Inspiration and perspiration

Last night I spoke at the Rotman School of Management about my new book. About 110 attendees bought a book and more than half of them lined up to have it autographed. Another 25 people were there to hear the half-hour talk and the Q&A that followed.

I was surprised at the breadth and diversity of the audience. One couple had driven 45 minutes from Newmarket, there was a recent PhD grad from McGill, a freelance writer, a smattering of lawyers and accountants, small business owners, teachers, a RIM employee and many others who were giving the book to a son or daughter or niece in the hopes that the story would inspire them.

That’s a theme I’ve heard a lot in the past two weeks. Canadians are proud of RIM and what the company has achieved on the international stage. Equally important, Research In Motion is beginning to give birth to other startup companies. For most of the time I was working on the book, I kept wondering when this would happen. In recent weeks, I’ve heard about a few people who have left RIM to strike out on their own. More power to them, I say.

We need more RIMs to keep our best and brightest graduates in Canada at work in rewarding jobs. Maybe some of them will launch their own small businesses that will grow to be large businesses. As I told the audience last night, the main ingredients for success in any start-up are: a good idea, excellent colleagues, persistence, keeping an eye on costs, and – as Mike Lazaridis would be the first to say – a little luck along the way.

Here’s a link to a video, as supplied by the Rotman School, of my talk.

2 Responses

  1. Glen Cameron says:


    “BLACKBERRY” is the finest business book I have come across.

    However, as a Windsor resident I feel compeled to point out that it is the Detroit River and not the St. Clair River (as shown on page 21) .
    that separates Windsor and Detroit

    Thank you, Glen Cameron

  2. Rod McQueen says:

    I stand corrected. Thank you!

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