The Long Walk through the Dark Forest

One of our goals at Techvibes is to uncover success stories in local tech communities. As a Vancouverite, I’m continually surprised by the number of significant businesses that operate ‘under the radar’. Quite often they are in niche vertical industries that avoid mainstream media attention, which makes them even more difficult to uncover. Last week we profiled once such business – Vancouver’s BuildDirect.

This morning I got the chance to have coffee with BuildDirect’s President and CEO Jeff Booth. While our conversation started with the hot topics of the day – social media and specifically Twitter, Booth took me back 9 years to when he started the company and chronicled some of the challenges and “ah-ha” moments that have seen BuildDirect become a transformative company in the building products industry with 60 employees and over $50 Million in annual revenue.

As the world’s leading online wholesaler and manufacturer of building products, BuildDirect has used the Internet to disrupt the building product industry and force manufacturers to reconsider sales and distribution models that have been the standard for years.

Interested in learning more about the BuildDirect story, check out Booths’ blog. If you’re an entrepreneur, his post titled The Long Walk through the Dark Forest shares his experience, and the conviction needed, to take an idea from a dream into reality.

Innovation is the light bulb idea when an entrepreneur has dream about a future opportunity and then takes the steps to ensure that the dream becomes a success. The key here is that it is a future opportunity. It has never been done before and the market doesn’t exist yet. It takes courage, conviction, and unwavering dedication to make a dream like this a reality. The opportunity may be incredible. But likely the bigger the opportunity, the greater the risks in achieving it. This is why I call what happens after the light bulb goes on the long walk through the dark forest.