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The Best Laid Plans
A bi-weekly column with timely, relevant and possibly irreverent insight into the BC technology industry.

Something Ventured:
January 10th, 2003


By Brent Holliday
Greenstone Venture Partners

"Superman where are you now
Everything's gone wrong somehow
The men of steel, men of power
Are losing control by the hour." - Genesis, Land of Confusion 

From the desk of Brent Holliday, January 9th:

{In an annoyingly/alarmingly large file synchronized in Outlook, on the Palm Pilot, in the Blackberry and on the white board, so that he might see it every time he walks by while otherwise procrastinating. You know the list that is all red and past the due date in Outlook? Yeah, you know the one.}

 

To Do List

    - think of subject/write column for January 10th on T-Net

    - make my auditors happy, they're grumpy right now

    - return calls of the brave few entrepreneurs still seeking capital

    - read executive summaries of brave few entrepreneurs still seeking capital (ahem, before calling them)

    - make New Year's resolutions

    - keep at least one of them

    - correlate El Nino effect on Vancouver weather to amount of work actually done at early stage high tech companies

    - cancel cloned baby press conference and figure out another way to get publicity for Greenstone

    - worry about the new tax cuts in the US and the increased spread between their rates and ours and the impact on keeping/finding high caliber people

    - worry some more about world tensions and nuclear devices

    - invest in at least two new deals in IT (joining in the party of four or five new IT/Communications companies in Vancouver funded or getting funding in December/January)

    - try not to mention the words tech and recovery in the same sentence in 2003. Doh!

    - write "good luck" cards to even more tech workers out on the street at Scientific-Atlanta in Burnaby

    - finish spreadsheet analysis of how many video games are being created to suck the time out of one's day vs. actual time in one day and then see if video game business might see a bit of a lull in the next few years

    - start bottle drive and can collecting for next venture fund

    - plan Jean Chretien farewell tour of BC. Twenty-one gun salute from gun registry participants? Chainsaw juggling contest with softwood industry workers? Honorary fence built to sit on for all major issues that demand leadership? Think. There has to be something we can do to show our gratitude. I know, we'll re-name Richmond, "New Shawinigan" and get tons of free handouts to help our industries to the detriment of the rest of Canada.

{Scribbled on the pink sheets that you get from Grand & Toy that were really only meant to have one phone message per sheet, but instead have three dozen}

 

Calls To Make

    - Larry Campbell, mayor of Vancouver: Threaten large can of whupass if he kills Olympic bid

    - Limited Partners in our fund: Can we go off topic a bit for our next investment and buy the fast ferries for a few hundred bucks in the auction next week, inject some working capital, park them on a new dock in English Bay and turn one into our new office and the other into a casino? We'll call one the "Glen" and the other the "Clark".

    - Wendy Stueck, Globe and Mail tech reporter, now mining reporter: Have something witty to say about how, apparently, rocks are more exciting than technology to her newspaper.

    - Bill Gates (or Steve if Bill's not in): When will the .Net marketing smokescreen end and real interoperating business applications be possible?

    - Beaker (aka John Manley, Finance Minister): Dude, your surplus is mondo huge, man. Don't do any "legacy" spending for the old fart. Give it back to us or to the holders of our debt. Save the rest for the gun registry.

{On small folded piece of paper in wallet, behind Caffe Artigiano loyalty card}

New Year's Resolutions

    - Write shorter columns - Try to buy more gadgets, single handedly stimulating adoption of Bluetooth

    - Lose all excesses (at least give it a try)

    - Solve Middle East crisis

    - Win Stanley Cup in Vancouver

    - Have more fun, in general, than last year

{Wrapped in reflective material and put in a cement bunker for opening in a few years time}

Time Capsule/Predictions

    - Only New Year's resolutions kept in 2003 were the ones about the Stanley Cup and more fun.

    - 2003 remained year of consolidation instead of growth in many technology markets.

    - More people found work in technology in BC in 2003 than were let go, stopping an ugly slide of almost three full years. Similarly, just as many new companies were funded as were wound up in the year.

    - After more than two years of trying, everyone stopped predicting a tech recovery about June of 2003 and around March of 2005 someone noticed that there had, in fact, been a modest recovery in technology.

    - Vancouver got the Olympic Games for 2010 and decided that it would leverage that momentum into becoming the hottest city in North America to work and live in the first decade of the millennium.

Cripes, I made all these lists and I forgot to write a column.

 

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 myself, thanks).

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