Rate of Return

Recombo – 2005

This video was more difficult to follow. It was only after reviewing the video three times and taking notes that I finally understood what the product (service) was and how it was to be used.

A condensed version of my notes is as follows:

  • Year of transition –Changed perspective from a products company to a services company
  • New customer – Publisher – Mindleaders – Recombo technology platform to replace Mind Leaders existing platform – Will provide Mindleaders with value added features.
  • Traditional Learning Management System vs. Content Integration Router
  • Recombo Connector Router Product (IT Manager, Product Managers)
  • Used for learning content – connects content within learning management system
  •  Recombo Adaptor Product (Joins systems together)
  • Exchanges data between systems – Platform becomes the communicator/interpreter between these two systems
  • Company currently at twelve employees which has expanded to twenty-two
  • Reworked the sales pitch and bet the future of the company on one major deal
  • IPO possibilities – Considerations about possible takeover offers by some mid-ware Company (IBM)

I believe Recombo’s CEO has done an adequate job of explaining his company’s position and the direction they are taking. It would seem that the company’s latest venture with Mindleaders will solidify Recombo’s position in this exciting industry. This assumption is based on the company’s successful bid to hire new talent and their ability to build a team that will meet and exceed the challenges and expectations leading up to this deal.

Most startups fail within the first 12 to 18 months. Recombo is into its third year and thus far, has weathered the good and the bad times. From what I can gather, their business plan has changed from its original form to reflect its current situation. They are looking towards the future and their business plan (marketing strategy) tends to support this notion. Assuming the transition from Mindleaders current platform to Recombo’s platform goes well (tests would seem to indicate that is doable) this may be a worthwhile investment for any wannabe venture capitalist.    


This video was much easier to follow. A condensed version of my notes is as follows:

  • A Canadian company marketing both at home and abroad (Vietnam)
  • Multiple contracts already in play – a track record
  • Competition is an issue – other companies appear to have the competitive edge
  • The amount is small but the return could be big.


The CEO presented her company in a positive an informative manner. She came across as being in knowledgeable, confident and determined to succeed. It would be hard not to so no to this lady. However, I am rather hesitant to commit myself just yet, for a couple of reasons.

First, I’d want to make sure that the competition (the ones with the deep pockets) weren’t also in the bidding. Second, I’d want more information about the infrastructure being proposed in the Vietnam situation (I’ve travelled in enough similar countries so I know not to make comparisons with developed countries such as Canada). Finally, I’d want to take a closer look at the finances to see if the proposal was being adequately funded and the rate of return reasonably high.

Why would a venture capitalist want to spend peanuts if he/she can only expect peanuts in return?

Thanks for taking the time to review this post.

September 14, 2008   2 Comments

Looking for inspiration and a break all at the same time?

Taken from www.rockonthenet.com/archive/1990/grammys.htm

Taken from www.rockonthenet.com/archive/1990/grammys.htm

Does anybody remember the 1988 movie Working Girl starring Harrison Ford, Melanie Griffith and Sigourney Weaver? It’s about a working class girl looking for a chance to make it big in the investment firm where she works as a secretary.

This movie has ETEC522 written all over it… a great business proposition, your classic elevator pitch a surprise or two along the way!


September 14, 2008   No Comments

Inspired Notetaking

Here’s a thought for a handy tool for the Cube… make a cube with the six faces listed to help with your analysis, if I had more time on my hands I would make a properly dimensioned on in a jpg or pdf to share… the prototype was done by hand. Would anyone invest in my venture?
too much time on my hands?

too much time on my hands?

September 14, 2008   3 Comments

Bruce’s Final Attempt at an Introduction

My daughter Fiona and I. Tenerife 2007

My daughter Fiona and I. Tenerife 2007

Hi everyone.

My name is Bruce. I am a workplace Instructor with De Beers Canada. I’m originally from back east (Newfoundland) and I still maintain a home there (in St. John’s). I’m currently living in Yellowknife, NT and working at Snap Lake Mine which is a remote diamond mine 220 km northeast of Yellowknife. I work a two & two rotation or two weeks in then two weeks out, 12 hour days for 14 days straight. Phew. It can be exhausting at times.

My job involves, among other things, providing safety related training to employees (WHMIS, SHEOPS, etc.) computer related courses (basic computer skills, various software products, etc.) as well as educational training (basic literacy and numeracy skills, GED, ADLC, trades exam preparation, and so on.)

I have a B.A., B. Ed. from Memorial University and an IT Diploma from The Graduate Center (also in St. John’s). Most of my teaching/administrative experience has been in the public school system. Adult education is a relatively new adventure for me… and I must say I am enjoying it immensely.

ETEC 522 is my fourth MET course. I excited about the forum we’re using for this particular course and I am looking forward to exchanging ideas, stories and even a laugh or two with you all, over the course of the next several months.

Please accept my apologies for the delay in starting by the way. I recently moved into a condo prior to a trip back east. I don’t have internet service at the moment as it takes a while (welcome to the north) so I’ve having to rely on an internet café here in town. I should be up-and-running in a day or two (fingers crossed). See you then.




My intro was mistakingly posted under the Comments section of Dave Porter’s Intro over a week ago… sorry for the confusion.

September 14, 2008   4 Comments

Resource: Open Source Economics

This is something I find fascinating from a TED talk on Open Source Economics


September 14, 2008   1 Comment

Terms link not working on Other Business Concepts to Explore

I’m getting a 500 error on the link (http://www.ic.gc.ca/epic/site/stgc-evcc.nsf/en/00043e.html) listed on http://blogs.ubc.ca/etec522/phase-1-getting-started/mod2business-bootcamp/other-business-concepts-to-explore/ . Definitely a problem on their side that might clear up.

Is there another site with similar info the people have found?



September 14, 2008   1 Comment

Resource: Opening Up Education

Just came across this link…


Opening Up Education
The Collective Advancement of Education through Open Technology, Open Content, and Open Knowledge
Edited by Toru Iiyoshi and M. S. Vijay Kumar
Foreword by John Seely Brown

“… Opening Up Education argues that we must develop not only the technical capability but also the intellectual capacity for transforming tacit pedagogical knowledge into commonly usable and visible knowledge: by providing incentives for faculty to use (and contribute to) open education goods, and by looking beyond institutional boundaries to connect a variety of settings and open source entrepreneurs.”



September 14, 2008   2 Comments

Growing Pains…

Can anyone tell me how I can see if anyone has replied to a reply I posted? I have subscribed to Googer Reader, but it only posts new posts and not the replies to posts (as far as I can see…) The thing is that I have responded to several posts, and I would like to follow through and see what was replied, if anything, subsequently. Sorry, but I’m still going through blogging growing pains… Best, Nancy

September 14, 2008   4 Comments

Ingenia vs Recombo

I found the Recombo person used a lot of technical words I wasn’t totally familiar with, but have been learning about recently during my web design.  As he started describing what he was doing, it started to sound more and more to me like it was an aggregation hub.  In other words, a piece of software which automatically collects information from a variety of sources.  The model I see here is that each of these sources pushes out data (using an RSS feed for example) and this aggregator pulls the data together.  Seems like a neat thing, but as I mentioned before, I know someone who cooked up one of these sites using Drupal in an afternoon.  So my money isn’t on them, unless they somehow change their tune again.

As for Ingenia, I am worried about the prospects of a start up company doing business in South East Asia where cultural norms are very, very different than in the West.  Unless they have familiarity with the quirks of Vietnamese culture, they are going to find some very basic things quite frustrating.

For example, my wife just asked a Thai silk company to order some silk for her, a whole 10 yards of it (and a cost of $9 or so), and they told her no problem.  A week later and they still haven’t ordered the silk for her, and so she calls to find out why.  The reason?  She hasn’t prepaid for the silk.  Why didn’t they call to tell her that she has to pay?  Because my wife might lose face when they point out she made a mistake, and a Thai business would go out of business pretty quickly in Thailand if they forced their customers to lose face like this.

Knowing these kinds of cultural assumptions is key to doing business in this part of the world.  So unless Ingenia has some very experienced Vietnamese partners, they are going to lose a lot of money and productivity to these kinds of mistakes.

Does anyone here have any other cultural awareness issues that could affect business in various parts of the world to share?

September 14, 2008   4 Comments