take a flying leap
Before I get going, I would like to encourage people to begin posting comments or sending me their thoughts via email. I've noted several repeat readers from many unexpected locations (California, UK, Southern France, Australia, British Columbia ...) and I sure would like to know who you are. I've also spoken to many of you faithful readers personally and you have much to share so don't be afraid ... start posting comments. Lastly, it would be great if you could forward the link to your friends and colleagues or include a link to the blog when you post elsewhere if it makes sense. We'll be looking for people's opinions regarding our product and ideally many would be willing to be beta users once we have a basic service up and running. The more people get involved early, the more feedback we'll get. If you friends like the service, they'll thank you.
Ok ... to the main post
I've noticed a strange phenomenon lately which I think is awesome. More and more people I know are quiting their jobs, not necessarily in disgust but because what they were doing wasn't doing the trick anymore. Most of these people left their jobs without having another job to go to but with the intention of getting involved in a start-up or a new career. In many cases, they realized that the comfort of their jobs, and the addiction to the big $$, was preventing from doing new things. I love seeing people having the guts and the confidence to simply quit! I thought I was the only crazy one.
This was certainly not happening a few years ago when jobs were hard to come by. I'm really hoping that this is an indication of a resurgence in start-up activity in Ottawa. There seem to be few truly new start-ups in the area and this should worry everyone. I've have been advised several times over the last few weeks that I should move to NY, Boston and especially Silicon Valley in order to be successful at my new venture. Sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do but I'm not even considering it at this point. Having said that, I'm heading that way during the second week in November to attend the Dow Jones Consumer Ventures conference (kinda pricey but hopefully worth it) Nov 7&8. If any readers are in the area, please let me know.
Ottawa is a fantastic place to live but there is no doubt doing a start-up here is much harder, especially if you are interested in developing consumer products or services (unless it has to do with ice or hockey). You'd better be developing some telecom equipment or enterprise product or you stick out like a sore thumb. I've decided this is the time to break out of telecom, H/W, ICs and all the stuff. I'm not so old yet that I can't change direction. I may have to come back to that comfort zone with my tail between my legs one of these day but it's going to take allot to do that.
Investors need to get out of their comfort zone too ... take a chance. Sometimes the only way to learn about something is to do it. So, together with a few kindred spirits willing to bust their humps and blaze some new trails, we move forward. Wish us luck (which reminds me ... gotta set up a paypal donation box for you to toss your pennies into).
Entrepreneur with an Iron Ring