Published on Jan 02, 2023
Essays

Reflections on the past year

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This past year has been a fun one. I met a bunch of cool new people, spent time in the mountains with friends, had fun at work and enjoyed life with my wife. 

I also revamped this blog and found it cathartic to write posts and share my musings – isn’t that the point of a blog anyway? As we move into a new year, I want to reflect on the last one. 

Point of No Return

Work has been fun. We hit the accelerator this past year, we relaunched our website, grew to 10 people, added a new partner and worked with really cool companies & leaders. 

Our strategy was to double down on our software first approach to consulting. 

More precisely, we are building the command center for a company’s strategy. When a management team needs to understand where they are headed, their strategic goals and allocating capital and resources accordingly, our software aims to be the centerpiece of tracking and executing on those decisions. 

We focus on two things: alignment and execution. Alignment is the tricky human angle – getting everyone rowing in the same direction. This is why we’re not just a software company but also a professional services one. Our job is to ensure that our customers have the right plan and that their board & shareholders are on the same page.

Our team is working on some big changes to the platform this year so stay tuned!

Learning in public 

My personal mission is to learn and promote Canadian technology companies, especially those that are making a social or health impact. I interviewed 45 people on my podcast and wrote about a few of them as well.

Two recent conversations I keep coming back to are with Sam from BrainBox  and Sarah from Ora Medical. There are so many interesting companies in the province and country, I hope to talk to many more this year. 

As an aside, having a podcast is a great way to meet new people and learn in public. It’s an inexhaustible source of inspiration for me and I hope to keep doing it irrespective of how many people are listening. 

Some macro thoughts 

It’s pretty clear that no one knows where the markets are headed this year. It appears that we are in the midst of a recession and still lots of uncertainty ahead. 

Despite the market volatility, brilliant people are still working on building the future and this is not slowing down. You might have heard about the recent advances in the world of AI and they are mind boggling. For an outsider like me, it seems like magic. I had the chance to learn from leaders in the field like Hugo Larochelle and the rate of progress is so cool to watch. I keep reading and talking about exponential curves but it’s still hard to grasp the advances. 

The recent breakthroughs in large language models and image generation are truly outstanding. 

If you squint just a bit, you can see applications arise in many different fields and the possibilities are endless.

It seems safe to say that web 3.0 is going to be about AI and not crypto. It’s very easy today to dunk on crypto but my opinion hasn’t changed. Real applications are emergent but mainstream adoption is still far away. 

People like Jason Dominique from Embr are paving the way for truly decentralized applications to emerge and it’s a space that I’m still curious about. 

The other area I want to learn about this year is energy. I am completely clueless about this space and many smart folks are working on making energy abundant. I’m optimistic that with endless sources of energy, many world conflicts will be alleviated. 

 

Health, learning and fun

Working out and staying in shape is my meditation. If I’m not doing some sort of physical activity, my brain does not work as well. 

I went deep this year on brazilian jiu jitsu going to classes 2-3 times a week at Black Line. I highly recommend incorporating a martial art in your life as a means to learn, get in shape and hang out with a tribe of like minded people. 

In the summer, I ride my bike on gravel roads. I did the Rasputitsa, Big Red and Vermont Overland races. Endurance races are shitty events while you’re in them but extremely rewarding once you finish. 

I am constantly in podcast debt and always listening to new podcasts. I discovered the Founders podcast which summarizes the life and lessons from great founders. I also started listening to Hypercroissance from Antoine Gagné and The Hard Part from Evan McCann which both focus on Canadian companies.

Looking ahead

I’m stoked this year and very grateful for starting the year in health and surrounded by loved ones. I hope to spend more time reading, learning and less time on social media!

 

 

 

 

 

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