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November roundup: What does it take to bring technology to market?

By Daylin Mantyka 2013-calendar-november

Last month’s contents were newsworthy and informative. Leading the pack was Francis Moran’s post on angel investors and crowdfunding, followed by Maurice Smith’s post on the definition of “Digital Media.”  As always, we had some great contributions from our guest bloggers on presentation skills, leadership, government policy makers and entrepreneurs, among others.

In case you missed any of it, here is a handy recap of our posts, as ranked by the enthusiasm of our readers:

November 14: Angel investors can’t sit on crowdfunding sidelines, by Francis Moran

November 13: ‘Digital media’ evades easy definition, and so proper measurement, by Maurice Smith

November 11: Join Startup Canada for an entrepreneurial invasion of Parliament Hill, by Francis Moran

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Great articles roundup: Public relations, growth, social media, tech trends & customer service

By Daylin Mantyka link

Friday has rolled around yet again, which means we’ve compiled a short list of the top articles we read and loved over the week. Grabbing our attention were posts from Spin Sucks, Fast Company, Social Samosa, memeburn and velocity.

Why newswire services don’t work (and when they do)

In this article, Kate Finley questions the value of newswire services. She states  they may be useful in some limited circumstances but mostly she is finding little value for her clients. Most of all, she says, newswires are not earned media. What do you think: Are newswire services worth their effort in this day and age?

What not to do when growing your company, from a CEO who’s done just that

Les  Kollegian is the CEO of an award-winning communications agency and has had his share of ups and downs. In this article, he recounts five pitfalls he experienced during the growth of his company and then provides insight on how to avoid them. One of the five lessons learned was, “Don’t rush the hiring process.”

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Government policy makers need to be at tech events

By Denzil Doyle techtuesdayottawa

One of the best networking opportunities in the Ottawa area is something that is known as Tech Tuesday and is sponsored by Terry Matthews. It is held on the first Tuesday of every month at the Marshes golf club and is open to the public. I have never seen a mission statement for the event but the people who attend range from entrepreneurs looking for money, to recent college grads looking for jobs. The focus is very much on information technology and how it can create wealth for Canadians.

There is no charge for attendance except for drinks at the bar. However, organizations like accounting and legal firms tend to serve some finger food for those who might feel the pangs of hunger before the event winds down.(It starts at 5:30 pm and ends about two or three hours later, depending on whether or not there is a formal presentation of some kind.)

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What’s in a name?

By Leo Valiquettehello-my-name-is1

A company name that is a mashup of the founders’ initials. A company name drawn from the item the first business plan was sketched upon, or where the founder was enjoying a cocktail when they struck upon the idea. Even names arbitrarily plucked out of thin air without any intention of there being any kind of profound or clever meaning.

I’ve seen it all with over 13 years as a business journalist and marketing and PR consultant. A company’s name is not the company’s brand, but the two do enjoy a symbiotic relationship. A name is a point of reference, an introduction, which may or may not make a direct reference to what the company does.

But a name alone does not sell products, win customers or grow market share. These things are accomplished through the hustle of the team members, how they treat their customers, how they research the market to understand to whom, and in what form, their product or service delivers value, and how they execute on that intelligence.

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‘They didn’t do any marketing. They just went to SXSW’

By Francis MoranBell Curve

I’d be a semi-rich man if I had a dollar for every time I’ve heard someone point to one of the spectacularly successful companies that have exploded onto the marketplace over the last few years and say, “They didn’t do any marketing. They just …” and then fill in the blank with some seemingly trivial thing, like “They just went to South by Southwest,” or “They just did social media.”

I heard it again just last week when I guest lectured to a University of Ottawa MBA class, with Twitter and Facebook held up as the examples of companies that “didn’t do any marketing.” As I told the students, Twitter and Facebook are no more examples of predictable startup success than buying a lottery ticket is an example of sensible retirement planning. I drew a bell curve in the air and said that if that bell curve described the distribution of success for a given collection of technology startups, then Twitter and Facebook — and here I moved several meters to the right and stretched my right arm out — are way over here. They’re not even outliers; they’re in a completely different orbit.

And still the mythology persists. I can understand it. Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat are all wildly successful companies, and who wouldn’t want to emulate them. The truth is, though, that most who do, fail. We hear about the (very) odd one that succeeds but, by definition, we hear nothing about the failures, of which there are countless.

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