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StartCanada Blog

The StartCanada Blog provides insights about some of the work that we’re doing; including web design / development, design thinking, social media marketing, small business information, trends, tips, ideas and inspiration for start-ups, professionals, non-profits and small businesses.

Innovation Is...

Source: Jeanne M. Liedtka, Design Thinking, University of Virginia

Top 10 Most Innovative Companies in the Automotive Industry

Aaron Lewis, a design intern at Uber, ended an article he wrote with... "Owning a car will one day be like owning a horse - fun for the wealthy, but financially foolish for everyone else." It makes sense to me. However, the road towards that idea continues to inspire a lot of design ideas and opportunities. Here is FastCompany's Most Innovative list for the Automotive Sector in 2016:

  1. Hyundai - For augmenting autos with gesture-controlled heads-up displays
  2. Ford - For embracing e-bikes and ride sharing
  3. Tesla Motors - For adding autopilot features overnight and making your car come to you
  4. Quanergy - For developing software that makes driverless cars cheaper for the rest of us
  5. Sober Steering - For breathing a better breathalyzer into being
  6. Local Motors - For 3D printing a car we can actually drive
  7. Harman - For giving each passenger a "sound zone," paving the way for peaceful road trips
  8. Hudway - For creating the only app that keep's drivers' eyes on the road
  9. Getaround - For turning car owners into car loaners
  10. Evenflo - For building a car seat that alerts parents if a baby gets too hot or her seat belt unbuckles

Source/s: FastCompany Magazine, March 2016
Photo: Charging the Tesla Model S at Tesla, Robson Street, Vancouver by Angelo Narciso

Some Words from Successful Entrepreneurs

Source

25 Best Brands in Canada

... Ranked by the only metric that matters - the respect of average Canadians.

  1. MEC
  2. Cirque du Soleil
  3. WestJet
  4. Tim Hortons
  5. Roots
  6. Shoppers Drug Mart
  7. Videotron
  8. BRP
  9. Loblaws
  10. Canada Goose
  11. Gildan Activewear
  12. Home Hardware
  13. Canadian Tire
  14. Lululemon Athletica
  15. Saputo
  16. Metro
  17. TD Bank
  18. RONA
  19. McCain Foods
  20. Jean Coutu
  21. Telus
  22. Sun Life Financial
  23. RBC
  24. Molson Coors
  25. IMAX

MEC CEO David Labistour on the company's logo / company rebrand: "... the more complicated the logo was, the less power it had. The simpler and more utilitarian your logo is, the more it shows up on the screen of a mobile phone."

Source: Canadian Business Magazine, October 2015
Photo: © Angelo Narciso, Canoe on Lake Louise

Risk Is Everything

As with the Nike campaign above and the following words of Petra Moser, assistant professor of economics at Stanford and its Europe Center, is risk, or that fearless culture, the key ingredient that drives US tech giants?

Mosler compares Europe and the US:

  • They’re trying to recreate Silicon Valley in places like Munich, so far with little success. The institutional and cultural differences are still too great.
  • In Europe, failure is regarded as a personal tragedy. Here it’s something of a badge of honor. An environment like that doesn’t encourage as much risk-taking and entrepreneurship.
  • If you don’t do well at age 18, you’re out. That cuts out a lot of people who could do better but never get the chance. The person who does best at a test of rote memorization at age 17 may not be innovative at 23. The American education system is much more forgiving. Students can catch up and go on to excel. European children may be better behaved, but American children may end up being more free to explore new things.
  • American companies allow their employees to leave and try something else. Then, if it works, great, the mother company acquires the start-up. If it doesn’t, they hire them back. It’s a great system. It allows people to experiment and try things. In Germany, you can’t do that. People would hold it against you. They’d see it as disloyal. It’s a very different ethic.
  • In Europe, stability is prized. Inequality is much less tolerated. There’s a culture of sharing. People aren’t so cutthroat. Money isn’t the only thing that matters. These may be good things.

Source: A Fearless Culture Fuels U.S. Tech Giants, New York Times

It's Good To Be Different

"You tend to want to hire people in your own image - people who are strong at what you're strong at, who get you. But when it comes to a number two, that's completely the wrong strategy. Your partner has to believe in the mission and share a set of values but needs a completely different skill set."

- Razor Suleman, Chairman and Chief Evangelist, Achievers

Source: Canadian Business Magazine, April 2015
Photo: © Angelo Narciso, Logan Collection, SFMoMa

Build a Staffless Office

"We don't have any employees. Whether it's copywriters or graphic designers, or even finance consultants, everyone is brought in on an as-needed basis. A lot of HR departments operate like that - companies don't need a full-time HR staff, so they have them subcontracted. It's a win-win, because the sub-contractor gets flexibility of not being tied down to one company, and the business doesn't have the overhead and the payroll expenses, and doesn't need the extra space for these people." - Joanna Track, Co-Founder, Good Eggs and Co.

Source: Canadian Business
Photo: © Angelo Narciso, McMahon Stadium, Calgary, AB

Mobile Gets Personal

"As the mobile world expands to include more and more platforms and screen sizes, it becomes very hard to build one-off apps for each of them. By mid to late 2015, it's going to be quite reasonable to embark upon a real multi-platform web-based app development strategy. As a consumer, it means you'll have to worry less about which mobile device you're running - you can choose one based on taste, not technical limitations." - Ian Bell, Founder/CEO, Rosterbot

Source: Canadian Business

Small Businesses in Canada Export Through Websites

Pierre Cleroux, Vice President, Research and Chief Economist of the Business Development Bank of Canada spoke to the Calgary Chamber of Commerce about What to Expect in 2015: An Economic Outlook for Small and Medium Businesses.

"So if you are an owner of a small business, you might think exporting is a good idea but mostly for large and mid-size firms. I want to give you a different perspective about this because more and more small businesses are able to export with new technology. Digital technology is changing the game for small business. You can access billions of consumers online with very low costs... something not possible 10 years ago."

Mr. Cleroux continues to explain the how websites enable small businesses to export their products to the world. His three examples were outfits in:

  • Calgary selling pipeline sealers,
  • Nova Scotia selling dog food, and
  • British Columbia selling spa uniforms.

HIs presentation starts at 21:30 of the Calgary Chamber video.

Source: Calgary Chamber of Commerce
Photo: © Angelo Narciso, Delta Hotel, Calgary, AB

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StartCanada Business Development Corporation

Big dreams. Start here.

StartCanada is a Canadian company that designs, develops and manages elegant and effective websites for start-ups, professionals, non-profits and small businesses. StartCanada also provides social media marketing services for its clients.

Angelo Narciso leads StartCanada and is involved with business development, the design thinking process of web design / development, website management and social media marketing.