In October 2011 I announced that I was joining GoInstant, which provides co-browsing technology to the enterprise. GoInstant is an awesome company. I’ve loved my experience there so far. We’ve made a ton of progress, learned a ton, and we’re putting our foot on the gas pedal. It has been, and will continue to be, an amazing ride.
With that, I’m moving to Halifax, Nova Scotia (where the company is based.)
As VP Product, I really like sitting side by side with the developers to make things happen. The feedback loops are smaller and I can be a better conduit between the outside world (sales, marketing, customers) and the development team.
Leaving Montreal is a big move for me. I’ve been here for 18 years, started a few companies and made tons of friends. I got married here, had two kids, and my extended family lives here (my wife and kids are coming w/ me to Halifax!) I’ve done my part to bolster the Montreal startup ecosystem (through meet-ups, mentoring, NextMontreal, etc.) and hopefully made a difference. And now it’s time for something different. Stagnation (personally or professionally) is death. I’ve caught myself in periods of stagnation before and promised that I’d never do that again. I have a feeling I’m in for many years of hectic change and excitement with this move.
I will always stay connected to Montreal and its startup community.
I’m always willing to help entrepreneurs that are taking a big shot. So if you’re a Montreal-based entrepreneur (or anywhere else for that matter) and you’ve got a big vision, tons of hustle and the willingness to take a shot, by all means reach out to me.
In Halifax, I expect to focus very little energy on “building the ecosystem” (at least in the ways I was doing so in Montreal.) Really, the ecosystem is best built through super successful startups. Those startups have to grow, make lots of noise and exit. The founders and other early employees have to then re-invest in the next round of entrepreneurs. They have to spin out new startups and do it all over again. Everything else is helpful, but basically noise. Chest thumping is fine, results are key. And you measure results in the startup world by building big, successful companies that make everyone (the founders, investors & employees) lots of money. That’s how you build an ecosystem. That’s the level of focus each entrepreneur needs. That’s my plan for GoInstant. I’m excited about meeting entrepreneurs in Halifax and helping them as I’ve helped folks in Montreal. But I’m out of the “startup ecosystem building” game.
There are too many people to thank for me to list them all. Tons of people have had a significant influence on me in Montreal – friends, acquaintances, colleagues, etc. Many of them will continue to influence me for years to come. Of course I’ll remain in touch with lots of people, but I still want to reach out and express my thanks just the same (in no particular order): Mark MacLeod, Austin Hill, Alex Eberts, John Elton, Chris Arsenault, Justin Evans, Julien Smith, Helge Seetzen, John Stokes, Carl Mercier, Ian Rae, Alistair Croll, Raymond Luk (even though he’s now in Toronto!), all the Y1L startup founders (many of whom have moved on from the city too), ex-Standout Jobs employees (Gary Haran, Daniel Haran, Marc-Andre Cournoyer, Francis Wu, Alain Wong, Vinh Tang), Martin-Luc Archambault, Sylvain Carle, Christian Lavoie, Phil Telio, Evan Prodromou, Hugh McGuire, Mitch Joel, Fred Lalonde, …
I’m leaving at the end of June. To everyone in Montreal, I wish you the best of luck, and please stay in touch. And to those of you in Halifax … here I come!