We’ve all been there before. Something new catches your eye: a new smartphone, a new program, perhaps a new company.

But what motivates us to shift our focus? The desire to learn and grow from the new.

As startups build momentum in Canada, people are becoming more and more curious about this new network of innovators. Where do they come from? How do they grow so quickly? What are they doing right? How can we learn from them?

Join me as I look back on 2015 and celebrate our community bloggers by sharing their top five posts from this year.

Why did they catch our eye, what did they do so well, and what can other bloggers take away from their success?

 

 

Clearly our readers are interested in Canada’s digital movers and shakers! This topic made it to our top 5 for the second-year in a row. While the 2014 post featured the likes of astronaut Chris Hadfield and Ryan Holmes (Hootsuite), this article covered new faces and major players like Duncan Fulton (Canadian Tire) and former Prime Minister Stephen Harper. Timely, considering the global exposure of the 2015 Federal Election and end to Harper’s decade of Conservative rule.

The exciting part? As Uber battles through media and local government and Blackberry rises from the dead, these innovators have caught the eyes of both investors and the Canadian digital industry.

Why is this such a hot topic? With an overwhelming three out of five spotlights on startup founders, it’s clear we’re all curious about these incubators and their potential impact on our digital industry.

What can other bloggers learn from this? As millennials and future generations take the drivers seat, we’re looking forward to see how they will shape tomorrow’s Canadian digital economy. It’s always exciting to read about digital disruption — the good and the bad — and often readers want to know how they match up.

 

 

About five years ago, it used to be common to say we don’t have a great culture of startups in Canada. But that was then, and this is now. More founders are betting on Toronto (and putting their money where their mouth is).

The exciting part? There’s a competitive advantage to set up in Toronto. With a $3.5 trillion market in e-commerce and without the downside of expensive New York, Silicon Valley or London — why wouldn’t you set up shop here?

Why is this such a hot topic? Startups are so hot right now. We’re talking about hardly any red tape in an ever-growing app and mobile world with the ability to grow funds using crowdfunding tools like Kickstarter.

What can other bloggers learn from this? These alternatives to local venture capitalists are seeing similar changes in their industry ecosystems. Ultimately, this roots back to economic disruption. Any time a reader can learn about alternative routes, curiosity will be sparked.

 

 

Apple versus everybody. An ongoing debate with every new product announcement. So how to choose between two devices you’re in the market for? Well, by answering 4 questions! In this post, Apple’s iPad Pro and Microsoft Surface Pro 4 are compared.

The exciting part? It’s short and sweet. Where does your bias lie? Apple or Microsoft? Which infrastructure do you already have? How do you plan to use it? Does the price fit your budget?

Why is this such a hot topic? Even if a new product is expected to bomb, it will be a hot topic. We can’t help it. We’re just naturally intrigued by something new and shiny.

What can other bloggers learn from this? It’s like the old saying: sometimes less is more. Of course, when comparing products you can get into the complexities of each individual device, but do your readers really want to read all that when they can look up the specs themselves? They want an opinion and they want it quick.

 

 

Are you ready? The 21st century organization needs to be created. Today we need less sponsors of change programs and more owners.

Antiquated management practices means organizations turn to hierarchical structure instead of shared purpose, competing instead of collaborating, dictating from the top down instead of creating a two-way conversation, and measuring activity instead of measuring impact.

So, how do we make the move into the 21st century organization?

The exciting part? We are in a time where entire economies, organizations and industries are transforming. The 21st century leader needs to view themselves as a connector and community builder as they will need to bring together the best people to solve problems. This means breaking down the walls for collaboration between employees, contractors, consultants or partners.

Why is this such a hot topic? With access to technology tools ever-growing, employees have a voice outside the corporate walls and can share their feelings whenever they want. You don’t want to be left behind and have your business become irrelevant.

What can other bloggers learn from this? Change is inevitable and the new consumer is a real thing. By addressing organizations’ fears with detailed solutions, this article encourages leaders to start thinking about what they’re doing and shifts they can make to prepare leaders for what’s coming in the world of work and life.

 

 

Smartthings’ save-your-cottage-from-disaster story was the second-most successful tech campaign to that point. Why is a human-centric story so powerful? It gets the team to focus on why people have this problem instead of what they think of the feature — a subtle shift in thinking that led to deep insight.

The exciting part?  To meet Kickstarter obligation, Smartthings had six months to design, build, get FCC approval and make five components, plus the Smartthings Cloud and an iOS app. It was a huge challenge — and they accomplished it.

Why is this such a hot topic? People are curious about the bread and butter of how to begin a startup: find a problem, create the solution, then deliver on it. Everyone knows timing plays an important role and could be the difference between competitors establishing too big an advantage. So how can an organization successfully act fast?

What can other bloggers learn from this? This article has lists, secrets, graphs, video and picture — a publishing bull’s-eye. There’s a reason why these styles are popular on Facebook and Twitter, they capture and keep the attention of the reader: so long as your content is relevant and well-thought out.

 

 

Want to contribute to our Community Blogger Program? Send an email to adown@itwc.ca with a submission or pitch.

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