HTFU! Words to live by. Not running is killing me! Beth’s got it right. I call that punching above your weight class! I am always the last to cross the finish line in my long distance races.


Annoucing We Are TO Tech

There has never been a better time to start something or a better time to get involved in a startup and work on something that will change the world. There also has never been a better time to try and shine a spotlight on our great technology and startup community. Everything is connected. Everybody is connected but it seems to me that sometimes we forget about our people: our local heroes, our local doers. I am amazingly surprised as to how many times I met an extraordinary startup in the valley only to find out they are homies! In the hopes of connecting everyone, shining a spotlight on developers, CEOs and founders, executive, hackers who make our tech community what it is, we decided to give you We Are TO Tech. Inspired by We Are NY Tech, we hope to showcase the best of our community!

We are hoping to launch in the coming months. In the meantime, we will be documenting our adventure launching We Are TO Tech on our tumblr blog.

We are 3 founders: April Dunford, Michele Perras and myself.






Michele Perras will be presenting our vision for We Are TO Tech at DemoCamp Toronto this evening. Join us to create an incredible voice for our community.


Women can do anything!

But you wouldn’t know it by the looks of things in the technology, software and startup scene. Last night as I was catching up on some reading, got a tweet from David Crow about a new accelerator in Montreal Founder Fuel: I thought that’s bloody awesome. I wish there were so many accelerators a decade ago when I entered the software industry. Boy that would have been super helpful. And then I checked out their mentor list and BOOM! what the heck: an all male line up? in 2011? In Canada? In one of the most welcoming industries in the world (software) and from friends and colleagues I know. Oh no Founder Fuel you did not!

This is getting very tiring. And needs fixing.

And then I browsed my way to the Grow Conference in Vancouver as I am planning a hacking event in Vancouver in August and to my surprise again: an all male line up for a start up, venture capital and growth conference in the tech space. Really? In 2011? Grow Conference: I love you. I attended your conference last year. But this: you need to fix. Now.

I am a do-er. I am going to give you a solution that I can point to because you are too lazy to do some work. And I am tired of pointing this out every time.

Yes, finding women you can include in your panels, mentorship programs, speakers line ups requires work. I am going to help you help my industry: I will be bringing you a We are Toronto Tech website very soon. NY is doing an awesome job at that with We are NY Tech and a spotlight in women in the industry as well. Take that Toronto. And we will be turning Toronto and Canada upside down to find you the women you need to include in your conferences and programs. In the meantime: you lot are connected to the world, get on your email and do some work please.

I don’t want to hear a peep coming from you unless you are calling me to talk to me about the changes you have implemented. Now go.

My daily commute or how I plan to average 70 kilometers a week.

I am a big fan of winter and snow and the cold does not scare me. My holidays include heading to YellowKnife in the middle of winter and enjoying the frigid temperatures – except that with all this global warming finding cold places to visit is getting difficult. But what I don’t enjoy about the winter is all the slosh, and all the mess from melting snow in the city. So during the winter, although I continue to run, I don’t walk to the office. You see I live a mere 5 kilometers away from the office and walking back and forth between the office and my home is a great start and end of the day routine. Since I started working – and that’s two decades ago – I have never lived more than 5 kilometers from my work – with one exception which we will not spend time discussing 🙂


Queen West to Queen East

I have been a walking commuter for a month now (since the snow melted and spring arrived) and nothing stops my walking – not even the rain!

The rain is just about here!

I headed to the office on a holiday Monday and got totally soaked heading back home with my dog. I had not gotten that soaked since childhood! Water was in my shoes, socks, my pants, underwear … well pretty much everywhere and standing in the living room I formed a puddle of water large enough that it could have been used as a small swimming pool for a 5 year old!

Totally soaked!


Toronto’s streets are incredibly quiet when you venture out early in the morning. When I manage to leave the house at 6 AM, I own Queen street. There isn’t a soul outside and pretty much everyone is just about hitting the snooze button on their alarm clock. But when I leave late – say 8 AM or later – well, the hustle and bustle of Queen street is so unbearable that sometimes I duck into Graffiti alley to get all the way to work. You see I live on Queen West and work on Queen Est. So I have an all Queen Street daily commute. Never a dull moment.

Last month I started using Runkeeper to keep track of my running and walking. My running this year has been pretty pathetic – but I will be fixing that shortly. As I started using Runkeeper I started to make an effort to walk to the office every day and walk back home every day. That’s 10 kilometers a day. Each and every day. What I really liked seeing in Runkeeper was an uninterrupted week of walking to the office.   When my walks got interrupted you know I was on the road and not home! I started enjoying entering my walk data, watching the kilometers accumulate and realizing that I actually looked forward to the morning data entry routine! I had downloaded Runkeeper for my iphone a while back but my iphone crashed and killed all my apps and has since been refusing to sync – more on my iphone battles later but suffice it to say that this old iphone’s days are numbered!

So how does this bring me to improving my running? Well simple: I am interested in building mileage and would like to see my average weeks include 50 to 70 kilometers in a combination of walking and running. When I manage to commute to the office daily, that’s almost 50 kilometers in a week (provided I walk both to the office and back home). And any running that I do tops that off! So that’s what I call building mileage. I am not focused on how quickly I can run or walk to the office but focused on doing it every day. Once that routine and discipline is set in stone, I will start looking at how to improve my time.

There is something pretty awesome about discovering the city you live in by commuting to work and re-seeing all the buildings and streets that you take for granted when driving. Walking brings me closer to my city. I also get to discover awesome graffiti along the way and the odd abandoned objects.

So here is to building a 70 kilometer week! And how is your commute going?






I am a big fan of Ramen noodles. And today I am having a giant bowl of Ramen in the TinEye HQ. If you are a big fan of Ramen then you will love these ramen hacks! Mine today contains peas, green onions, line and sesame oil!

The magic ingredient in startups

Thanks to Werner Vogel tweet last night I got reminded of 37signals 2008 presentation and this gem:

“We completed years of research in the startup world and figured out the secret: charging for your product leads to profits.”

oh I am pretty sure that’s too simple and there’s got to be a “got you” there. I mean it can’t be that easy right?


[Photography by jaxxon]