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digitalfutur
Sees More Than Shown
Premium
join:2000-07-15
BurlingtonON
kudos:2
reply to Wolfie00

Re: Canada's Tech Sector, straight into the ground.

The main reason why American startups are more successful is that they have much better access to venture capital, and investors there are not as conservative as they are here. It's a trade-off, less pronounced peaks and valleys in the economic cycle here than in the U.S., but less innovation as well. Or more accurately, greater dependence on American innovation.

Plus, when you have the population of Canada in an area half the size of Ontario, plus a much warmer climate (literally and figuratively), there's already wind in your sails.

The other problem is that until the FTA in 1989, economic "policy" in Canada was used as a blunt instrument to keep the ruling political party in power, no matter what the cost to the regions not supportive of the political party in power.

Instead of lamenting what can't do so well, best to focus on what we can do well. As Apple is going to discover very shortly, once tech products become commoditized, they are essentially worthless to investors.
--
Logic requires one to deal with decisions that one's ego will not permit.
All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing - Edmund Burke.


Wolfie00
My dog is an elitist
Premium
join:2005-03-12
kudos:8
said by digitalfutur:

The main reason why American startups are more successful is that they have much better access to venture capital, and investors there are not as conservative as they are here.

That is a true statement, except that when it comes to high-tech companies, the environmental factors -- the "critical mass of technology" culture I was referring to -- is absolutely critical in providing the initial knowledge and inspiration and the ability to recruit talent. To deny that is to deny the real genesis of so many innovative companies, and it's not just Apple -- Google, Adobe, 3Com, even Microsoft, all share much the same origins. There are thousands of them in Silicon Valley.

I also disagree with the rather defeatist "instead of lamenting what we can't do so well..." as we have a history of doing science and technology very well indeed, given even half a chance. What we do well -- what any nation does well -- is as much the result of opportunity as anything else, and opportunities can be created. We don't need to depend on them to happen by accident or the necessity of crisis.
--
"The promoters of the global economy see nothing odd or difficult about unlimited economic growth or unlimited consumption in a limited world."
Wendell Berry

PX Eliezer70
Premium
join:2008-08-09
Hutt River
kudos:13
reply to digitalfutur
said by digitalfutur:

The main reason why American startups are more successful is that they have much better access to venture capital, and investors there are not as conservative as they are here. It's a trade-off, less pronounced peaks and valleys in the economic cycle here than in the U.S., but less innovation as well. Or more accurately, greater dependence on American innovation.

Plus, when you have the population of Canada in an area half the size of Ontario, plus a much warmer climate (literally and figuratively), there's already wind in your sails.

I don't think this is new.

You can go back to Bat Masterson and Mack Sennett to find examples of Canadians who moved to the states and didn't look back.

More recently, Dan Aykroyd, John Candy, so many others.

This applies to engineers, scientists, and other academics as well.

The migration is overwhelmingly southward, not northward, even allowing for the 10-fold population difference.

BTW, Canada was well represented in Nobel prizes in the hard sciences between 1981 and 1994, but after 1994 only 2 winners (2009 and 2011).

As an outsider I may say a couple of politically incorrect things.

1) Without demeaning the other fine Canadian universities, Canada could use another couple of McGills.

2) In the 1860's the US provided funding for colleges under the Morrill Land-Grant Act. This led to the establishment or the expansion of Cornell, MIT, the University of California, Michigan State, Purdue, Rutgers, Ohio State, and many others.

This paid off handsomely for the US.

Where and when did the Federal government of Canada look to similarly support their national/research universities?

3) With the way the world is these days, Canada might have greatly benefited from having a whole big province whose language AND culture was based on Spain or Japan or China. But having a whole big province based on the language and culture of France, is not a big help in the world today.

3a) The Quebec language barrier means that what businesses remain in Quebec are isolated from the rest of Canada and from the world. But more important, the Francophone universities are even more isolated from the rest of Canada and from the world.

3b) Here is objective fact. The Commonwealth of Nations (formerly the British Commonwealth) is more successful than ever. By total contrast, when France tried to do the same thing (the French Community) it was a flop, and it was terminated some years ago with no one even noticing....