Entrepreneurship Archive

  • 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 […]

  • 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 […]

  • 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. […]

  • 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 […]

  • On BuildDirect partnering with Debbie Travis

    For the past few months, we’ve been talking with respected designer and entrepreneur Debbie Travis about how we can add value to each other’s efforts. And today, we’re very proud to announce that Debbie and BuildDirect have banded together to make buying building materials easy, fun, and convenient for our customers.

  • Ethical companies are stronger and last longer

  • Innovative way to “advertise”

    I wanted to share the video below because I thought it shows what is possible by allowing users to contribute content and engage with a brand.  Century 21 created a “contest” where others could unleash their creativity and talents. My feelings are that they achieved two main objectives by using this […]

  • Your employees, your customers and your products

    I love this Jack Welch quote from a recent Financial times article on the future of Capitalism. “On the face of it, shareholder value is the dumbest idea in the world.  Shareholder value is a result, not a strategy…your main constituencies are your employees, your customers and your products.” This […]

  • Our big hairy audacious goal

    I recently spoke at a technology event hosted by BCTIA where I talked about BuildDirect, the challenges we have overcome while building the company, and where I thought we were heading.  I am extremely proud of our people, our journey and the company we have built, but I told the […]

  • Interesting analogy on how social media works

    I love this video and how it compares Twitter, Facebook and the rest of the tools to “parties” and a blog to a home.

  • Authenticity is key to success using social media in business

    I followed the US Presidential election closely, and was really interested how Barack Obama used the new tools of communication through the primary process and on to his landslide victory. Obama had a message of hope that inspired a nation, but I do not believe that without the new tools […]

  • Talking with Geoff Smart, Author of Who: The A Method for Hiring

    I recently read a book that is I think will go down as one of the business classics. It’s a must read for any business leader dedicated to superior performance.

    The tiltle of the book is WHO: The A Method for Hiring. The premise is that most companies focus on the “what” rather than the “who” and that hiring A-players is the most important part of any leaders job. A-players are the right superstar for the job, meaning that they not only have the skills to be successful but they also fit within the culture of the company.

  • Our use of blogs and social media as a way of showing our transparency and engaging in direct conversations with our customers is really showing some traction., a prominent site in the technology community just wrote a great article on BuildDirect.  Full article can be seen HERE .

  • Enterprise as its best is an emotional, vital, innovative, joyful, creative, entrepreneurial, endeavor that elicits maximum concerted human potential in the wholehearted service of others.  Tom Peters, Atlanta Growth Conference

    Growth Conference in Atlanta
  • Outside or inside?

    The August numbers for new construction of houses and apartments came out today and they were lower than expected bringing them to their lowest level in 17 years, a seasonally adjusted rate of 895,000 units. Prices of homes are falling quickly causing massive losses to financial institutions, which in turn […]

  • Great TEAMS win!!!!!

    Back in 2001, just before the tragic events of September 11th, BuildDirect was in the process of closing on a $15 million dollar round of financing to enable us to hire and build the company faster. Our technology, while nearing completion was still not ready, and we still had a […]

  • Leadership in tough times

    Tom Peters has a great blog post on leadership in tough times. For those serving the building industry, it is particularly relevant because the blog post originated from a speech he recently gave to the Pacific Coast Builders conference. From the post: “I spoke last Friday to the Pacific Coast […]

  • The Long Walk through the Dark Forest

    A couple of years ago I was asked to help the Conference board of Canada with its commercialization strategy that it was preparing for the Canadian government. The Conference Board assembled a Leader’s Roundtable on commercialization with the intent of improving commerce in Canada. Although I was honoured to help, […]

  • The best leadership development course I have ever attended

    I spent the last couple of days in Seattle attending a workshop called “Mastering the Rockefeller habits” by Verne Harnish. I took my entire management team along and it I can easily say that it was the best leadership development course that we have ever attended.  Click HERE for more on Gazelles workshops.  One of […]

  • Good resource when building your business

    For all of the entrepreneurs out there, I came across this site  It is a great resource for raising money to grow your business. I know that when my business partner and I started, a resource like this would have saved us a lot of time.  If you have […]