I really liked what Anthony Lacavera had to say at a talk he gave in Toronto last year about not wanting Amazon’s big shiny new HQ in Canada . He said that it would suck an enormous amount of tech talent out of Canada because all the very top Canadians hired would be shipped out to main Amazon HQ in the USA. He says it would even be worse if governments threw money at Amazon to make Canada a more attractive candidate in the competition for their new office.
Instead, Anthony talks harnessing the talent we already have and to start and grow companies and products that can compete globally. I have since heard him speak at 3 different events and he always has a positive ‘Canada first’ message.
He is active in the Canadian tech community as a venture capitalist and very active these days in start up incubators like CDL, DMZ and Next Canada.
How We Can Win, describes Lacavera’s struggles as a tech entrepreneur trying to help Canadians get lower mobile phone rates by launching WIND, Canada’s 4th telecom service provider. More importantly though, the book is about what it is to be an ambitious smart person in this country and how the existing business and political ecosystem makes success harder to achieve. He describes how much of Canada’s business is locked down by incumbents whose market leading positions are entrenched not by skill, quality, or best price, but rather by cartel-like behaviors which seem to be supported by government.
The book is a good read, but I have to say it was longer on problems than on solutions. Anthony does provide some ideas on how we can win though, and we hope to explore some of those further with him in a feature interview on tribe in the future.