I was so pleased to learn that this week Robin McFee and Winnie Lai’s online startup business generated its first $1 of revenue.

This is a great example of entrepreneurship at its finest:

(1) Robin and Winnie identified a market problem (managing waiting times and phone call volumes at offices of family doctors).

(2) Devised a solution and validated it with the marketplace.

(3) Built an alpha of the product and did a soft launch.

(4) Revised based on feedback.

(5) Showed value before charging, and now;

(6) Clinicbook is live and in revenue.

My heartiest congratulations to these great UBC student entrepreneurs.

Visit and use Clinicbook here: www.clinicbook.ca

John Dobson

March 15, 2010

This is a great five video series of an interview with John Dobson, one of Canada’s great investors.

He provides wise insights into investing, the American equities markets, SOX and university based entrepreneurship.  If you’re interested in investing or entrepreneurship I think you’ll enjoy this vignette.

Business opportunity

March 11, 2010

One of the sectors I’ve been looking at from a business perspective for over year is the elder care space.  We all know the demographic trends and that the baby boom has just started to turn 65.

I’ve lived elder care for a number of years.  Firstly as a grandchild living through the decline of two grandparents and helping to manage their affairs.  Now it’s much more salient for me with a father (with whom I am very close) whose health has been declining slowly for many years.

As a child living through the decline of a parent I see all sorts of opportunities to make the life of the parent and the child better.  For example, when we hired a live-in care giver for my father it increased his safety and his standard of living.  But it also increased my standard of living in a very real way.  No longer do I need to have the weight of his decline on my shoulders, no longer do I need to think twice about going away for the weekend in case he falls and can’t get up etc. etc.

So, I’m living this right now and because I’ve seen how much better my life is becoming, my passion for this area is growing.

I’m going to be looking at a couple of business ideas in the space and will write about them here.

Start with Why

March 4, 2010

I just finished the book, Start with Why, and highly recommend it for anyone thinking of entrepreneurship as a pursuit.

The author does a commendable job of encouraging one to really think about the “Why” you are pursuing your vocation as opposed to the “What” and “How”.

I’ve written at some length about some of the mistakes I made in my second business.  A common theme relates to my lack of passion for computers and computer support.  This author explains the concept a bit differently and does so in a much easier writing style than Good to Great’s Hedgehog.

He suggests that entrepreneurs are often good at thinking about the what (my business sells widgets) and the how (my business has finders, minders and grinders who do “a”, “b” and “c”) and don’t spend enough time thinking about why they sell widgets.

I never had a “why” in my second business and wasn’t passionate about it – I think the two concepts are related.  I think this is in part why that company wasn’t as successful as it could have been.

Pickup this book.  It’s a good and easy read.