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Give capitalists the ball, let them run

By Leo Valiquette

The Ottawa-Gatineau economy, according to the Conference Board of Canada’s Mario Lefebvre, is one that cannot be counted down and out.

That was the sentiment he delivered last week at Forecasting Ottawa’s Economic Future, an inaugural event that featured his outlook for the local economy and a panel discussion with frank perspectives from several of Ottawa’s business leaders.

Lefebvre reviewed Ottawa’s performance through the worst of the economic downturn in 2009 and 2010, a period during which it suffered losses in employment and GDP that were often marginal compared to other major urban centres across Canada. In fact, in the darkest days of 2009, disposable income continued to rise, thanks in part to continued job growth in the federal public sector; job growth that, at this point in time, outstrips the program spending cuts since announced by the Harper government. Despite that belt tightening, Lefebvre remains bullish on the local economy’s outlook beyond 2013 thanks largely to the presence of the public service.

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

By Alexandra Reid

As usual, we covered a lot of ground on our blog last month.

We explored why startups should focus on problems, not platforms, and why they shouldn’t outsource their core competencies. Francis explained why marketing involves much more than just creating a message and delivering that message with the tools of advertising and public relations. Mitch Joel supported that argument by stating that marketing is everything. Leo shared lots of great media relations advice, teaching us how to pitch to busy journalists without becoming a nuisance. Of course, these just scratch the surface of the topics we covered.

In case you missed any, here is a handy roundup of our posts last month, ranked by the enthusiasm of our readers:

October 16: Meet ..duo by Alexandra Reid

October 11: Montreal’s Notman House enters final funding stage by Francis Moran

October 10: Mitch Joel on why marketing is everything by Alexandra Reid

October 15: Social media gaffes: They can happen to anyone by Megan Totka

October 22: The plight of product managing myself by Peter Hanschke

October 24: ‘Put away the cozy image of the little old lady knitting a sweater for the grandkids’ by Alexandra Reid

October 9: Apple versus Samsung – Every patent owner’s dream by David French

October 2: Why I started learning code: a marketer’s perspective by Alexandra Reid

October 4: Marketing is about more than the colour of your new website by Francis Moran

October 23: Pitching to busy media figures in various media environments by Leo Valiquette

October 17: The thin line between being persistent and being a nuisance by Leo Valiquette

October 30: Make sure you’re barking up the right tree by Leo Valiquette

October 18: Canadian angel investors to gather in Halifax next week by Francis Moran

October 31: Pitch perfect: Startups should focus on problems, not platforms by Alexandra Reid

October 25: Communications planning: The principles by Caroline Kealey

October 3: Startups: Do not outsource your core competency by Leo Valiquette

October 29: The allure of building enterprise products by Jesse Rodgers


Even angels are going enterprise

By Francis Moran

There’s been a growing amount of attention paid recently to the surge in interest by startups in working on enterprise-grade products and services rather than the quick-to-market consumer and web applications that for so long seemed to dominate pitch contests, accelerator program cohorts and media attention.

Enterprise is getting sexy,” Kevin Rose of Google Ventures said recently. Bernard Lunn has done a 180 on his 10-year-old requiem for enterprise software, saying it didn’t die, it just went into a coma from which it is now recovering. Enterprises, Lunn said, “cannot simply empower every employee with consumer web type tools and hope they all pull together to grow the profits.” Our own Jesse Rodgers wrote earlier this week about the allure of building enterprise products, saying that opportunities in the enterprise are being driven by the BYOD movement that is requiring IT departments to deliver better tools, a higher expectation of a better user experience than that delivered by stodgy old enterprise software, and an easing of the once-onerous burden associated with the enterprise sale.

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The allure of building enterprise products

By Jesse Rodgers

There is no doubt that enterprise software is currently in fashion.

That’s because in enterprise software there are big problems, bigger data, and bigger budgets where you don’t need to find millions or even thousands of customers to build a business.

Take Workday, for example, that is estimated to have $500 million in ‘bookings this year’ on just 310 customers.

I see three key things that are currently driving opportunity in this space:

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Great articles roundup: Startup customers, hypercycle planning, 2013 B2B content marketing report, marketing research, thought leadership, and innovation

By Alexandra Reid

As a regular feature, we provide our readers with a roundup of some of the best articles we have read in the past week. On the podium this week are StartupCFO, Harvard Business Review, Content Marketing Institute, MarketingSherpa, Forbes, and Fast Company.

How customers evaluate your product

If you sell to B2B customers then you know how hard it is to get that purchase order. It goes without saying that it helps to put yourself in the shoes of your prospective customer to try and see how they perceive your company and product. What would their concerns be? How would they go about evaluating this opportunity? Mark MacLeod shares a valuable framework for determining how customers think about a startup’s product.

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