On September 13, 2002, we gathered our Board and our advisors and our management team in a room to invest a whole day in thinking about our business and how to move it forward.

Business is Tough · Business is tough everywhere, and especially tough in the software market, and really brutal for small young companies such as Antarctica. This struggle is where the marketplace happens, where capitalism happens - you can in fact start from nothing and end up with a business with thousands of employees and a stock ticker symbol (I've done this once, the company is called Open Text, and the symbol is OTEX).

Of course, most times it doesn't work. In Canada, 80% of newly-founded companies fail. The ones that succeed have, without exceptions, learned how to deal with reluctant customers and scarce cash and burned-out employees and product support and quality assurance and all the other things that make building a company damn hard.

Is it worth the pain? I don't know, I often, at the end of the day, think it would be great to have a nice 9-to-5 job with an office with a good view, make enough to get buy and sleep well at night. Having said that, a lot of people keep going back and doing it; I'm on my second go-around. When it works (it usually doesn't) you often end up making quite a bit of money.

But at the end of the day, I think it's the old-fashioned creative urge at work.

What might be, but is not.

Is there a more compelling phrase? I can't think of one.

author · Dad
colophon · rights
picture of the day
September 13, 2002
· Antarctica (18 fragments)
· · War Stories (1 more)

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