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The Globe’s series Decision Makers profiled companies that took successful action in a competitive global digital economy. Here are five that made their mark.

Mark O’Connell, president and chief executive officer of the Interac Association: ‘We had to get it right. We’re the backbone of Canada’s debit payment system.’ (Photo: Interac)

Interac’s tap-and-pay launch had to be done right

We do more than five billion transactions a year, so a bad decision could affect the GDP of Canada.
Mark O’Connell, president and chief executive officer of the Interac Association
Stuart Lombard, founder of Toronto-based Ecobee Inc., a smart, WiFi-enabled thermostat company. (Photo: Michelle Siu/The Globe and Mail)

‘You can’t outspend Google,’ so smaller company Ecobee turns to other strategies

We’re not going to win by having a better Super Bowl ad than Google. But where we’re going to win is by having a better customer experience.
Stuart Lombard, founder Toronto-based smart-thermostat maker Ecobee Inc.
Frank + Oak chief executive officer and co-founder Ethan Song: ‘The big question was … when and how [to introduce women’s wear].’ (Photo: Richmond Lam/Frank + Oak)

Frank and Oak’s millennial look now also for women

Retail companies have to start thinking like media companies, and media companies have to start thinking like retail companies.
Ethan Song, chief executive officer and co-founder of Montreal-based retailer Frank + Oak
Mike Silagadze, co-founder and chief executive officer of Top Hat Inc.: ‘Most people we talked to were very skeptical about our marketing approach.’ (Photo: Top Hat)

Sales took off after Top Hat ignored advice and flipped its sales strategy

Most people we talked to were very skeptical about our marketing approach; they thought it wouldn’t work. If we’d listened to outsiders it would have been a terrible idea because they would have told us not to do it.
Mike Silagadze, co-founder and chief executive officer of Top Hat Inc.
Paolo Kalaw, 49, now runs Nimbyx Ltd., an “online connector” and marketplace that bridges dental practices, labs and distributors through management software and cloud storage. (Photo: Darryl Dyck/The Globe and Mail)

Workaholic left 80-hour weeks, only to return to the game after a chance meeting

We make it affordable for them to compete with large multinationals.
Paolo Kalaw, chief executive officer, Vancouver-based Nimbyx Ltd.
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