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Michael Hyatt, president of BlueCat Networks.

Cheeman Leung

Michael Hyatt: founder and CEO of BlueCat Networks, an international provider of network solutions for visibility, management and control of IP infrastructure, including DNS/DHCP:

1. When building a technology-based asset, great market comes first, then people, then product, in that order. It's all about great management in a great market. As a market matures, the product becomes more important. Great investors can supplement great management.

2. Where there is mystery, there is margin. Most people build "features," not products – a major point of failure. The "when" has less to do with the "who" and "what."

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3. Try to stay in the majority seat when it comes to funding. The terms are as or more important than valuation. Ask yourself: "Who do you want to be stuck in a foxhole with?" Like any relationship you really need to like the partners because there will be plenty of tough times.

Value is an art, not a science. The best valuations (for innovative, technology-based companies) come from competitive terms sheets, and likely from American VC's, not Canadian.

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