• Our New COO is a Heavy(weight) Hitter

    I never imagined that solving a problem as big as we were tackling would be so challenging and at the same time so rewarding. Every time we faced a wall, we broke it down. Every time we failed, we were inspired to learn why and to do better. From the […]

  • Why My Startup Scrapped Its Perfectly Successful Business Model

    [Photo: Flickr user Robbie Sproule] This spring, Tesla pulled ahead of General Motors to become the most valuable car maker in America. That’s despite GM breaking records in 2016 with 10 million cars sold and earning $12.5 billion in profit. Tesla, meanwhile, delivered 76,230 cars and lost $219.4 million. As […]

  • Beyond the Bonus: Finding a Tech Job with Meaning

    Careers in Canadian tech have never seemed sexier. The sector has surged to become Canada’s fastest-growing industry, with tech jobs paying 75 percent more than the Canadian average. Perks — from stock options to yoga classes — have become de rigeur. But building a fulfilling career in technology isn’t as […]

  • The Crucial Entrepreneurial Skills Your Kids Aren’t Learning In School

    [PHOTO: PEET WOODHEAD, FLICKR USER SOUTHBANK CENTRE] At the start of this year, President Obama called for an ambitious, $4 billion investment in computer science education for students from kindergarten through grade 12. The proposal gained the support of business leaders and 27 U.S. governors, but Congress predictably failed to […]

  • Our Logistics Network Doors Are Open: Introducing the BuildDirect Gateway

    The business of how parcels get from point A to point B is suddenly in the tech spotlight thanks to the advent and explosive growth of ecommerce. With Amazon’s valuation now surpassing Walmart’s, the transition from shopping by car to shopping by computer is well underway, and it only stands […]

  • Winning the board game: How to build a board that actually helps your company

    For entrepreneurs, the art of bringing a divided board together There was the board member who tried to vote me out. There were the ones who insisted “this will never work.” There was even the one who joked (I think) about having me hit by a bus to get rid […]

  • Lonely at the Top: Ways to Address Executive Loneliness

    Being CEO can be incredibly lonely—everyone looks to you for leadership, yet you may have no one else to lean on. Here’s how I’ve dealt with isolation as a CEO. Martin Senn, the former head of Zurich Insurance, committed suicide in May this year, less than three years after two […]

  • “Radical Responsibility” is How You Truly Take Ownership of Your Business

      I’ll never forget a tense conversation I had with my leadership team about the launch of a key tech product. When discussing why broad adoption wasn’t happening among our users (in the home improvement sector), a team member offered an explanation: “This industry is just slow to adopt new […]

  • Why leadership can inspire employees to care like owners

    If you want employees to act like owners, it helps if you treat them like owners It’s been a hard year for Valeant Pharmaceuticals. The multibillion-dollar drug maker is reeling from a perfect storm of accounting scandals, regulatory investigations and public lashings on Capitol Hill. But you wouldn’t know it […]

  • How BuildDirect helps you make it —better.

    A personal look at how we can take the frustration out of your home renovation I’d like to share a story with you about Stacie and Rob, homeowners from California. Like many couples, they decided to renovate their home. And like many couples, they quickly grew frustrated with the experience. […]

  • How introverted CEOs can lead in a world of big talkers

    Most people who know me would be surprised to learn I’m an introvert. As the CEO and face of my company, I spend ample time giving speeches and attending networking events. And yet, I can feel the energy drain out from me when I’m the center of attention. Yes, I […]

  • Trust thy customer: The first (forgotten) commandment of e-commerce

    The free-shipping fallacy is crashing. From the beginning, Amazon built its e-commerce empire partly on that very promise. Buyers flocked in, initially lured by no-cost shipping on orders over $25, quietly bumped to $35 in 2013. But this spring, the threshold was upped again to a hefty $49, leaving bargain […]

  • Why We Need to Embrace Deflation

    Tech has made everything cheaper. It’s time our economy caught up. local maximum: the value of a function at a certain point in its domain, which is greater than or equal to the values at all other points in the immediate vicinity of the point Human beings are often fooled […]

  • How to Accelerate the Trust Curve at Work

    With Millennials changing jobs so often, building trust – faster – is more important than ever. Right now, the battle for talent is heating up in Silicon Valley as tech darlings Tesla and Apple take turns poaching each other’s leaders. But it doesn’t stop at the top. With unemployment rates […]

  • Why the only thing Silicon Valley North needs … is time

    Earlier this year, Microsoft added its fourth development office to downtown Vancouver, joining a who’s who of U.S. tech names that have set up shop in Vancouver in recent years, including, and Facebook. It’s tempting to say the city is blossoming into Silicon Valley North but, to truly […]

  • The Founder’s Dilemma: Being arrogant enough to launch, but humble enough to last

    In 2008, the bottom dropped out from my business – and it was probably the best thing that could have happened. After years of steady growth, I had gotten used to ignoring the critics. At first they said we’d never get people to buy home improvement products over the Internet. […]

  • How Brands Use VR and AR to Transform Online Shopping: Try before you buy.

    Judging by this year’s SXSW Interactive conference in Austin, the virtual reality revolution has already begun. Participants this month were treated to everything from panels on city planning using VR to dedicated VR lounges where they could explore NASA spacecraft. But, in a sign of things to come, one of […]

  • Creating Policy for your Best Employees

    In January, my company extended unlimited paid vacation to our employees, a growing trend among both corporate giants like GE and Virgin and innovation-driven companies like Netflix. Why did we do it? I genuinely want my team to be rested and balanced. But, at root, this was a move on […]

  • Staying connected with your family: Life hacks for the busy CEO

    Is the most famous CEO on the planet also the world’s best Dad and husband? Since the birth of his daughter in late November, Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg has been streaming his  paternity leave one heart-melting image at a time. This isn’t brand-boosting PR – it’s the genuine and admirable outreach […]

  • Do What Uber Did. Empower your stakeholders.

    If we needed another example of how the old business paradigms are failing,Walmart delivered this month. They’ve announced the closing of hundreds of stores globally, leaving empty big-box buildings and broken communities in their wake. Meanwhile, Uber, a vanguard of the new sharing economy, just announced that they’re making it […]

  • A Retail Manifesto: It’s online or bust. Are you ready?

    The shopping experience is a very human experience, but even human nature can change. The retail setting we’ve had, from the Grand Bazaar of yesterday to the ubiquitous shopping mall of today, is – in no uncertain terms – on the way out. Technology that can change retail and how […]

  • Opening a world of possibilities: BuildDirect’s new Home Marketplace

    Today BuildDirect unveils Home Marketplace, an online platform that finally, truly gives all the home renovators out there everything they need to get the job done: online, at the right prices and hassle-free. This is a big day for the many people who helped get us here. I want to […]

  • Brutal honesty can boost your bottom line. Here’s why:

    A lack of criticism could be harmful to your business. Volkswagen, once the world’s eighth largest car company, has lost 34% of its market value since September of last year. The obvious cause is the company’s emissions cheating scandal. But the less-obvious cause is due to a single word: yes. Somewhere along the line, top executives convinced one another […]

  • The best measure of success at BuildDirect is what employees accomplish, not the number of hours they clock.

    Why we made the decision to give our employees unlimited vacation. At BuildDirect our vision is to open a world of possibilities. That includes pushing the boundaries so that our employees have control and choice over what really matters to them. This is why at our first All Hands team […]

  • This holiday season, is it (really) the end of retail as we know it?

    When it comes to the demise of retail shopping, it pays to keep in mind that oft-quoted Mark Twain quip: “Reports of my death have been greatly exaggerated.” Ever since brown boxes with Amazon’s smiling logo started showing up at doors roughly 20 years ago, pundits have predicted that online shopping […]

  • Rethinking Volkswagen: 3 reasons why a crisis could be just what your company needs

    Right now, Volkswagen’s competitors are certainly feeling a bit of schadenfreude at the ‘Das Auto’ carmaker’s fall from grace. Fallout from the company’s emissions scandal has hit the brand hard, with stock prices plunging by up to 50 percent. Critics are already asking: can Volkswagen – even with hundreds of billions […]

  • Unicorns vs. Beavers. Understanding what makes a startup truly special, with the help of a few furry friends

    As unicorns dwindle, reassessing what makes a startup truly special Once upon a time, companies with billion-dollar valuations needed giant factories churning out millions of widgets a day. Then, suddenly, all you needed to join the club was an idea and some talented young grads churning out code. As of […]

  • Raising funds from friends and family: Lessons from the frontlines

    Right about now, startup founders are probably starting to sweat. The funding faucet had been running full blast for years, after all. But recent shakiness on Wall Street has suddenly put a whole lot of deals on pause. For early-stage startups on the brink of big funding rounds, the wait […]

  • Rethinking empathy: It’s not about being nice … it’s about driving profit

      Even before this summer’s expose on Amazon’s workplace culture, Jeff Bezos never exactly had a reputation as a nice guy. Visionary? Yes. Intense? Absolutely. But not the warm-and-fuzzy type, by a longshot. Yet it’s impossible to argue with the fact that Bezos makes many of his millions of customers […]

  • Raising compassionate kids can start with a simple sock

    I am one of the lucky ones. I was raised in a loving household and in turn, am able to create the same for my kids with my wife Kelly. I have always had a home to go to, a purpose in life in which I pursue as well as […]