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In Pictures: Stuck in neutral? It may be time to shell out for top talent

Andrew Waitman, CEO of Pythian Group Inc., says that paying out for top talent can help companies expand. "If you can’t afford [top hires], you stay stalled in a mom and pop business," he says.

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Andrew Waitman is the CEO of Pythian Group Inc., a data base administration company based in Ottawa.

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Pythian represents the new generations of new companies of small businesses that goes global immediately, says Mr. Waitman.

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More than 70 per cent of the company's 200+ employees work in 22 countries.

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In its first 10 years, Pythian was innovative and had a respectable 15 per cent growth a year. But a conflict between founders over the future of the company eventually hit a critical juncture.

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There’s a point in the growth of a startup where the management responsibilities reach the limit of the person or partners who founded it, Mr. Waitman says in Wallace Immen's article for It Starts with One.

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Mr. Waitman calls it "the million dollar paradox."

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In Canada, significant growth also often means expanding into larger markets, like the United States or Europe, which requires experience and skills the entrepreneur isn’t likely to have.

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"At some point you need an experienced executive and several other key staff who can cost you a total of about $1-million in compensation. If you can’t afford them, you stay stalled in a mom and pop business," he says.

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