrous outcomes. Human societies have existed for thousands of years and have evolved over time to think, act, and function in ways that tend to be the most efficient and useful, hopefully for the largest number of people. They might structure around different systems but systems that work are invented, innovated on and evolve and to help people survive. In North America, we have representative democracies. Modern democratic societies are built of and by people. They are you and you can know them if you want to. Opportunities for the advancement and betterment of […]

Electric and Autonomous and Barreling into the Ways We Do Business

By |2017-11-21T01:14:35-04:00November 21st, 2017|Entrepreneurship|

There are a few baseline industries that are so critical to the overall infrastructure of a nation that any change in those industries can have profound effects on the overall economy. Home building is a well known example. Another is transportation and shipping. Even minor changes in either of these industries can cause unanticipated ripples to roll over other areas of productivity. Over the coming ten years, the Canadian logistics and shipping industries will change very quickly. These changes will, in turn, have remarkable implications on the greater Canadian economy. What will emerge will be a far more efficient, safe, and cost effective transportation industry but one that produces substantially fewer employment opportunities. This week’s public introduction of Elon Musk’s long distance electric transport truck, one that comes with a driverless option, alters a number of equations the Canadian economy is built upon. Minutes after Musk introduced the trucks, the […]

Armchair Economics – Reality Based Fandom

By |2017-09-22T23:43:38-04:00September 22nd, 2017|Entrepreneurship|

I’m an armchair economist. I have little formal training in economics beyond the generalist survey courses most university students select before deciding what they want to major in when they grow up. Nevertheless, I find the machinations of any given economy fascinating. As a spectator sport, economics has the fine detail of baseball mixed with the speed and brutality of hockey, the long-game passion of European football and the regimentation of American football. Armchair economics is reality based fandom. For entrepreneurs, armchair economics is both a form of fantasy sport and an important part of business planning. All entrepreneurs dream about the future. Developing an understanding of how the world works is an essential part of foreseeing the future and the ability to foresee the future is one of those things that separates an entrepreneur from everybody else. It would be no good to develop a business making green widgets […]

Interest and Canadian Confidence

By |2017-06-29T18:13:36-04:00June 29th, 2017|Business Community, Doing Business in Canada, Entrepreneurship|

Monetary policy might seem a dull subject heading into a gloriously free Canada Day long weekend but given yesterday’s extraordinary statement by Bank of Canada Governor Stephen Poloz, it is worth taking a few minutes to peer into a near future hinted at by the Governor and his deputies over the past few weeks. “It does look as though those cuts have done their job,” Mr. Poloz said reflecting on the dramatic interest rate cuts made after the oil crash in 2014. Those cuts were piled on top of previous cuts made after the global economic meltdown of 2008. As of this moment, Canada’s central bank’s benchmark loan rate is a staggeringly low 0.5% leaving very little room for Mr. Poloz to go lower without flirting with the negative rate interest policy he mused about just over a year ago. Are you done yawning yet? Ok, let’s move forward. Both […]

The Numbers Game of Networking

By |2017-06-20T18:23:38-04:00June 20th, 2017|1 Yonge Street, Business Centre, Business Community, Business Networking, entrepreneurs, Entrepreneurship|

Everyone’s world revolves on an axis of networks. In business, government, or academia, those networks scale much larger but in the end, most human endeavour centers around well established networks of trusted friends, colleagues, associates, and contacts. If you need a babysitter, chances are you call one the teenage child of a friend. When deciding on a restaurant to take our families to, we rely on the recommendations of friends and associates. When seeking essential service providers like a doctor, lawyer, or accountant, we tend to ask our contacts about their personal experiences. Beyond recommendation websites like Yelp or local search engines like Google, humans rely on the wisdom, experience, and assistance of others in many facets of our lives. Building one’s networks is often a difficult challenge. Much like high school or university friendships, one’s business networks will serve to define one’s character, access to opportunities, and overall resourcefulness, likely for […]

Advertising in the Context of Change

By |2017-06-13T16:49:47-04:00June 13th, 2017|1 Yonge Street, Advertising, Business Community, Entrepreneurship|

Advertising, as we know it, is about to change so radically it will be practically unrecognizable. If you have a favourite TV spot you might want to record it. Similarly, if there is an ad out there that annoys you to distraction you’ll be happy to know you’ll likely not have to see such awfulness again, at least not in the near future. Tomorrow’s ad delivery is already happening today but the scale is about to get so much bigger. We live in a midst of a digital revolution. At no other time in human history have so many ideas and institutions been altered, challenged, changed, created, and destroyed. As discomforting as it is, revolutionary change is a natural by-product of technological advancement. A decade and a half after its inception the innovation that made Google one of the wealthiest companies on Earth is going to eliminate commercial advertising and […]

The Business of a New World Order

By |2017-06-08T16:59:13-04:00June 8th, 2017|Business Community, Doing Business in Canada, Entrepreneurship|

The saying goes, “The only things in life you can rely on are death and taxes.” That might be true but between tax time and the time of any individual’s eventual demise, a lot of change is bound to take place. This is such a time. Social, political, and economic forces have merged in a perfect storm of a toxic soup to make a steady but still shaky recovery feel more volatile than any other period in many people’s living memories. Great change is upon us, but what does that mean for Canadian businesses? This might seem counter-intuitive but great change often creates great conditions for business to thrive in. Nature abhors a vacuum and when several things shift, the forces of nature move to fill in gaps and close all seams. Businesses ready to take advantage of changing circumstances and conditions can find niches to thrive in while businesses […]

Global Entrepreneurs Week and Startup Weekend

By |2013-11-21T08:02:12-04:00November 21st, 2013|Business Networking, Entrepreneurship, small business advice, Virtual Office|

This week is Global Entrepreneurs Week and there are more than 300 events planned by more than 150 organizations in the GTA. Global Entrepreneurship Week is an international movement designed to inspire millions (mostly young people) to embrace the concepts of innovation, imagination and creativity through entrepreneurship. There are various types of events going on around Toronto including networking events, meet and greets, training events, free seminars and other professional development events, plus a whole lot more. One of the larger events as part of Global Entrepreneurs Week is Startup Weekend, a global network of passionate leaders and entrepreneurs on a mission to inspire, educate, and empower individuals, teams and communities. This is the sixth year of Startup Weekend Toronto, but very first Maker-themed Startup Weekend Toronto. What is a Maker event? We were curios too. It seems that Maker events are are ones focused on building physical products during the weekend. […]

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