26 posts categorized "NewPath Meetings"

November 27, 2010

Apple Fan Day Redux

While more than 11 attendees decided to bail on the Apple Fan Day (gotta charge next time!), 7 people that came were treated to a fun conversation about what made Apple an important part of their life. I shared "My Apple Days" in a presentation which generated some fun discussion.

John Wunderlich shared a fun project that he made from an Altoids case - a USB-enabled Double-A battery charger for an iPod. It's called Minty Boost.

We all had very personal discussions about the computers in their life and the future of the computer industry. All in all, computers affect our lives more and more every day and are becoming part of every day life.


ps. The hot apple cider, crunchy fresh McIntosh apples, and apple pie was enjoyed by all!    


November 08, 2010

A History of Microsoft vs Apple

UPDATE Aug 27 2013: It is now almost 3 years since we looked at this analysis. Since then Amazon and Google have most definitely shown that they are platform ecosystems (hardware, software, content and goods) that will compete for the hearts and minds of businesses and consumers alike. Even Facebook who entered the public sphere in the last 2 years is giving Amazon a good run for their money. This is the power of having millions of eyeballs look at your content daily. It is akin to a new massively powerful media company. While these companies are in decidedly different yet overlapping businesses,  these 5 companies, in my mind, will form the different models of technology adoption and innovation for the rest of this decade. The real question is what course Microsoft will take? Will they indeed be the "IBM of the 21st century" maintaining the legacy of the late 20th century for the better part of the beginning of the 21st century?

AAPL Market Cap Chart

AAPL Market Cap data by YCharts



UPDATE Oct 6 2011: It is now almost 1 year since I wrote this article and Apple continues to have a larger market cap than Microsoft. Steve Jobs passing kind of underlines the eternal competition between these 2 tech giants. The chart looks very similar.

image from static7.businessinsider.com


The chart above shows a historical return on investment (ROI) between Microsoft (MSFT) and Apple (AAPL) going back to the early 80s when both companies become public corporations. Recent returns over the past 5 years put AAPL slightly above MSFT in terms of market capitalization and way above Microsoft and Google in ROI (see chart below). But the returns over a much longer period are startingly different.

04-11-2010 11-29-59 AM

While Apple was struggling in the mid to late 90s and working to get its mojo back with the return of Jobs, Microsoft was absolutely crushing it, gaining market share every year in both the home and the workplace. After shipping Windows 95, lauded to be the most compatible and available operating system "for the rest of us," Microsoft went on a tear to solidify their lead by cementing a stable OS with Windows 2000 and essentially locking in 90% of desktops to Windows XP. Go around most enterprise offices and you'll see Windows XP still running on most desktops. Vista and Windows 7 are a long ways from being adopted anywhere other than by consumers who buy new laptops and desktops for their home use.

And with those millions of software licenses Microsoft was able to create huge shareholder value -- mostly from their enterprise domination. And then the cash was used to buy a variety of products that we know of today mostly as "bloatware." There's a ton of useful stuff that is used by many, but when is the last time you saw a Web 2.0, high end, high volume business running on .Net as an infrastructure? I compel you to find any large Website using .Net as a platform.

So what has been happening the last 5 years or so?

Continue reading "A History of Microsoft vs Apple" »

October 03, 2010

Building Your Own Professional Network Slides #FLCTO

Here are the slides from this morning's @freelancecampto workshop on "Building Your Own Professional Network". Please let us know if you want to come to the next meeting.

October 01, 2010

NewPath Network Founder Alex Sirota Presenting at Inaugural FreelancecampTO

I am pleased to announce that I will be presenting at FreelanceCampTO this Sunday October 3 at Ted Rogers Ryerson School of Business.

More importantly this will be the official launch of NewPath Technologies - a Web 2.0 suite of marketing and back office software for the Small Business and Independent Contractor. NewPath Technologies is an official sponsor of FreelancecampTO. At the event we will be offering a free starter pack for your small business which includes a website and/or blog as well as free training for 1 month on the rest of the NewPath Technologies suite.

Here's a sneak peak at one of the the 2 presentations I will be presenting at 11:45 am "Fulltime Job? No problem. You can freelance with the right attitude."   My second presentation is called "Building your own Professional Network" at 9:45am. I hope to meet you and get to know all about your business at the event.

August 03, 2010

Going along a NewPath: July 2010 Summer Social Recap

Our guest blogger, Sue Varty, shares her experiences from last week's 2010 NewPath Summer Social.

You're not supposed to show up to events late - especially networking events. But not to worry.

When I arrived at the Rhino Bar & Grille on Queen St West, I quickly found Alex Sirota and the crowd was all settled in and listening to Katherine Hague. Sitting down beside Brent Ashley, I  didn't realize how interested I would be in Kat's topic: a transaction-based website for every school, called SchoolShare (PDF link). A way for parents to pay online for all of the little things their kids do at school, eliminating the cash handling through multiple levels of administration.

Being a parent of such children myself, I could really relate to the hassles of paying for every school activity out of my own pocket, in cash. My kids have their own "inbox" in the kitchen as a result! Kat is looking for investors and she's off to a great start with the Lunch Lady as her first online vendor. This is one lady who knows how to bring a vision into reality.

Katherine has great enthusiasm for her idea and no doubt - with the right investor and strategy - is sure to be profitable from day 1. To find out more information or become an investor, feel free to email her !

After a few questions and great comments, (and the all important munchies and drinks - did I mention this was included in my ticket?) I got to know some of the other folks there: Pete Forde from Unspace Interactive (I couldn't resist his iPad!) and Shona Fulcher, as well as more conversation with Kat! Finally, I got some time to talk with Alex - the whole reason I was there in the first place. Strange how networking can make opportunities thrive even in the summer months when many people are taking more time off now and then.

All in all, more than 20 people came - be sure to check out the list on the invite! And the winner of Drive by Daniel Pink was Rick Shea. (I shouldn't have told Alex that I bought it).

Enjoy the rest of your summer socials since business is sure to ramp up in the fall thanks to all the networking I've done at the NewPath Network! I'm looking forward to seeing everyone again and I promise to be on time for the next one.

Sue Varty has been working under the Wordtree since 2006. Feel free to connect with her on the "social media tool" of your choice. Wordtree helps people finish their writing projects - whatever that may be:

July 05, 2010

Creating Great Work: A Recap of NewPath’s June 2010 Event

IStock_000006626473XSmall Can you remember the work you did last week, last month or last year?

Most likely the things you remember clearly are associated with great work - or at the very least memorable moments that changed your life.

Producing great work was the theme at NewPath’s networking meeting on June 24th 2010. Guest presenter and author, Michael Bungay Stanier led an engaging and interactive workshop for the entrepreneurs in attendance at the event.

Michael spoke about one example of great work: the I Love New York logo:


The I Love NY logo quickly became an emotional symbol for the people of New York – one of the world’s most diverse and dynamic cities. Even New York state uses the logo for its marketing campaigns and has for decades. The logo’s designer, Milton Glaser, created an iconic symbol recognized all over the world -- a great example of great work.

Although great work is not that commonplace, the goal for all of us, Michael says, is to Do More Great Work (also the title of his latest book).

Continue reading "Creating Great Work: A Recap of NewPath’s June 2010 Event" »

June 23, 2010

Dan Pink Speaks on Drive

Dan Pink spoke at U of Toronto Rotman Business school once more back in April 2010 (this is talk #3 in Toronto as far as I know). He was awesome as usual, but his new book "Drive" is spectacular.

Here's an audio interview with CBC's Spark program.

And an animated video to spark your imagination on what motivates us all.

May 31, 2010

Business Development Support with NewPath Network @ Camaraderie

The NewPath Network held their May 2010 meeting at Camaraderie. The topic was "Revitalizing your Business Development Efforts,"

Many familiar faces came out again this month, and we had the pleasure of Rei Tanaka providing his history of working in sales and marketing.

The evening featured a pair of young entrepreneurs, Nafi & Zahid Dhanani, who are helping their parents take their water purification and delivery systems to the next level. Waterrelated is a North York based company that specializes in installation of water purification system and also provides water delivery services. They compete with some very large companies in this space. The young brother and sister  told us about their business development challenges. With Rei providing inspiration, the about 10 independent businesses provided some terrific advice on business development.

Lots of terrific ideas sprang from this discussion including places to sell their product, focusing on a specific market and identifying business partners in sectors complementary to the water systems business.

After the meeting everyone had a chance to describe their business in an elevator pitch style approach. We learned a lot about Quentin's international adventures, Kevin's work with Cardwatch and Lysianne's  search to find the perfect marketing opportunity.

Our co-working cost Camaraderie recently got some much needed press in the Toronto Star. Let's see if we can find some NewPath'ers to join as a tenant. I know that Rachel has given us a discount so let's see if we can all think about the benefits of co-working and sign up.

May 01, 2010

April 2010 Meeting -- New Minds and Old Friends

The April 2010 NewPath Network meeting was a small, but personal affair. We held the event again at Camaraderie, and as usual Rachel Young was a perfect host for the event. I think we've found our home where we can have a comfortable, friendly event where the participants really get to know each other.

After the usual introductions, I started the discussion with the question "Where do you see yourselves in 10 years?" The results of the discussion allowed our new NewPath friends to get to know about each other much more than they would have in the usual networking-at-the-bar, with-loud-thumping-background-music.

A little about who came out to the event:

  • Delroy Mendes
  • A military man who is now dreaming with passion. Deliberate and listens carefully to everyone, Delroy provided terrific advice and offered his vision of his future.

  • Rachel Young
  • Rachel Young sat down with us too and gave a small tour of Camaraderie. Rachel is building a terrific co-working community right here in Toronto. It's good to see that the rooms are now ready to use, and several of the guests at NewPath Network showed some interest in becoming Camaraderie tenants. Always awesome!

  • Kevin McIntosh

  • The Chief Networking Officer of NewPath Network talked about spending more time with his kids while figuring out how to continue to evolve the business model of Cardwatch.

  • Laure Ampilhac 
  • Bringing a new ambiance to your life. Laure is originally from France and is working on a real estate renovation business. Laure brought some great ideas forward and gave lots of great recommendations.

  • Vlad Elkis 
  • Vlad is a young college graduate looking to break into the Toronto market after just moving here from the US. He is a financial business analyst and is looking for work.

  • Craig Rennick, Sales Consultant, Rennick Consulting 
  • Craig is a successful sales consultant and one of my previous bosses at FloNetwork. It was so nice to see him again after many years. Craig is now working on his own as a sales consultant and motivational speaker. Craig's company is online.
  • Craig says that he is into all the motivational books, and just finished reading Dan Pink's new book on motivation "Drive". I was delighted to hear that. I hope Craig can come back and deliver a talk at a future NewPath Network event. His experience in successful sales operations would be music to our members' ears.

March 15, 2010

February 25 2010 Meeting @ Camaraderie - Coworking comes to Toronto

NewPath Network held its monthly networking meeting at Camaraderie, a new coworking facility in Toronto. Camaraderie is on Adelaide St East near Church Street. Located in an upstairs renovated office space, it is a fantastic way to get out of the house or the local coffee shop and work alongside others who are running their own small business. Here are some pictures of the location:

C_building   Camaraderie_workspace

Rachel Young and Wayne Lee opened the location in February 2010 as a workplace that caters to anyone who needs a desk, Internet, a meeting room and other amenities like a kitchen and bathroom to keep you going throughout the day. Both have been involved in similar efforts in Toronto, but Rachel and Wayne are keen to make the business proposition of such a location work well. The spacious location allowed for almost 20 people to meet comfortably after hours in a theater-style seating layout. During the day the space can accommodate workers who need to spread out on a large desk or just take a corner to work quietly.

Rachel informed the many NewPath'ers about the various coworking movements around North America, including a highly successful one in Philadelphia called Independence Hall. It's her hope that Camaraderie can be the coworking location in Toronto.

One aspect of coworking that should appeal to any small business is the potential for a tax deduction. Both home office and coworking space deductions can be taken as both are necessary to run a business. We checked with several accountants and were told that even though you may be working in only one place at a time, both can be deducted as appropriate business expenses. You should check with your tax accountant for a final say, of course.

The price of the coworking arrangement is $300 per full-time month, about the price of any downtown Toronto shared office space. Part-time months (up to 10 days/month) are available at $175 per month. Single day drop ins (no more than 4 days/month) are available at $20 per day. Phone service or a receptionist is not available, but most independent free-lancers don't need this type of service anyways. Rachel and Wayne have graciously extended a free drop-in day at any point during the month of March. The drop in can also include 1 hour in the boardroom, subject to availability. Camaraderie is offering a $50 discount on the first full time month or $25 discount on any part-time month to any business that mentions the NewPath Network when they sign up.