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That's future tense though. We're not there yet. But we're on the right path.
Growing a company with $20M revenue is tough. Growing from $20 - $100 is even more difficult. But the hardest is to continue to grow beyond $100M / year in revenue. It will be interesting to watch Sandvine over the coming year - they're at a difficult junction for any company.
And a junction, that unfortunately, Canadian companies have never been good at transcending.
For all it's entrepreneurial spirit Waterloo has not matched the output of other areas. Again, I believe this will change thanks to the foundation and support networks that many have built in the region.
I think it's easy to stereotype the entrepreneurial spirit that exists between the two countries. In fact, the difference between the stereotypes is a pressing issue. One that's regularly discussed in parliament, covered in the press, and articulated at start-up conferences throughout the country.
I am very familiar with Waterloo - I was born and raised in Hamilton and worked for a early-stage investment firm in the Golden Horseshoe area before making the move to NYC. We worked with a number of entities in the K-W region and they're building a wonderful start-up community.
Certainly UW, Communitech and other organizations are providing terrific support to the ecosystem within the region. And you definitely reference the major start-up success story (RIM) and there are other (less successful stories), such as Open Text, that exist.
But isn't it saying something when there's a single success story that we can reference? I think that's telling.
Surely their unconstrained aspirations are to build companies beyond $300M / year or to build a growth business that isn't purchased by a US firm.
The Stockdale Paradox is all about maintaining faith that you'll ultimately succeed while remaining grounded in the facts/reality.
For Canadian entrepreneurs the biggest fact/reality (that is: constraint) is that the start-up ecosystem in Canada can only support certain types and sizes of start-ups. Great Canadian entrepreneurs realize this and dream accordingly.
This is why I make the differentiation between entrepreneurship and entrepreneurs. Entrepreneurs in both countries are equally talented. The US system simply allows for (supports? enables?) grander entrepreneurship and thus the unbalance.
You're down for a month? Elective?