Saturday, May 31, 2008

3 posts in 1: ASAC, my first official publication, and EBC

I've been suffering a little blog-stipation recently and have some more reviews, news, and ideas to release. First the reviews.

Reviews: ASAC 2008

I just for back from ASAC 2008 in Halifax, where I presented a paper I am working on with my supervisor that is suggesting a new method for network analysis that accepts the fact that any one person can be involved in multiple activities, AND any one activity can involve multiple people. Sounds revolutionary, I know, but the fact of the matter is that most social network analysis tends to typecast people into single roles and single purpose relationships. More on that piece once it's released.

At ASAC, I saw Joe Bower's presentation on CEO succession. In a way it reminded me of a theory I had during my MBA about what a CKO (chief knowledge officer) should do. In my mind, a CKO's role is to find information asymmetries and facilitate the exchange of knowledge until they are no longer needed. In other words, they work to make themselves obsolete. Well, in Joe Bower's research, he suggests that CEO succession should be planned approximately 4-5 years in advance of it being forced (retirement, disaster-contingency planning, whatever). BUT, if the average CEO is only in office for ~5 years, then they need to think about who is going to replace them the day they start. Imagine the extra mental load: "Congratulations on becoming CEO. Now start planning your replacement."

News: Published Papers on Innovation

A paper I co-authored with my supervisor has just been made available online by the publisher:
Bliemel, M. J., & McCarthy, I. P. (2008). Networks of dedicated
biotechnology and service firms in Vancouver. Journal of Commercial
The Journal of Commercial Biotechnology is like a Harvard Business Review for biotechnology firms. The research is written in a way that is meant to make a balanced impact on industry as well as academia. This piece is related to my PhD research, and draws on data from the ISRN.

Ideas: How to leverage your start-up investment by 43%

The other month I met with someone from the BC Ministry of Economic Development, who gave me a brochure that explains the Eligible Business Corporation (EBC) tax credit system better than their online version. In a nutshell, if an investor invests cash into a start-up that is certified as an EBC, they can get 30% of their investment back. However, doesn't that defeat the purpose of fostering innovation? What if the cash credited back to the invested were reinvested into the start-up? Well, then the start-up would get 30% more cash, and the investor would get more equity plus another 9% (30% of 30%) cash back. Reiterate the process to a total of 10 times, and the numbers converge on 43% of the investor's cash being matched by the government, with the extra equity going to the investor. After all, should the investors be in it to capitalize in the longer term on the management and innovation, rather than short-term tax credit kick backs?