August 2009

The editorial theme for the August issue of the OSBR is "tech entrepreneurship". High-Tech Entrepreneurship Managing Innovation, Variety and Uncertainty defines tech entrepreneurship as "the creation of value from technical innovation through success in business". While succeeding in business is always a tricky affair, technology-based companies pose additional challenges to the entrepreneur. The authors in this issue examine these challenges as well as the importance of business model selection and participation within business ecosystems.

As always, we encourage readers to share articles of interest with their colleagues, and to provide their comments either online or directly to the authors. We hope you enjoy this issue of the OSBR.

The editorial theme for the upcoming September issue of the OSBR is "business intelligence" and the guest editor will be Mike Andrews from SQL Power. Submissions are due by August 20--contact the Editor if you are interested in a submission.

Dru Lavigne



Entrepreneurship is the lifeblood of any technology business and really describes the character of those who would see their new ideas achieve commercial success. That character includes: risk taking and the ability to deal with uncertainty from many quarters, creativity and the ability to connect ideas in surprising ways, orchestration and the ability to marshal resources, and the ability to deliver a message with impact whether in the proverbial elevator or when the customer is listening to best and final offers. There is so much required of an entrepreneur, in some ways it is surprising that we have any at all.

I've recently had the opportunity to witness a wide variety of entrepreneurs in action through the Lead to Win program. Lead to Win was started to assist innovation and entrepreneurship in the Canadian National Capital region. The program is certainly a response to the economic times and recognizes that when the tech sector is depressed, people who might otherwise find employment in established companies are more likely to start a business of their own. Lead to Win is designed to help entrepreneurs who have a deep technology background but need help building out some of the other dimensions of that entrepreneurial character.

It has been a great pleasure to discover that the demand for Lead to Win has exceeded our expectations easily by a factor of two or three. The diversity of people, technologies and market opportunities that have come forward in what is often described as a government and telecom town is extremely encouraging. The patterns and themes in this diversity have the prospect of tapping into existing ecosystems and creating entirely new ones. This notion of entrepreneurship and how it unfolds in established and new fabrics of companies and customers is the centerpiece of this month's issue of the OSBR. Successful entrepreneurs do not exist in isolation and are able to see massive opportunity by leveraging those around them.

Brian Hurley, an entrepreneur and CEO at Purple Forge, provides an overview of ecosystem models and why they matter. Brian also highlights, through numerous examples, how it is possible to take advantage of the related, like-minded and even competitive players in an ecosystem.

Carlo Daffara, head of research at Conecta, has conducted a survey of over 200 open source companies and provided what amounts to a map of entrepreneurship in that space. Carlo clearly demonstrates the economic advantages of open source across a wide variety of business models and commercialization approaches.

Peter Carbone, an ICT executive and Coral CEA champion, discusses an approach to commercialization through the creation of a new ecosystem for communications enabled applications. This is an exciting effort in terraforming a space to create a new ecosystem.

Gordon Quinn, Co-Founder and CEO of iPic Innovations Incorporated, writes about entrepreneurship and users' experience in a world that assumes the Internet. The Internet was certainly disruptive and spawned a number of new ecosystems. Gordon looks at how to disrupt for gain in that context. John Boden, CTO and Senior Vice President of Corporate Development at Movius Interactive, takes on the issue of entrepreneurship within existing enterprises. Innovation and culture are closely linked and he explores the role open source can play in stimulating both.

James Bowen, an entrepreneur and adjunct professor at uOttawa's Telfer School of Management, considers a number of the attributes of the entrepreneur. James provides a perspective on the importance of the quality of thinking and quality of people with respect to success in all aspects of a venture.

In many respects, entrepreneurship is like (good) alchemy - seeing gold where others see lead. The ability to act upon the vision, bring others to support its implementation and then to realize success in the market is, of course, what makes all the difference.

David Hudson

Guest editor



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