Invest in Technology, if you have the money. If not, try your raffle with a VC.

Invest in Technology, it pays back in Life. Read My experience in the summer of 2012.

I was in the middle of a business meeting with Mexico in my Scotiabank Project and the clock was ticking to seven pm on a great Toronto summer evening in 2012. My wife and son were away on vacation and I was looking for dinner. This is when I remembered my invite to the Apartment Barbeque.

My Meeting finally ended and I was the last one to be admitted entry to the event. Guess what? I had won the raffle prize which was an iPad 3. I had been wanting to buy this gadget which was upwards of CAD $1,000 in those days, but was never a priority.

Armed with the iPad and the wife being away, I started my search to fulfill her mandate of buying a new home. My previous mortgage work experience with Citibank and the intuitive interface of iPad made the process a breeze. I applied to three homes and got one response from Jeff of Tribute Communities.

We visited the site and were staring at the plot wondering whether we should buy at a neighborhood where no one is known. At that very moment a couple drove down and started taking pictures of an adjacent plot. My wife urged me to go talk to them and I was very hesitant. After some cajoling I finally agreed to go over and meet with them. Stephan recognized me although I did not know him. He had seen me at work and his department was in the same floor as mine. This made our buying decision easier.

Looking back we have had a 300% growth in Investment and a great neighborhood in Oshawa.

Connecting the dots, the moral of the story is:

Invest In Technology EARLY.
Be an early adopter to EMERGING Hardware and Software.
Use your BUSINESS experience for effective usage of the tools.
LISTEN to your wife and your trusted connections.
Happy Mother's day everyone. Enjoy.


Planning, Planning and Planning: Why Projects Succeed.

Happy Victoria Day.

In continuation of my previous post, Invest in Technology, it pays back in Life.

It was the autumn of 2012 and we were getting ready to meet with our Decor Consultant of the New House. Tribute wanted us to schedule multiple planning sessions. Our initial thought was this could be a marketing ploy on the part of the builder. Jeff grounded our belief that we listen to them as they are the experts in the field. I went with the minimum schedule of three sessions and was told we may require much more.

In the first session the Decor Consultant did a walk thru of the structure and foundation of the house outlining the frame on which the house is being built. They asked us to freeze the decision points on structural changes required such as a cold room, finished basement, 9ft ceiling, raised archways, basement powder room, grade change for entry from garage to house. We were given two weeks to research and come back with findings.

The second session was focussed on what the price inclusions and exclusions are. This was to drive home the point to look ahead of what our needs are in the next five years. Decisions were to be made on the need for (a) receptacles in the garage door for future garage door openers (b) overhead lights in the Great Room and Parlour (c) recessed boxes and conduit above fireplace (c) Custom Grout for Kitchen and Breakfast area (d) tile line in kitchen (e) rough-in for a gas line. We were handed out a book to use in our research.

The third session was an interactive exchange of our research information and their expert guidance. My son helped in the research with my wife's wish list. I played the devil's advocate and was happy to lose out on numerous occasion. Tribute made suggestions and referenced previous decision points of existing home owners. We understood that upgrades done now can be funded via mortgage and there would be no need of incremental funding.

We ended up requesting for planning session number four, five and six. Apart from the usual upgrades getting included, we were able to add on a few structural change requirements such as (a) water line rough-in at fridge location (b) relocate central vac rough-in to garage. Looking back we have no regrets and the lessons learnt are:

RESEARCH to plan better.
Seek GUIDANCE from subject matter experts.
Involve STAKEHOLDERS in planning.
Ensure FUNDING of your plan and avoid incremental funding.


Technology is NEVER Cheap.

Technology is NEVER Cheap. If it is cheap then it is no longer technology.

The reason I say that with lot of conviction is my exposure to technology projects since 1995. Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software was expensive and widely used in Fortune 100 companies. Early adopters reaped the gain and markets resounded with high dividends in those companies.

The reason for the high price were two. One, very few knew how about these products. Two, implementation was a challenge requiring high level of customization.

There has been some correction in prices with high adoption rates and increase in number of integrator. Invest when the technology is cutting edge is still the mantra. Reaping the benefits over a period of time, has been the experience for corporations worldwide.

When technology reaches a stream of being the cheapest, not many would like to use it. Classic examples are Windows 2003, Magneto Optical disk, Windows 3.0, Video toaster etc.

This trend is going to stay whether it is AI or BI or Cloud.