As I have mentioned in my most recent “life” update, I was dealt (and dealt myself) some shitty cards in 2015. None of these bad cards seem to make it into my business hand, and Yardstick celebrated many great milestones in 2015.
- We closed a major business transaction by merging our customers and friends (Danatec) into the Yardstick family
- We successfully partnered with several major National and Provincial clients on major exam products
- We are just launching what we hope to be the standard for training tracking in the OH&S space in Canada.
- We bought a building on Edmonton’s most popular downtown street and are moving our teams there in February
I am sure there was a correlation between publically losing an election and then coming back to my happy place (work) and doubling the effort to make our year great. Not that it was all just my efforts doubled, but certainly I had a chip on my shoulder and a huge debt of gratitude to pay to my business partners, our staff and customers.
I have encountered many lessons working on the development of Yardstick from just an idea, to over $20M in revenues and 75 employees. As is often the case with founder-led companies, building this business has mostly been instinctual and opportunistic; entrepreneurial of course. As we point our company towards the $100M revenue mark, (Or a Billion Learners as our BHAG instructs) I find it’s time to be more strategic and thoughtful about people development, transitions to scale, and eventually what a globally sized Yardstick might look like. Expansion to other markets, governance, even my own transition away from CEO, these are all thoughts I will spend time developing.
Finally, on the topic of business, I hope to write much more about the ideas of others I encounter. I have personally invested in several Edmonton companies over the last 4-5 years and will continue to cheerlead for them, plus feature and talk about some other ideas I see percolating in our City and Province. Hopefully in doing so, I will find the opportunity to meet smart entrepreneurs from whom I can selfishly draw inspiration from.
Edmonton is disproportionately more entrepreneurial than most cities in this great Country, and Alberta has a long way to go to diversify our economy and survive the transition away from a solely energy economy. So it goes without saying that Edmonton can be the epicenter of the diversification of Alberta’s economy. A driver at least.
I believe strongly in free-market capitalism and the role of the entrepreneurs to drive us towards prosperity… I can’t wait to talk more about it here.
…and of course in the Politics section 😉