Based in Toronto | Facing the World

Permalink Here is an article from Fast Company on Best Buy’s ROWE (Results Oriented Work Environment). In a nutshell, Best Buy allows their employees to come into the office whenever necessary and as long as they deliver, no one cares when they work or where. The article goes into a bit more detail on the measured benefits realized at Best Buy.
My thoughts on the subject is…well, good job Best Buy! Finally companies are realizing that the 8 hour work week is a remnant of the industrial revolution and is only relevant for pure operations jobs (like assembly line worker or back office loan adjudicator). Why must a coder ever need to sit at a permanent site? Can’t a project manager manage from anywhere that has WiFi and cellphone reception? Providing flexible work hours allows employees to get on with their lives and work without any distractions on their minds.
Perhaps one day Starbucks will full-on enter into the co-op workspace market. It’s my favourite office at this point.
Permalink fastcompany:

I buy many cups of coffee and habitually cringe when reaching for a plastic lid. It’s pretty hypocritical to make a point of avoiding Styrofoam, only to slap a petroleum disc on a paper cup. (And yes, I know that carrying a travel mug would obviate the issue.) Fortunately for me (and my eco karma), a designer named Peter Herman has come up with a greener, all-paper disposable cup that folds closed like a takeout container to form a sipping spout.

Elegant solution!
Permalink Mark Twain is from Missouri, I lived in Missouri, therefore we are homies.
Permalink Man looks out on to Alhambra, Granada
Permalink Portugal captured my heart…

Organic startup ideas


This is reblog from full article here

The best way to come up with startup ideas is to ask yourself the question: what do you wish someone would make for you?

There are two types of startup ideas: those that grow organically out of your own life, and those that you decide, from afar, are…

(via eciur)


Qualities of a Good Startup Founder

I came across this essay by Paul Graham on what he looks for in founders (previously published in Forbes). If you are not familiar with him, Paul Graham is the founder of Y Combinator, a seed fund for young wantrepreneurs in Silicon Valley. He’s a really well respected man of thought when it comes to startups and all that is associated with the subject.

The article lists the following as the most valuable qualities: Determination, Flexibility, Imagination, Naughtiness, and Friendship. I completely agree with this list…well, maybe I would reduce the importance of Naughtiness. I think a better term would be Jugaad, a form of Indian resourcefulness. Anyways, on to the other points.

Determination and flexibility go hand in hand. Lowering your head and just charging in a single direction won’t bring about great outcomes. I love the analogy to a running back that side steps and weaves his way to his destination. There is never a straight road to success. The path to success is inevitably riddled with failures.

Imagination has to be the single most unique characteristic to an entrepreneur, especially the I-want-to-conquor-the-world types from silicon valley. I believe entrepreneurs are kids who never fully grew up. Kids naturally think outside of the box, but somewhere along the way to adulthood most of us seem to lose our imaginations.

And friendship… if not for the fact that a lot of founders are actually geeky straight guys, I’d say that entrepreneurship is about building a good marriage. In what other situation are people so tied together and are forced to work through so many issues?

Anyways, I’m glad I discovered Paul Graham’s extensive, albeit blandly designed, website. There’s a lot of ripe knowledge there for the picking.

Permalink A man rolling tobacco in Goa, India. The stuff was grown on his plantation…fresh
Permalink Goa India, I loved the collision of Portuguese and Indian cultures

Insight #1

I fancy myself an entrepreneur. I’ve been around the block once and this is currently my second go. It’s been an interesting learning experience, so I’d like to share some insights. Here is insight #1.

People come first.

It’s appropriate that this is the first entry. My biggest revelation has been that it doesn’t matter how great your ideas are, if you don’t find the right people to help execute, it will fail on it’s face. When it comes down to it, even if you choose less technically knowledgable individuals, it will payout in droves in the end. It is so critically important to choose to work with people who have the same goals as you and that you genuinely enjoy spending time with.

I started a company with someone in a completely different life situation. I was a young engineering school grad and he was an industry veteran, married with kids. Although I learned a huge deal in my time with him, I couldn’t help but feel a general disconnect. He was looking to build an IT company and rule over a legion of consultants (I was to be employee numero uno). I wanted to bootleg a company and try to take over the world. Even when business was going well, it didn’t seem like we were working towards the same goal. In the end, even though the idea was solid, I just could not continue in a situation where I was working to realize someone else’s dream.

Lesson learned. This time around I am looking for like minded people with a common vision.