Why the Canadian Tech Scene Doesn’t Work

Published in tech industry, on Feb 2, 2021

Some of my favorite quotes from this article:

The point of playing is to bring new players into the game, so they can play too. You never “win”, the play just gets more and more rewarding.

Startups are a bet that the future will be radically different from the present, and they are valuable on the way up because they are, effectively, a call option on that future coming true.

This preoccupation with milestones kills startups dead in their tracks... when you start thinking in terms of milestones, you are no longer asking, “What can go right”, because you’ve already defined the boundaries of “right”.

VC is a financial invention that’s been perfected to purchase call options on a different future.

You enter the world of problem definition, where building your startup becomes Serious Work, with official time sheets and government forms. 

The steepest cost a founder can possibly pay is to give up an indeterminate trajectory.

They helpfully impose “adult supervision” that robs founders of the very indeterminism that makes their companies valuable.

The Good Angels simply won’t be having any fun: they won’t find the infinite game they’re looking to play, so they simply won’t play at all.

It was a bit of a bummer writing this essay. It’s not fun to write about this systemic trap we’ve gotten ourselves into; especially because there are so many individually good people and startups and firms in Canada who are trying their best to do good work. This is a system problem.