Reddit co-founder’s suicide has tech startup world soul-searching
The recent suicide of Reddit co-founder and Internet rabble-rouser Aaron Swartz has caused a lot of reaction and soul-searching, including the tech startup world talking more about depression among entrepreneurs, reports this piece in Inc.
The piece notes that entrepreneurs are generally seen as having an upbeat outlook, but, it asks: “Could it be that everyone has it backwards, and entrepreneurs are, in fact, especially susceptible to depression? Some seem to think so.”
The personality types drawn to entrepreneurship, the pressures associated with starting a business, and the hopes of success may all contribute, the piece suggests, adding that “rising above depression means, more than anything, conquering that fear of failure.”
It’s a topic that Foundry Group managing director and author Brad Feld also addresses here on Business Insider, raising the issues of depression and divorce among entrepreneurs. “I’ve been speaking from experience on each of these topics, as I’ve struggled with anxiety and depression my entire adult life,” he writes.
This CNN story also notes the discussion about depression that’s been sparked by Mr. Swartz, saying “Silicon Valley doesn't generally nurture the sick.”
Perhaps there are some helpful hints in another Inc. piece that offers up 15 ways to be happier at work.
CFIB hands its Golden Scissors Award to Gail Shea
Who’s best at cutting through the red tape in Ottawa? National Revenue Minister Gail Shea, according to the Canadian Federation of Independent Business, which handed her its ‘Golden Scissors’ Award for this year.
Wrapping up its fourth annual Red Tape Awareness Week, the CFIB recognized reforms she has made to improve the Canada Revenue Agency’s service to small business. Those cited included improvements to the CRA’s My Business Account online portal and more accountability for advice issued by the CRA, “even when it is found to be incorrect.”
Honourable mentions went to: MP Rob Moore, Treasury Board president Tony Clement and Minister of State for Small Business and Tourism Maxime Bernier for leading the federal Red Tape Reduction Commission; Alison Redford, Brad Wall and Christy Clark, the premiers of Alberta, Saskatchewan and British Columbia, for creating common business licensing rules through the New West Partnership; and Nancy MacLellan, executive director for service delivery for Service Nova Scotia, for introducing BizPaL and improving service standards.
KEY EVENTS AND DATES
For a sneak preview of Cause a Disturbance: If You Can Slice Melon or Make a Right-Hand Turn, You Can Be a Breakthrough Innovator, a book on innovation by Ken Tencer and John Paulo Cardoso slated to be released later this year, head to MaRs Discovery District in Toronto on Jan. 28. The event, co-presented by Spyder Works Inc., Farber Financial Group and Landmark Communications, will feature a keynote speech by Mr. Tencer, followed by a Q&A. For more information, click here.
Business venture competitions
There’s still time to apply to two business venture competitions. The annual TiEQuest competition held in Toronto and aimed at encouraging entrepreneurship, will award more than $150,000 in prizes and an opportunity to win up to $1-million in investment from sponsoring funds. Its deadline for entry is Jan. 31.
The fifth annual Venture London business competition, recognizing new businesses in the region, is also accepting applications, offering a total of $50,000 in cash, prizes and business acceleration help. There are two categories in the competition: startups in their pre-launch or early phases, and existing businesses, which have been operating for one to three years. The application deadline is Feb. 7; winners will be announced at an awards presentation in April.
EDITOR’S PICKS FROM REPORT ON SMALL BUSINESS
Elvis obsession fills two rooms of collector’s home
The Splurge: Branko Kavcic, founder of Brado Precision Machines & Tool, has amassed an Elvis Presley memorabilia collection on which he’s spent close to $100,000, not counting the cost of his crown jewel, the first prototype of the famed Stutz Blackhawk car that The King adored. For a closer look at his collection, check out this photo gallery .
FROM THE ROSB ARCHIVES
I feel good in James Brown’s PJs
That’s what the Magen brothers could say after the twin owners of Magen Boys Entertainment purchased a collection of the legendary bad boy singer’s clothing and keyboard at auction, we reported in this Splurge in May, 2011. Here are photos from their collection.
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