January 5th, 2001
many nights I prayed for this,
To let my work begin.
First we take Manhattan,
Then we take Berlin "–
Cohen, First We Take Manhattan
It's 2001. Arthur C.
Clarke references abound. Rather than dredge up some
tired HAL references, I thought I'd make the connection
to one of his earlier and better books, Childhood's End.
For those of you that haven't read it, here's the
Coles Notes version:
Overlords appear on Earth as friendly aliens.
They mingle with humans and are accepted.
They are psychic and are looking for a messiah
like psychic being on Earth (They happen to look like
the Devil, but that’s a tangent that I don’t want to
go down, nor is it particularly useful for my metaphor).
One day they feel the power emanating from the
womb of a human mother.
This is but the first of thousands of these
children to be born who have the ability.
Once the children reach the age of ten or so,
there psychic ability explodes, such that they are able
to control the aliens.
Then all of the children leave the planet in a
kind of universe expanding mind meld and Earth is turned
to dust. The
book really. Yes, Mr. Clarke did experiment with
mushrooms in the 50's.
this story in mind, I want to explain to you what the
Canadian brain drain to the US is really all about.
For those of you on another planet, the brain
drain issue has been burning in Canada for quite some
estimates have 250,000 technology workers from Canada in
the San Francisco Bay Area alone (I tend to think it is
more like 75,000).
The reports in the media say that many of these
people were lured to the US by the promise of working at
the world's best technology companies.
The story goes that the mighty US dollar and the
rocketing stock market of the past few years exacerbated
the problem by offering potential massive piles of
wealth through stock options.
Further, many pundits argued that the
opportunities in Canada were not as attractive because
they had less chance of success, less capital and lower
tolerance of risk.
There's even a web site that organizes many of
these thoughts at CanadasBrainDrain.ca.
Good theories, I guess.
But it's all bunk.
reason that we have exported our best and brightest
stars in technology, from engineers to CEOs, is because
we, as Canadians, aim to dominate the coming technology
all part of a master plan to infiltrate and then
confiscate the ability to create billion dollar
Is this a government conspiracy?
No, we said "best" and
"brightest", which eliminates all government.
The whole plan was hatched by a splinter group of the CWD
(Canadian World Domination)
back in the early 90's.
And it is working well.
at the prominent Canadian senior managers or founders of
big US technology companies:
Deshpande, Sycamore Networks
Rob Burgess, Macromedia
Jeff Mallett, Yahoo!
Bernie Ebbers, MCI Worldcom
Bob Young, Red Hat Software
Jeff Skoll, eBay
Paul Gauthier, Inktomi
Chris Lochhead, Scient
Don Listwin, Phone.com
James Richardson, Cisco Systems
are the senior members of the conspiracy, sent south to
gain the trust of the US venture capitalists, investment
bankers and media.
Actually, we have invaded the VCs, IBanks and
media as well (hell, as soon as Dan Rather kicks, we
have two of the three major news anchors in Peter
Jennings and John Roberts).
At the conference I was at last month, I counted
a dozen Canadians posing as important VCs at very large
and well-respected funds.
Once we control the money...
Americans have funded a flood of Canadians with big
ideas in the Silicon Valley.
Many more Canadians have joined well-funded
American start-ups and larger established technology
companies, not just in the Valley, but in Seattle,
Boston and Dallas.
These conspirators are gathering more and more
information and ability.
are the doubters out there that figure that most of the
Canadians will stay in the US and keep everything that
they have learned with them, never benefiting Canadian
society as a whole.
There are those that suggest that anyone who
leaves dare not show their face in Canada again, lest we
lynch them for taking our hard-earned taxpayer money for
their publicly funded higher education and giving none
of it back. Relax.
Soon the benefits of years of hard work by
Canadians in the US will start to flood back.
anyone remember what the Japanese did in the 70's?
They took American electronics and car
manufacturing, two of the largest industries in the
world, and made them Japanese.
They learned the ability from the US in
the 60's and they owned that ability in the 70's
key to the Canadian conspiracy is to make sure that the
knowledge of that ability to create world leading
technology companies continues to flow North through our
heroic comrades placed in the technology companies of
the US. Eventually, we can pull some of them back from
the dangerous battlefields.
Bring them back to their homeland and let them
re-create the companies here.
Then we Canadians can have the metaphorical
universe-expanding mind meld that turns the other
nation's tech industries to dust!
could just do better than we are doing now by reaping
the benefits of a brain gain.
C. Clarke I am not.
But I thought I would have some fun bringing in
the year 2001, eh?}
Why I Am A Venture Capitalist, Part 1: (From Rich
Karlgaard in Forbes)
• The money
that flowed into American venture capital funds in 1991
came to $3 billion. Worldwide, venture capital is now
close to a $250 billion industry.
Barring any archdukes getting plinked or central
bankers hoisting rates in a recession or House Ways and
Means chairmen hankering to double taxes, we could see a
VC industry of $500 billion by 2010.
Between 1974 and 1995, Warren Buffett's Berkshire
Hathaway and the top 20 or so VC firms had this in
common: Both camps earned compound annual returns of
Between 1995 and 2000 Berkshire's compound annual return
dropped to 23%. But the top VCs' soared to more than
100% per year. We guess that with the dot-com bubble
popped, VCs will regress to their historical average of
35%. That ain't hay.
Last year the seven general partners at Benchmark
Capital in Silicon Valley harvested profits from their
first fund. Each partner got $300 million.
Sequoia Capital in Silicon Valley is run by 12 partners.
Three own jets.
From Last Week –
have been reading your article since I moved out of town
and out of countryto Research Triangle Park, North
Carolina over two years ago. Since about
working for a wireless applications startup company in
Victoria, I have
hearing that wireless, especially wireless data, would
be the next big
Well, I'm still waiting. I believe that there is a
lack of 'killer apps'.
in Japan seems to be the only one so far, and until
something catches on
we'll have to wait a little bit longer....
Question: If Jean Chretien believes there is no brain
drain, is he calling me stupid ?
are all waiting for wireless apps to emerge from the
hype stage. Microsoft
just announced a deal with Starbuck’s to have wireless
ordering of lattes.
As for Jean calling you stupid…
don’t want to get the politicians aware of the
are part of it and you certainly don’t want to be
discovered, do you?
Not until you bring all that learned ability
What Do You Think? Talk
Back To Brent Holliday
Something Ventured is a bi-weekly column designed
to supplement the T-Net British Columbia web site with
some timely, relevant and possibly irreverent insight
into the industry. I hope to share some of the
perspective and trends that I see in my role as a VC.
The column is always followed by feedback (if its
positive or constructive. I'll keep the flames to
Something Ventured Archive
Online Venture Capital Guide