Tank Talks
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Globe & Mail's Sean Silcoff On The Evolution Of Canadian Business and Tech Media

Globe & Mail's Sean Silcoff On The Evolution Of Canadian Business and Tech Media

Episode 139

Elements that make up a strong startup ecosystem are founders and talent to execute the vision, investors with capital, and finally journalists that are documenting what the founders and investors are doing. Without that coverage, it’s difficult to attract more founders and more investors which are needed to create a vibrant ecosystem that will hopefully have a larger impact on society.

Our guest today is Sean Silcoff a business reporter at the Globe and Mail covering the Canadian startup scene. Sean’s book, Losing the Signal: The Untold Story Behind the Extraordinary Rise and Spectacular Fall of BlackBerry, which he wrote with his co-author Jackie McNish in 2013 was turned into a feature film starring Glenn Howerton and Jay Baruchel. I’ve seen it, and it’s such a great take on the rise and fall of RIM.

We also have a news breakdown with John Ruffolo.

About Sean Silcoff:
Sean Silcoff writes about technology and innovation for the Globe and Mail. He is the winner of three National Newspaper Awards and is the co-author of Losing the Signal: the Spectacular Rise and Fall of BlackBerry, which was released in May 2015. Losing the Signal won Canada’s National Business Book Award and was shortlisted for the International Financial Times & McKinsey Business Book of the Year. Sean joined the Globe and Mail in January 2012; he previously worked as a columnist and Montreal correspondent for the National Post and as a staff writer at Canadian Business Magazine.

In this episode we discuss:

(00:01:11) News recap with John Ruffolo
(00:19:25) Sean’s journey to becoming a tech journalist
(00:28:02) How Sean ended up conecting and covering with CEOs
(00:33:57) Dealing with high-profile people off the record
(00:35:45) How Sean’s audience has evolved over the years
(00:37:12) The changes Sean has seen in the Canadian ecosystem in the last 20 years
(00:39:52) Sean’s duty to his readers to report news when it comes to him
(00:40:36) Striving for timelyness and accuracy in a challenging environment
(00:44:08) Why the media missed stories like RenoRun and ClearCo
(00:47:47) Fighting the urge to put opinions in his writing
(00:50:45) Thoughts on the wave of IPOs in 2020 and 2021
(00:54:07) Benefits of being a public small cap Canadian tech company vs. the benefits of staying private for longer
(00:57:58) Will ChatGPT replace journalists
(01:02:55) Writing the story of John Ruffolo’s cycling accident
(01:06:30) Watching his book Losing the Signal become a film
(01:12:09) When Sean gets jaded by the industry

Fast Favorites:

  1. 🎙- Favorite Podcast: Tank Talks, Pivot

  2. 📰- Favorite Newsletter / Blog: Stratechery, Maverix

  3. 📲- Favorite Tech Gadget: Olympus Recorders

  4. 📈- Favorite New Trend: Fluidity

  5. 📚- Favorite Book: Sapiens, Walt Disney, Shoe Dog, The Founder

  6. 🤔 - Favorite Life Lesson: Work hard. There are no shortcuts to ultimate success and satisfaction.

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Tank Talks
Tank Talks By Ripple Ventures
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