I recently spoke about career growth to a group of women, all working for a successful and growing tech company. In the Q & A someone asked "What can I do if my manager doesn't give me the promotion or growth opportunities that I want?" This was a great question, but there was one word in there that lit me up.
No one is going to give you opportunity and growth. You have to go and take it. Ask for it. Prove yourself worthy of a challenging new task or project. Show that you have guts and ambition and that you can take initiative. If someone tells you that you can't, prove them wrong, or ask them flatly what you need to learn in order to be more qualified for the task.
This one little word is the difference between people who quickly accelerate their careers and those who sit back, waiting for success and opportunity to cclimb into their laps.
The companies that are really moving quickly value initiative and confidence. They don't have managers who focus solely on allocating work and delegating projects. Everyone is carrying a lot of responsibility, and often cool tasks get snapped up by the first person to offer help and get started.
But what if you do all of this, and your organization holds you back or tells you that they don't want or need your best, most creative energies. Well, it's obvious, this is not the place for you to thrive and grow. Your employer isn't moving fast enough or can't see that value that you bring. Now that you know this, go find another outlet. If you are in tech, and you're talented and keen, you are in demand.
These Tech Highlights were written by our friend Chris Wormald of IronHorse Angels. His goal is to provide you with a monthly primer on significant news events from private Waterloo-based technology companies in 5 minutes or less.
TritonWear have finalized their form factor and have beta agreements with two swim clubs.
The Voltera V-One is available for pre-order following their successful Kickstarter campaign. It’s a piece of innovative hardware that enables a prototyper to print a circuit board in minutes.
Neverfrost has 16 paid pilots going and remains on track for a v1 launch this fall.
DraftingSPACE has been acquired by BuildDirect.
MappedIn has launched with Canada’s largest retailer with product level search and turn-by-turn assistance. They are also live at Pacific Center in Vancouver.
Beagle has launched their beta product with a 30-day free trial. They now have an association with CodeX, the Stanford Law School Informatics program.
They will be demoing on July 10 at Microsoft’s demo day.
Ansik introduced PitStop an Uber for Auto repair. Plugging their connector into a car’s OBD2
port will produce a diagnosis and put your job up for mechanics to bid on. They also announced that they have been accepted to the Techstars Mobility accelerator in Detroit.
Shinydocs have just signed their 7th customer with average deal sizes north of $50k.
Magnet Forensics held an open house to show off their new digs, attracting a swath of politicians, tech leaders, customers and self proclaimed celebs.
Dejero continues to enable journalists to blend into the masses and report with familiar
devices, signing up BFM TV, (France) and TV TEM (Brazil).
In The Chat’s help desk platform powered the service desk at Call Center Week in Las Vegas.
Kik reports that since the March introduction of video chat, 7 million users have shared 110 million videos.
It’s official. We have a commercialization challenge in Canada’s tech sector. The government is quietly questioning the returns we get from the billions of subsidies pumped into business innovation. Technology and thought leaders are openly questioning the same thing (stories here, here, here and here). Even journalists are adding to the discussion.
How can Canada do such a great job of fostering entrepreneurship and innovation but fail so badly in the transition to sustaining commercial success in the tech industry? Like our national attitude towards the delivery of education and health care, does the focus of producing “good enough” for the masses disable the conditions required for sustaining greatness to emerge?
Sustained commercial success is not an infinite monkeys and infinite typewriters situation where something great magically pops up. So why do we hope for greatness from fledging tech companies when the conditions rarely exist for greatness to emerge? The Bay Area’s resilience comes from the quality of the top people who power the tech industry, not the quantity of companies. Many people seem to confuse cause and effect.
I recently read Scary Close by Donald Miller, an excellent and challenging book about a writer who resolved to drop the act in his search for true intimacy. In a similar vein, I really like Dan Herman’s thoughts and the courage TEC Edmonton shows by publishing their success and failures for all to see. We would benefit from more standardized
reporting systems like this.
I started this newsletter because I believe we need increased transparency and a better understanding of what’s really going on. There are great opportunities to produce global competitors if we find the right ingredients to support the right opportunities. Yet today, it feels like quantity remains the trump card that carries the hand. I’d like to help change that.
Looking ahead, the Velocity Fund Finals will be held on July 23 at UW. It’s a semi-annual event that’s worth attending.
Waterloo Tech Highlights is a communication initiative run by a group of experienced investors and strategists who would like to receive and share real news about the vibrant Waterloo, Ontario tech community.
If you would like to share news with us, or our readers, email firstname.lastname@example.org
If you are interested in continuing to receive Waterloo Tech Highlights, you can subscribe at www.ironhorseangels.com.Chris Wormald@cwormald
With the release of the new RIM/Blackberry tell-all Losing the Signal, the Canadian tech community is abuzz with chatter about the spectacular downfall of the local tech giant.
It seems that the former Research in Motion, now Blackberry, has been a local company that everyone loves to hate. Even when stocks were soaring and Blackberry devices were flying off shelves, the sentiment in the community was often negatively focused on how the giant was unfairly inflating salaries and poaching development talent from underdog start-ups. While the co-CEOs poured hundreds of millions of dollars into establishments like the Perimeter Institute, CiGi and University of Waterloo, we were more likely to read press reports of leadership mistakes or un-Canadian egos. As a nation of under-dogs, we were quick to criticize and view our homegrown success story as ‘the Man'.
And so this continues today, with an “I-told-you-so” attitude, as so many within our tech community reflect on the Blackberry situation and what they would have done differently if only someone had asked.
It would be really refreshing for someone to start talking about the success of Blackberry. Yes, we can certainly learn a lifetime’s worth of lessons through reflection on what caused the decline. But we really need to take a good look at what went right, and how the success of Blackberry has left the Waterloo Region and the Canadian economy much better off.
A group of Canadian innovators built a technology and created a market that changed the world and generated $Billions in economic impact. Wow.
More than 20,000 Canadians were employed at Research in Motion throughout it’s evolution, and are now armed with the experience of having been part of an incredibly successful global tech company. The value of these individuals to our economy is not dampened by the eventual decline of the business. The seeds of innovation and the appetite for big time success that these individuals now carry, is being sprinkled generously across every sector of the economy, and the impact will be profound.
So we should definitely congratulate all of the talented leaders who have been liberated by Blackberry and are now driving innovation and growth within local and global tech companies. But perhaps we should also send a note of thanks to the Research in Motion founders who were just brave and imperfect enough to build a billion dollar tech company in our own backyard.
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