|Publisher:||Random House of Canada||Published:||October 3rd 2017|
Our kids are smart, our banks are sound, our health care system is humane, our democracy is stable—but technological change is about to disrupt our economy and threaten our way of life. Canadians aren’t ready for the race to the future. Can we still catch up—or even win?
Yes, says Anthony Lacavera, one of Canada’s most successful entrepreneurs and venture capitalists. But weneed to change the way we think and talk about our own abilities—dream bigger, aim higher and go for gold, not bronze. We also need to change the way we do business. Our dominant business culture, Lacavera believes, is fundamentally unCanadian: traditional, backward-looking, insular, timid, greedy, unoriginal—everything that Canadians themselves are not. And that unCanadian business culture, protected by outmoded regulations and government policies, is stifling our economic growth. It dumps roadblocks in the path of entrepreneurs who want to build the kind of powerhouse businesses that will create jobs and fuel our economy.
Anthony Lacavera faced those roadblocks himself, when he was building WIND—an epic battle against the big three telecommunications giants in Canada. But he’s certain we have the talent and the brains to tear those roadblocks down. He gives us vivid portraits of some of Canada’s most important natural resources: our talented, innovative entrepreneurs, who want to change the world for the better (and, yes, make money while they’re at it). But we are shipping far too many of them to the United States, gift-wrapped in our tax dollars. They don’t want to leave—they’re forced out because it’s just too difficult to build big, bold businesses in Canada.
How We Can Win explains what we need to do to keep them here, and what all Canadians must do to ensure our future prosperity. Our biggest problem is not that we are a small country, but that we think too small.
We can be a nation of big dreamers and bigger doers. Not by aping Silicon Valley, but by focusing on uniquely Canadian strengths and then doubling down on them. If we bet aggressively on ourselves, and our future, rather than clinging to the status quo, we will create a new, more solid economic foundation—one that allows us to win the race to the future without leaving home.
ANTHONY LACAVERA is best known as the founder and CEO of Wind Mobile, which he sold for $1.6 billion after it grew to become Canada's fourth largest wireless carrier. A serial entrepreneur, he started his first business right out of university. As a venture capitalist, he has a significant stake in dozens of start-ups in Canada as well as the US; as a mentor and investor, he's heavily involved in our most successful accelerators and incubators, including MaRS, Creative Destruction Lab, DMZ and Next Canada. The founder and chairman of Globalive Capital, a venture capital firm, Lacavera has done business in more than 30 other countries, ranging from producing plays on Broadway to raising more than $2 billion in capital from Russian oligarchs, Egyptian telecom magnates and a host of colourful VCs from Silicon Valley to the Netherlands. He is a regular commentator on Bloomberg TV.
KATE FILLION is a bestselling author and journalist who lives in Toronto with her two sons.