Recent Posts by Dawn

True Tales from a Traveling Mommy

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I often wonder what the effects of my work-related traveling has on my children and the relationship I have with them. I like to believe it is all okay and they don't really get affected when I'm not there. I have recently travelled for an extended period of time (6 days), across the country from Nova ...

How to Avoid Post-Seed Operational Debt

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https://www.flickr.com/photos/fallsroad/ All growth comes with pain and companies are no exception. The key is to find the stage-appropriate balance between testing and knowing, agility, speed and process and diligence in each key area of your operations. This is often more art than science, but a healthy tension is fundamental for success. I have spent my entire career ...

Stop selling me love and show me traction

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Love ≠ validation. Startups often struggle with how to differentiate between love and validation. Getting this wrong can lead you astray and quite frankly, makes you look naive. Investors don't invest in love, nor should you choose to double down on love. You need to showcase validation through traction and you need to make decisions based on validation. So, ...

What if people are simply choosing to regret less, is that bad?

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I was watching Jane McGonigal's 2012 TEDTalk The game that can give you 10 extra years of life where she referenced The Guardian's article that outlined the top five regrets of the dying: I wish I'd had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me I wish I hadn't worked so hard I wish I'd had ...

Get Off the Praise Train and Start Making

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      I grew up surrounded by tinkering, making and creating. My father, brothers and community were always making and fixing anything they could get their hands on. I remember jumping on our bikes and heading out to the dump (I kid you not) to pick up scrap pieces for these creations. These were the days before ...

Canadians Needs to Stop Fighting Over Table Scraps

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How can we as Canadians, in such a geographically expansive country extract similar value as the large, concentrated US ecosystems?  Can we as geography-based ecosystems thrive? How do we create the collisions, closeness and collaborations found in the enviable ~six block radius' of our neighbors? We can't, but we can adapt the model. First, we need a ...

The Real Dawn Unfiltered

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It's funny, I set this blog up and even named it with a clear intention - to share my unfiltered journey in the hopes of inspiring or more realistically, commiserating! What have I done? I look back at one of my first blog posts I did on here and giggle a bit. How impersonal, accurate and ...

Intrinsic Hustle – What Nova Scotia Needs

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There's much talk about what Nova Scotia needs. To me, it's quite simple. Nova Scotia needs scrappiness. You can get this one of two ways: 1. As an output of chaos, despair and hunger. Purposefully cut the proverbial cord or wait for the eventual downfall and force people to survive. 2. Find those who have this intrinsic ...

VC 101: Tame the Mythical Creatures

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Thanks to some popular TV shows, everyone and their dog seems to have an idea of what the business of venture capital is. But can you really discern the zombies, unicorns and black swans from the lions, tigers and bears? Or are they all just a motley crew of mythological creatures and wild animals to ...

What a multiple is and why you should care

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Multiples can influence the perceived value for an investor and the actual valuation of your company in significant ways and you should know why. There are numerous ways to value an early-stage tech company. I won't get into the various methods in this post, but you can check out an overview prepared by a colleague of mine, Greg Phipps. One such ...