Keep on rockin’ in the free world

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Don’t go in to the light! A couple of days ago it was the 5th anniversary of my heart attack at DemoCamp. I am really luck to have friends like JayJoeySuthaLeila and Greg who understood the symptoms and were caring enough to protect me from myself. I’m very lucky we were at MaRS, because for the heckling I do, the first rule of real estate was my friend. Location, location, location. And I’m really thankful for the spectacular care I received at Toronto General Hospital.

I missed what was one of the most important early DemoCamps, it takes almost these 5 years to play out, but look at the schedule.

  1. Skydasher/Feedcache: Skydasher is Tucows latest super-secret attempt at bringing great services to Webhosters and ISPs and their customers. Feedcache is a big, queryable cache of syndication feeds that application developers can play with. Presented by Ross Rader and Joey deVilla, developer relations dudes at Tucows.
  2. BlogScope: Online analysis and visualization tool for blogosphere. By Nilesh Bansal, grad student from database group, University of Toronto.
  3. BumpTop: Next-generation desktop organization software powered by a physics engine. Presented by Anand Agarawala. Video also available.
  4. Joshua Wehner – Rails based web application
  5. semanticPAL – learnable natural language user interface from nSM Semantic Modules Presented by sasha uritsky

On the schedule were BumpTop and Blogoscope which eventually became Sysomos. Both of which were acquired approximately 3.5 years after their inital DemoCamp presentations.

I often get asked why I continue to do this: DemoCamp, StartupNorth, Founders & Funders. I’ve tried to write about my motivations about this community of crazy, under-appreciated technologists, designers, entrepreneurs. I think that this is a special place. I’ve met a lot of good friends. I’ve learned a lot about great people. I hope that I’ve been able to make Toronto a better place. And I wonder what my role should be going forward. This is my hobby. This is my passion. This is my distraction. I do it because it makes me feel better.  It’s just too bad that this isn’t a real gig. I tried at Microsoft. Mark Relph and John Oxley really understood the power of a strong Canadian emerging technology and startup community. It was time to move on. Others think they can manipulate, own and harness the power of loosely connected pieces where the only benefit is in providing a space for the collisions to happen. I like to think of my role as conductor. How do I get the right people to collide so sparks happen.

I’m left thinking I’m very proud of all of the entrepreneurs that I’ve met in the past 5 years. I’m thankful for how much each of you has helped me. And if you feel like I’ve been dishonest or untruthful, please let me try to rectify that. If I’ve ignored you, it’s because your message wasn’t what I wanted to hear. Help me hear you. And to everyone who has become a friend. My table, my bourbon bottle and my office is always open. Please keep on making Canada a place that I am proud to be a citizen.

3 thoughts on “Keep on rockin’ in the free world”

  1. Likewise, David.  Feel free to drop by our pool with the family this summer!  It was great catching up at MESH as well. 

  2. Thanks so much for the kind words about Sysomos. We’re really lucky to have been fostered in this great community. 
    I love to watch all the new and awesome thing coming out of our own backyard and know that the scene around here will only continue to grow.

    Keep on rockin’,
    Sheldon, community manager for Sysomos

  3. Thanks so much for the kind words about Sysomos. We’re really lucky to have been fostered in this great community. 
    I love to watch all the new and awesome thing coming out of our own backyard and know that the scene around here will only continue to grow.

    Keep on rockin’,
    Sheldon, community manager for Sysomos

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