Innovation is connecting ideas that already exist but have not been combined before. Like a railway track that provides new paths between cities, innovation allows for a faster route and easier access to a market. A new railroad shapes the landscape, as an innovation disrupts the market, changing the environment for its consumers as well as its competition.
Innovation struck Paul Liberti and Sam Puntillo while they were out one night enjoying pints of Wave, a New England Pale Ale from Signal Brewing. Delicious and crisp, the ale satisfied their refined beer palettes. They only lamented the fact that this tasty craft beer was a two and a half hour drive away in Corbyville, ON. They wished there was a way to make craft beer more accessible.Continue Reading
So you know where you want to go, but how will you get there? Will you draw a map? Will someone set the GPS for you? Is there a compass to follow?
Establishing a goal can come easily, but deciding on a course of action can be like standing at a six-point crossing, paralyzed, not knowing which route to take. However, passion can overcome you and drive you to start something, even when you’re unsure what that something will become, or what adventures come with it. You may only see the next month in the distance, but like foggy morning dew, slowly disappearing off the windshield, your vision will become clear and far-reaching, and you will find your True North.Continue Reading
When I was 23 years old I took a job as a fille au-pair in Lyon, France. In the mornings I walked two children to school and one to daycare. Later I picked them all up, made meals for them, took them to the park, and entertained the youngest one while we waited for her siblings at horseback riding, tennis and tae kwon do lessons. While the children were at school, my daytime hours were free of part-time mom duties, so I spent the days reading, people watching in cafés, and looking for other ways to make money.Continue Reading
“Miss, thanks for teaching us this,” commented a student of mine as I explained what all the little acronyms mean on a pay stub. “It’s really practical, not like History or English,” she continued. I ignored the itch to mention that those subjects are also important, but I was just happy that someone notorious for skipping class saw the value of learning about financial literacy. It is only now that financial literacy is being included as part of school curricula in Ontario, a move that will hopefully prevent Gen Zers from incurring as much debt as millennials have.As a millennial, unless you were fortunate enough that your parents passed on some nuggets of financial know-how, your financial education was reduced to figuring it out on our own, or maybe asking that buddy at work a few years your senior, who may or may not have understood finances himself. Millennials were not taught how to manage money in school, which explains the high amounts of debt amongst them.Continue Reading
You leave work, stopping by Starbucks to pick up the latté you just ordered on their app. You take an Uber home, order the latest bestseller form Amazon, book a place on Airbnb for your next vacation, and swipe through the latest hotties on Tinder, all while waiting for the Foodora courier to deliver dinner to your door. Technology continues to make our everyday tasks simpler. Apps and sites appear like genies on our screens, ready and willing to grant our wishes, promising instant responses and guaranteeing fast service. Anyone born in the new millennium has grown up only knowing life in a world of immediacy, with these genies always available in their pockets. The creators of new apps understand these consumers and continue to look for ways to make their day-to-day tasks more convenient.Continue Reading
It was a warm day in June 2008. I was walking along Lakeshore Blvd. West when I noticed a HELP WANTED sign in a window of small soon-to-be restaurant. As a university student, (who already had a job, but was always looking for extra ways to pay off OSAP), I knocked on the door on a whim. I was greeted by a cheerful chocolate lab, and a man of medium build, with cascading dark hair and glasses. Looking confused and almost annoyed, he gave me a hesitant hi in a thick Québécois accent.
“Hi! I saw the note in your window saying you’re hiring.” I beamed.
My friendly manner hit him unexpectedly.
“Oh yeah, hang on.”
If you had to sail across the ocean next week, having never sailed before, how would you do it? As captain of your yacht, you’d probably choose a destination, get a good crew of people who know what they’re doing, learn as much as you could to prepare, and then cross your fingers. With a deep breath you’d set sail into the abyss of uncertainty. Ultimately, most of your learning would happen in the waters and you’d quickly find out how much you don’t know. You would float on in a fog of vagueness, an uncomfortable flux. Eventually you’d get used to the ebb and flow of the waves against your boat. You’d learn that the ocean’s rhythm is the only thing that you can count on – its waves sometimes raging, sometimes soft, but ever-present. Perhaps you’d find a comfort in the normalcy of this constant change. Perhaps you’d learn ways to navigate the winds in your favour.Continue Reading
Innovative thinkers see challenges as if through a kaleidoscope. We absorb the interaction of colours, shapes and sounds and learn to understand their patterns. We twirl the polygons of endless possibilities, until we capture a tiny speck of white light, the precise millimetre where corresponding angles collapse, where scope meets circumstance. There we see our solution. And it all makes perfect sense.Continue Reading
As busy urbanites, we sometimes struggle with finding a work-life balance. We seek equilibrium – slicing our time into neatly designed, colour-coded grids, trying to secure enough time for work, play and rest. Living out this balancing act is work in itself: it takes time and energy to make a plan, and then stay organized and disciplined enough to stick to it. While achieving this harmony in our calendars is feasible temporarily, maintaining it long-term is almost an art. Yet Alisha Athanasiou, lawyer and entrepreneur not only walks this balancing beam, but she does so with finesse.Continue Reading
What is your life’s ROI? Where are you investing your time, energy and resources? Will your investments become assets or liabilities? Do they create value for others and lead to higher returns?
Life is a flowchart – each decision we make leads us in a different direction, and inevitably, some lead to success, others to failure. The setbacks are hard to endure, but they are also noble teachers, pushing us to change. Yet it is in this post-failure uncertainty that some of the best ideas conceptualize.Continue Reading