A Canuck In The Machine

Mark Relph - Senior Director - Startup and VC Team

November, 2008

  • A Canuck In The Machine

    Wired – Ozzie wants to push Microsoft back into Startup mode


    I really enjoyed this article as it reflects a feeling I get internally everyday.


    The keynote speaker at this past summer's TechReady conference—a gathering of 6,000 or so Microsoft engineers from around the world—was the company's chief software architect, Ray Ozzie. This was not a routine appearance. Ozzie arrived at Microsoft in 2005, and the following year he inherited the title of CSA directly from Bill Gates. He was now the microprocessor of the Microsoft machine. But he had never addressed the semiannual conclave. His explanation? He wanted to wait until he had something big to show the troops………more

    They reference a part of Ray’s internal speech to the employees that he uses Twistori as a metaphor for telling his story.  It’s a powerful way to make a point.  I had the chance to be in the audience for his talk and it really left an impression on me.  To quote Ray:

    • I love software, because if you can imagine something, you can build it.
    • I love Windows, because without it there would be no PC. There would be no PC developers. There might not even be a Web.
    • I love the ubiquitous Web because of the connections that it opened up.
    • I love competition. But when we're behind a competitor, I hate it when we find ourselves just chasing their taillights.

    I think in a lot of ways our team embodies this spirit at Microsoft Canada.  We pride ourselves on being agile and willing to take risks.  Techdays is a great example of really trying to change the “legacy” Microsoft playbook.  We have a big vision (empower Canada’s technology professionals and drive cutting edge innovation) with limited budget – a common startup reality.  Then there is our people.  We’ve brought in some non-microsoftie talent into our team to compliment the amazing talent already here.  Many say that the people are always the source of a startup’s strength.  If I ran a startup today I’d try to poach my entire team since they are the best group of people I have every worked with.

    So – if you want to see the startup spirit, look no farther than MSFT Canada’s DPE Team :-)

  • A Canuck In The Machine

    BizSpark In The News


    Some news from our recent Bizspark launch……..

    Microsoft BizSpark offers start ups "affordable access" to tech resources

    Canadian start ups trying to weather the current credit crunch and make a go of a new business may find Microsoft BizSpark an invaluable resource.
    11/26/2008 5:00:00 AM
    by Nestor Arellano

    Microsoft Corp. says its recently launched software and technology service program will support start-up tech firms that are trying to break ground in these tough economic times.

    More here - http://www.itbusiness.ca/it/client/en/home/News.asp?id=50924

  • A Canuck In The Machine

    My Boss – Phil – In The National Post Talking “Upsize Innovation”



    Phil, who is my boss and President of Microsoft Canada, has a great article talking about the importance of innovation and technology in tough economic times.

    “As instability continues to ripple through the global economy, it's clear that no one is immune to the effects of tighter credit and slower consumer and business spending.

    But while it's impossible to predict how long the current uncertainty will last or what the final impact will be on jobs and growth, I am optimistic about long-term economic prospects, here and around the world.

    There's no doubt that this is a time when thoughtful business leaders must carefully assess how best to utilize their resources to weather the uncertainty that lies ahead. I believe information technology can play an important role in helping companies respond to this difficult and rapidly changing economic environment.”

    more here.

  • A Canuck In The Machine

    Speaking Today At The Toronto Computer Lawyers Group


    I am participating in a discussion around “SaaS” during this lunchtime event today.  Really, SaaS is not the term I am going to focus on since it is really just a delivery mechanism from my perspective.  I am going to focus on the trends driving us to a Services world, about the key factors developers and customers are considering and how our Software+Services vision is playing out.

    Slides here.

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