Doug Smith

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  • Doug Smith 5:19 am on September 28, 2011
    0 votes

    Jeff Vyduna is a co-founder and leader of the software polling venture Poll Everywhere. Vyduna was kind enough to respond to some questions I sent him about his involvement in an education start-up company, which helped me complete a fuller picture of his approach to being an entrepreneur in an emerging market. Poll Everywhere is […]

    Continue reading Poll Everywhere: Jeff Vyduna, co-founder Posted in: Week 04: Entrepreneur Bootcamp
    • jarvise 9:59 am on September 28, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      Hi Doug,

      I like your nature or nurture comment. I think that both are at play in the production of an entrepreneur. I’m sure that there is a nature element in that you have to have a high risk tolerance. Then once you get into the personality components the two blur together.

      Your write-up is great because it takes the mystique away from the successful entrepreneur. He is someone who has pursued the right education, and has strategically planned and moved towards his goals. As I’m always telling students, there is no ‘secret’ to success, per se. It involves getting prepared (education), setting goals, strategically planning on how to achieve the goals, and measuring success (and adjusting behaviours) along the way.

      Good job getting in touch with him, too!


    • bcourey 4:01 pm on September 28, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      I am really impressed that you contacted the founder directly for more information! The student response system market is getting crowded with some big names involved – especially SMART technologies as the biggest that I am aware of…and they are very expensive. Offering a less expensive alternative that will do the same thing is very intriquing!

    • themusicwoman 8:45 pm on September 28, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      I, too, am impressed that you contacted the founder. By the way, I’ve used this in workshops and classrooms and love it. Nice that you chose to showcase it 🙂

    • David William Price 5:04 pm on September 29, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      I’d challenge the notion that success depends on “nurture” or some innate risk tolerance. Anxiety management depends on recognizing poor habits and learning new skills that avoid the extremes of anxiety: jumping in without thinking enough, or over-analyzing and doing nothing.

      • Doug Smith 3:47 am on October 1, 2011 | Log in to Reply

        Hi David,
        What I meant is whether entrepreneurship comes from nature, ie. genes and who your parents and family are, or if it comes nurture, ie training and education. Obviously there is some type of balance at play. However, I think if a person was to come from a family of entrepreneurs (I think Vyduna does), their chances of being a successful entrepreneur are greatly increased.

  • Doug Smith 5:24 am on September 21, 2011
    0 votes

    Tags: , , , EVA,   

      The WeBook elevator pitch features a composed president of the company giving a 60 second overview of her company.  We are told that WeBook would like to upend the publishing business by bringing writers together and using a community voting system to bring new books to the market.  It is their hope to do […]

    Continue reading WeBook: is it realistic? Posted in: Week 03: Analyst Bootcamp
    • jenaca 7:12 am on September 21, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      I agree with you, the pitch was very good and I too would like to learn more about WeBooks company. I also watched this pitch and found that they identified their goals and within the first 10 seconds stated her pain pitch.
      I also believe she included lots of examples of why one would want to join her. However I felt she lacked stating why WeBook will become more successful than the current competitors out there. She did state good facts, but nothing really to make me want to jump on board with her!
      Great find!

    • andrea 4:47 pm on September 21, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      Hi Doug, you make a great point with “there is a large divide between publishing a book and selling a book.” I wasn’t clear also if WEBook is publishing print copies or mostly e-books. And how are they marketing and distributing their books? I’d be interested to know more about the company.

    • Everton Walker 5:31 pm on September 21, 2011 | Log in to Reply


      I like your take on the pitch. It is clear that they know what they are about and aiming to get there. However, in typical advertising mode, I think the presenter exaggerated to some extent about 50bn dollar target. I can’t blame her anyways as one needs to sell their product with optimism and bit of sensationalism.

    • ifeoma 6:18 pm on September 21, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      Hi Doug,
      Nice one! On your opinion about the president, I agree. I also think she sounds quite confident and I can also relate to your mixed feelings. You have worded it well by saying, “I believe they greatly overstate the impact they could make” I also had questions about the marketing of WEpublished books and am not sure how long it took to build the capacity of 1,500 book projects and their growth rate is not mentioned. The President simply says, they are growing quickly- well how quickly?
      However, the pitch inspired enough curiosity in me with their idea of “open publishing” to want to know more.

    • Doug Smith 8:31 pm on September 24, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      In terms of market size, I really liked David Hansson’s presentation. He effectively deconstructs the stigma of not wanting to be an instant billionaire. Why does WeBook want to upend a $50B market? Frankly speaking, those terms are rediculous. At one of my past jobs we were quite happy with trying to get a 5% share of a $5B market. Even that scale is usually risky for a VC. These days it is even harder to get capital. Wallstreet is tight and it takes fire to fight fire. If you want to topple a $50B market, you had better be prepared to spend $100’s of millions. Or be lucky.

  • Doug Smith 5:11 pm on September 14, 2011
    0 votes

    Tags: , markets   

    I decided to critique the Ambient Insight Comprehensive Report, as I like seeing data which helps me understand the environment that I am looking at. Thankfully for the purposes of this critique, the Ambient Insight document was just the introduction to the full report, which is over 80 pages in its entirety. The report breaks […]

    Continue reading Ambient Insight Comprehensive Report Posted in: Week 02: The Edtech Marketplace
    • bcourey 4:13 pm on September 15, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      Perhaps this is an article we need to take a close look at when we are preparing for our assignments. You mention that the report woudl be useful for venture capitalists…an audience we need to tap into for this course!

      • Karen Jones 3:40 pm on September 16, 2011 | Log in to Reply

        After mulling over Assignment #1 and thinking of ways to approach this task, I had the exact same thought as you, Brenda. This report might be a good first look at the quantitative analysis of markets. I have to admit at this point am not really sure how to search for resources similar to this one that covers the venture I have in mind. Hopefully a closer analysis of this resource might lead to a clearer direction.


    • wongte 4:07 am on September 16, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      Great analysis of this article. You clearly demonstrate the pros and cons of this article. I also feel that it might be a good one to read to help us with our assignments. From what you write it seems it might give us more insight to what we have been reading on the blog this week. What do you think?

  • Doug Smith 6:05 pm on September 7, 2011
    0 votes

    Tags: , device, , , Playbook,   

    Hello Everyone, My name is Doug Smith and I’m entering my second year into the MET program.  I’m a teacher-on-call (ie substitute teacher) in Vancouver, focusing on math science and physics.  Prior to teaching I was a mechanical engineer for 15 years.  Partly due to my background, I’d like to develop and grow some skills […]

    Continue reading Blogging from Vancouver Posted in: Week 01: Introductions
    • bcourey 6:19 pm on September 7, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      Good luck on your event! I am envious of your ambition in this race! And I would love to hear about your Playbook experience…I am a blackberry user surrounded by iPhones and iPad, but have quite an affinity for the Playbook despite the derision of the Apple users…am I crazy for wanting one over the iPad??

      • Doug Smith 8:09 am on September 8, 2011 | Log in to Reply

        Not crazy at all, especially if you want a mobile device or something that is smaller. Only recommended for people with Blackberry phones though, but that may change in the next few weeks with an OS update. Otherwise, frankly, tablets all seem to behave relatively the same (I’m testing out an HP Touchpad right now). They have decent web browsers, apps for reading books, calendars, etc. Ask anyone with a tablet what apps they use the most, and you’ll see that most people would do okay with any platform.

    • Karen Jones 7:06 pm on September 7, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      Hey! Best of luck in the ride, Doug. You’ll be riding right past us 😎 Do you tether your Playbook to your phone’s data plan?

      • Doug Smith 8:11 am on September 8, 2011 | Log in to Reply

        I tether it all the time, the Blackberry Bridge is always connected. I have my email, contacts, calendar synced and can use the internet wherever there is a cell signal. I imagine most/all tablets have equally accessible tether options (I hope!).

    • Everton Walker 8:56 pm on September 7, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      All the best with your riding adventure. Good luck with your MET course when you return.

    • hall 7:05 pm on September 8, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      Hi Doug, I think we have met in one of the courses I have taken in this programme. I am happy to be in the same class with you. I am mathematics and physics teacher who I think that this programme will help me to be more marketable my profession.

      • Doug Smith 9:49 pm on September 11, 2011 | Log in to Reply

        Hi Conroy, you’re right. I think we took 512 together?
        I couldn’t find your introduction for a while, then I realized that it was posted under “uncategorized”. I was trying to figure out who “hall” was.
        Have a good course!

    • Deb Kim 2:31 pm on September 12, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      Hi Doug,
      I see our UBC Elearning website in your Playbook pic. Did you open the website using Safari or Internet Explorer? I’ve tried opening the website on my iPhone as I’m always carrying my mobile device with me just like you. It’s very convenient and efficient, isn’t it? I’m also amazed that many places (e.g. mall, retaurant, bank, etc.) offer free WiFi these days.
      Nice meeting you and looking forward to working with you. 🙂


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