The Canadian Problem

I’m an American and don’t hide it. Stars and Stripes forever. Whistle Dixie. Etc. But this week was all about Canadians and now that the week is over, I offer my own observations.

Mesh Conference was one of the best conferences I’ve ever been to. It may have been the best. Congratulations to Mark, Mat, Mike, Rob and Stuart for pulling it off seemingly seamlessly and having a great cast of speakers.

Mesh was fantastic but there was an undeniable vibe that I sensed during the two days. It may be part of the national Canadian psyche that causes an inferiority complex, but something needs to change. I heard folks say, “We’re no Silicon Valley” and “1 million dollars in VC funding is a lot of money”.

Speaking directly to readers in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA): Stop! You are a monster up there. As long as you compare yourself to the Valley, you’ll never amount to anything. You don’t need to be Silicon Valley North. You need to be GTA. Don’t fall into the trap of self fulfilling prophecy which causes you to fail.

There is tons going on in Toronto and in Canada. The GTA is the third fastest growing technology region in the world after the Valley and NYC. There are mosre startups popping up on the radar everyday and Toronto is huge in that space. One day, maybe the Valley will be referred to as Toronto south.