Interviews by Stephen Ibaraki, FCIPS, I.S.P., MVP, DF/NPA, CNP
Leonard Brody - Co-Founder NowPublic.com, International Top-Ranking Thought Leader/Speaker, Business Visionary, Best-selling Author
This week, Stephen Ibaraki, FCIPS, I.S.P., DF/NPA, MVP, CNP has an exclusive interview with Leonard Brody.
Leonard is a highly respected entrepreneur, venture capitalist and best-selling author. He has helped in raising millions of dollars for startup companies, been through one of the largest internet IPOs in history and has been involved in the building, financing and/or sale of five companies to date.
Much critical acclaim has followed him in his endeavours. At Onvia Canada (where he was part of the initial executive) the company was voted Canada's number one startup in 2000 and subsequently closed a $240 Million IPO on NASDAQ. In addition, at Marqui, where Leonard was Chief Advisor, the company was rated as the best new technology company in the country in 2003.
Currently, Leonard is Co-CEO and a Director of NowPublic which is one of the pioneers in citizen journalism and quickly becoming one of the largest news agencies in the world. He is also a Venture Partner at Growthworks Capital, one of Canada's largest national technology funds, and acts as an advisor to venture capital funds in the US, Europe and Asia. He is also a board member and/or advisor to several companies including Infowave, Sonic Foundry, Derby County Football Club in the English Championship, CanWest Global and Alliance Atlantis.
Leonard is currently an advisor to the Canadian Ministry of International Trade and a Director of Canada's largest technology association, CATA.
A highly sought-after public speaker, Leonard has lectured at universities and
conferences throughout the world. He is co-author of the best selling books, Innovation Nation: Canadian Leadership from Jurassic Park to Java and Everything I Needed to Know About Business...I Learned from a Canadian both published by John Wiley and Sons.
Leonard holds an Honours Bachelor of Arts from Queens University, a law degree from Osgoode Hall and is a graduate of the Private Equity Course at the Harvard Business School.
To listen to the interview, click on this MP3 file link
The latest blog on the interview can be found in the IT Managers Connection (IMC) forum where you can provide your comments in an interactive dialogue.
Interview Time Index (MM:SS) and Topic
|00:30:|| ||Leonard, can you outline some key successes in your remarkable background and lessons you learned from them?|
"...Success is a very personal thing and the goals you set for yourself and what it is that you are looking to accomplish.....From my perspective, success has been more wrapped around learning and embracing failure than anything else ...."
|02:09:|| ||I know that you sometimes quote Sir Winston Churchill. Would you care to comment?|
"...I think he (Sir Winston Churchill) is probably one of the great entrepreneur success stories....One of the things he said (which I think is brilliant) was 'Success is really defined as going from failure to failure without losing your enthusiasm'...."
|03:34:|| ||What would you consider your most remarkable failure where you learned the biggest lesson?|
"...The thing I look back at was the self doubt.....Not trusting your gut and not trusting what we had known to be right in the first place and putting our fate in the hands of people who didn't share that vision...."
|05:26:|| ||What are the reasons behind Canada's current position in innovation and entrepreneurship and how can this be improved?|
"...When it comes to technology we are probably, pound for pound, one of the greatest producers of technological innovation in the world and that goes right back to the satellites, railway, you name it, this country has had its roots based in technology since it was founded..."
|08:05:|| ||What do you think are the major international markets that are worth watching and why?|
"...There are two kinds of answers to that...there is simply no doubt that Asia (China, India, Thailand...) is the focus that everyone should have (some part of their attention spent on it)........There are lots of markets that are exceptionally interesting that are not being paid attention. Some of the (other) ones I look at very closely are ... Poland........ Ukraine.....South Africa....... The places you want to be investing is where there is a rising affluent middle class...."
|10:19:|| ||Do you have any additional comments about China and India.|
"....I think we are going to embark on an era on where we are going see exactly what kind of innovation is going to come out China....It will also be interesting to see how that innovation juxtaposes against India...."
|12:20:|| ||Can you share your views on Gen Y (post 1980s - 2000) and what this means to the economy and business?|
"...I think we are embarking on probably the most misunderstood era in business...That generation is 3 times the size of the baby boom and their functions, interests, and the way that they behave is completely different. ...I think what you will see is that traditional business concepts will get morphed to cater to that community..."
|14:10:|| ||Comment on the differences between Gen (between baby boomers and Generation X) and Gen Y, (who grow up fully integrated in technology).|
"...We (Generation X) are the last generation with two feet (with one foot in the old world and one foot in the new)...we still buy newspaper, watch television, talk on the phone...But Gen Y and the Millennials have their two feet fully out..."
|17:35:|| ||Please share with us some stories which would be of significant benefit to business and IT leaders.|
"....There are lots of stories but the stories that I remember and I relate to most really relate to people and not to business at all...."
|22:07:|| ||Leonard reiterates some of the critical issues facing organizations today and how they can be addressed.|
"...They have a real generation gap and a real lack of understanding and the knowledge of the differences and the kinds of people who are coming up through the workforce.....Companies have failed to understand the new era of marketing and PR......How do you cater to the people in your organization...."
|25:56:|| ||As a well-known and respected business and technology senior executive, is there one thought that can your share that would be of value to business and IT decision makers?|
"...I think we've often missed the most important thing about technology. It's about behavior, it's about adoption, it's about people's willingness to truly adopt technology.... "
|28:23:|| ||Provide your predictions of future IT/Business trends and their implications/opportunities?|
|31:57:|| ||Tell us more about NowPublic and what you hope to achieve.|