Please Hammer, Don’t Hurt ‘Em

What happens when you mix the following ingredients?

1. A gorgeous city with wonderful mountain and water views.

2. An overabundance of bad business ideas and nary a clue on how to execute them.

3. An overabundance of investors that think they understand technology because they own an iPhone.

4. Success defined by SELLING to a TIER 2 company, not as BUILDING a WORLD CLASS company.

5. A cadre of companies that think that an IPO is defined as a reverse takeover into a shell on the TSX Venture Board for $0.25.

Welcome to Vancouver. Land of “oh right, I’ll finish that project right after my yoga and mountain bike ride.” Land of “seriously, a 3X liquidation preference, pre-emptive rights and full vesting on founder stock are normal on a third angel round.” Land of “Oh Boy, I am going to get laid tonight, I just got my picture in BIV.”

I worked in Silicon Valley. I embrace the attitude. Tell it like it is. Don’t take it personally. Some of you will like it. Others won’t.

If videos of foolishness on the Internet is your business idea, I have a book for you to read (called Cat in the Hat). If building an on-demand platform for employee performance management and succession planning is your cup of tea, I want to talk to you to see if you know what you are doing. If you have legs for your Web 2.0 site and a real (i.e. not Adsense) revenue model behind it, ditto.

Richard Feyman said it best:

…pompous fools drive me up the wall. Ordinary fools are all right; you can talk to them, and try to help them out. But pompous fools – guys who are fools and are covering it all over and impressing people as to how wonderful they are with all this hocus pocus – THAT, I CANNOT STAND! An ordinary fool isn’t a faker; an honest fool is all right. But a dishonest fool is terrible!

Put your brains on, ’cause below grade thinking is no longer gonna cut it in this town.