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Why companies must incubate

As part of our ongoing series examining the ecosystem necessary to bring technology to market, we asked Jason Flick, Co-founder and President of You i Labs and President and CEO of Flick Software, to share some of his insights. This is the third of his commentaries and we welcome your feedback.

By Jason Flick

Over the past couple of years, incubators inspired by organizations such as Y Combinator and TechStars (see TechStars harnesses the power of mentorship) have taken the limelight and become hotbeds for angel investment and innovation. Montreal alone has seen at least six new incubators created so far in 2011. It is being done and it makes sense. In contrast, large enterprises often invest thousands of times more in R&D than the typical web or mobile startup needs to get to market, with questionable results.

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How to define, embrace and lever your startup DNA

As part of our ongoing series examining the ecosystem necessary to bring technology to market, we asked serial entrepreneur Jason Flick to share some of his insights on getting technology to market. This is the second of his commentaries and we welcome your feedback.

By Jason Flick

As I mentioned in my last post, startups don’t have a common culture. This is a myth that’s been created, perhaps intentionally, by the 95 percent of people who’ve never worked for a startup.

Who would want to search out and work for a company that can’t pay much, if anything, in salaries, expects you to work 12-hour days and in the end, has a 50 percent chance of failure? Over the past 21 years I have created four startups, been employed by five others, and mentored and worked with nearly 100. None of them has fit this mould, or any other.

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Lean startup: It’s the Canadian way

As part of our ongoing series examining the ecosystem necessary to bring technology to market, we asked serial entrepreneur Jason Flick to share some of his insights on getting tech to market with lean thinking. This is the first of his commentaries and we welcome your feedback.

By Jason Flick

You would have to be living under a rock not to have heard about the billions in venture capital flooding into the Valley. Venture firms raised over $60 billion in Q1 2011 alone. Some companies are ramping from zero to billions in revenue in years rather than decades. Students fresh out of school are being offered six-figure salaries, four-month signing bonuses and iPads to come on board. (VentureBeat summed it up well in this recent story.)

Of course, these stories seldom report that for every company like this, there are 99 others that flounder and end up as large financial craters.

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Recent Comments

  • Bob Bailly : Your new mode of working means no face to face interaction yet you call yourself empathetic. How can removing yourself from daily human social interactions and possibly understand what makes other people tick. Research from UCLA suggests messages conveyed face to face are understood primarily by reading body language (57%) and tone of voice (35%), and that words convey only 7%. By interacting only through computer based non-video technology is like weightlifting only using your right forearm.

  • Anna : As a freelancer who spends much of her time on the computer writing, I find that I have a brain which connects empathically to people despite how much time I spend on technology. In fact, I am not happy being immersed daily in what I called 'imposed' social interaction (social interaction brought on by having to interact with co-workers). Such social interaction used to make be egregious, used to make me dislike co-workers, and have a generally negative view on work life. Furthermore, people like me who are generally empathic can 'hide' in our homes and be safe from others while we work; safe from their criticisms and aversions, safe from bullying and harassment. Furthermore, our talents as writers, photographers, or whatever, flourish absolutely under one important condition - freedom. I support moving work to an online domain because I see also how harmful the 9 - 5 is for people; how it drains them, how its endless cacophony of alarm clocks and ringing bells--lunch hours and lunch rooms, forced staff retreats and uncomfortable interactions with bosses--is killing them. I support allowing technology make us more efficient, happier. I support voluntary--not forced--interaction. I support eliminating the workplace altogether and creating NEW modes of working, either from home or through community-based platforms such as outdoor spaces.

  • 5 Ways to Engage With Your Brand Voice - icuc.social : [...] “A strong company voice on social media should emphasize the company’s values, objectives and key differentiators that set it apart from its competitors. These can be expressed in the tone of the communication and the content that is shared with community members and the target audience.The best social media voices are communal, grammatical, dialectical, authentic, original, contextual, relevant, timely, persistent, responsive, helpful, generous and more informal. A company’s social media voice should only be changed if absolutely necessary and should maintain all of these qualities. Any change should be preceded by lots of information explaining the change to community members to ensure they know it is deliberate and that the company isn’t suffering from some form of instability, which jeopardizes relationships.” [@TechAlly, Francis Moran & Associates – via Francis Moran & Associates] [...]

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