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Are we still alive?

Things have been quiet on the Creationstep blog over the last season. We have had several large clients keeping the team busy and as Brainpark continued to grow both Bobby and I threw ourselves in with both feet to give it everything we’ve got. BandofCoders still continues to get stronger and one of these days they will probably update their site to show everyone on the team (nudge nudge). QA Room is still evolving slowly. It has a great offering but needs a steady sales focus to grow. Service Cloud is in the right space at the right time with great potential to solve the emerging problems created by new innovations on the web.
We parkedĀ  Empty Tray and Glassrocket which had been growing but were demanding too much of our time. The margins were slim and to make them successful was going to necessitate Bobby or I giving them our focus which we weren’t prepared to do. Maybe someday they will surface again when someone with the passion and skill to lead them emerges.

Last year we seed invested into several start-ups including:
Stand Out Jobs

Communitylend

Virima Technologies

Edufire

Brainpark

All of the companies above have been successful in closing additional rounds of finance and seem to be developing well in a tough economy. We are excited to be connected with each and be part of their wider community. I would encourage more people to seed invest in companies like these as the learning and community that comes with it is as valuable as the potential ROI. We also invested in half a dozen ventures that totally failed. It comes with the territory. We had our fair share of pain with some leaders who blamed us for their own incompetency. It is amazing how short-sighted some people can be. There are some things that we will never do again…

We are not planning on making any new investments in 2009 as we have more than enough on our plate to manage and want to remain of value to those around us. No doubt this means we will miss many opportunities but we are confident there will be plenty when we surface again. We will probably update the site here from time to time but don’t anticipate much action. You can follow me on Twitter if you want to stay up to date on what I am up to. Bobby doesn’t do the social media thing much as he does real work; so you will probably just have to suffice yourself with my ramblings.

5 Responses to “Are we still alive?”

  1. colin Says:

    Mark … thanks for the mention, and thanks for the investment! We intend to make that all worthwhile for you and all our other supporters.

    Thanks again.

    colin

  2. Mark Says:

    Colin, I am really excited for you guys. I hope I get to see you when I am in Toronto 1st week of December. I sent you an invite to the Brainpark gathering which I hope you got too.

  3. Rohan Jayasekera Says:

    Thanks for the update — nice to hear that you guys are doing well. And Service Cloud looks interesting (ok, I admit to feeling some personal vindication every time I see something in line with what I’ve been preaching for years). All the best until the next update!

  4. Mark Says:

    Rohan, it is great to hear from you. Thanks for the kind comments. Bobby and I are flying into town the first week of December for the Brainpark office opening party in Guelph. We would love to see you if you can make it. I know a bunch are coming from toronto on a group bus: http://www.eventbrite.com/event/82376390

    Hopefully we will see you then. Keep preaching

  5. Rohan Jayasekera Says:

    Mark, thanks for the invitation — I’ve registered and will be there! I’m looking forward to seeing you and Bobby.

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Contact Creationstep
Bobby John (USA)
bobby@creationstep.com
Mark Dowds (Canada)
mark@creationstep.com


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