Digital Estate

my lasting imprint online

Posts Tagged ‘Memories’

Canadian and American Startup Investors

Posted by Paul on May 3, 2009

Lucky To Be On This Side of The Pond

I recently visited the UK and attended a few entrepreneurial and networking style events. They had somewhat of a similar feel to the events on the west coast of Canada, with one exception – the impression I left with was that I am lucky to live where I do.

Small business support for tech and innovative initiatives is far more limited back across the pond. In 2 short weeks back in Canada, I have met with some great Seattle connections, had lunch and talked with the NRC about IRAP and youth funding, visited with Monica Moore at Telefilm about the Canada New Media Fund and another team member had a successful meeting to discuss MITACS. Coming up in Vancouver we have Pop Vox, the Vancouver International Partnering Forum (VIPF), not to mention Launch Party and a number of other entrepreneurial networking events.

I have only been in Vancouver for 5 years so I am not sure how long this has been happening, but right now there seems to be a hive of startup initiatives, events and tech players. With great companies like Bootup Labs reaching across the border and into US VC land, the barriers come down even further. For a growing tech company like arcalife its key that we don’t hit dead ends when we are just starting to get some major traction. What’s great to see is that people like Brad Feld are prepared to embrace the concept that open borders on tech and investment is the way forward. Despite the differing risks levels in Vancouver versus the Valley mentioned at Beers With Brad last week, we do have a few things on our side : Geographical and time proximity, similar perspectives on the market, a shared history of successes and failures and openness of communication.

For the UK, US contact I suspect requires more work to acquire and are therefore more closely guarded – exactly what is not required for a rapid flow of new and exciting ideas. I am happy to be home again.

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Posted in Ancestry, arcalife, arcalife.com, Digital Assets, Digital Estate, Digital Legacy, Entrepreneurs, Family History, family tree, Genealogy, Investors, Startups, Venture Capital | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Your Digital Estate: arcalife Heading to Who Do You Think You Are in the UK

Posted by Paul on February 24, 2009

wdytyaThe coming week is an exciting prospect for arcalife.com. After months of work we finally get to air our wares to a large group of genealogists at Who Do You Think You Are in Olympia, London. The title of the show got me to thinking about just that exact thing.

Who do we think we are as a company, heading into a market that’s is very well established with some ostensibly successful companies ?

At least two clear messages keep coming back at me from the conversations I am having online and face to face, with those engaged in this space:

  • The first goes along the lines of the conversation I had this week with Tamura Jones; while the more established companies are doing well, there is significant room for improvement. It’s not always clear to those immersed in this world what those improvements should be, but as a company and as relative outsiders, I believe that we have an objective to feel as to what those gaps are.
  • The second is derived more from the grass roots or amateur family historian; no-one seems to have yet combined the social aspects of family, with the content richness of life and the ability to do research all in one spot.

arcalife-logo-betaI know that we have the tools, offerings and ideas to become highly successful in this space. Our intention is to build a community that is truly invested in immortalizing its memories and experiences on line, and bring together the idea of family in the past, the present and the future.

It remains to be seen how well, and how quickly our potential members will take to what we have done, and indeed the extent to which we can raise our voices above the cacophony. The opportunity to test our vision with the people that matter, is what makes this such an exciting coming week in the UK. Outside pundits and tech commentators, on shows like Spark, Digital Planet, Click and Get Connected seem to be aligned with the vision of a lasting Digital Estate, to immortalize your memories online, and consequently we are receiving attention from that community.

Hopefully that means that the timing is right for wider support. On a personal level, I cannot think of much that would be more rewarding than realizing this vision ……. and the things I can think of, are all to do with family and friends.

Posted in Ancestry, arcalife, arcalife.com, Conference, Digital Estate, Digital Legacy, Event, Family History, family tree, Genealogy, Media, Memories, Social Networks, WDYTYA, Who Do You Think You Are | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Room For More

Posted by Paul on February 18, 2009

AmberShortly after making the decision to create a place in my life for a child, I started to consider my own place in the world. All the usual questions about contribution to society and personal success or failure came to mind. One question stuck: what would life be like for my kid when I wasn’t around? What legacy would I leave my offspring?

The obvious answers came first: I’d like for my daughter to be a good person, well educated, financially secure, and culturally aware.  So I built those goals into the long term plan, made a will and was satisfied….. that I had somewhat missed the point.  After that, I added all the precious items and memorabilia that I had acquired during my life and travels to my will.  This improved the situation a little and my mind turned to the important business of bottles and bouncing babies.

It was a short while later that my mother was diagnosed with bowel cancer, and the final piece of the puzzle dropped into view. The only things that really count are the memories, experiences and wisdom that are left behind. Typically when we think about heirlooms, we think about the tangible, but when you peel back the layers it’s the memories that you associate with these objects that bind you to them, rather than their aesthetics.

We have a unique opportunity, (a moment in history if you like), to harness the power of the nascent information age, and apply it to enhancing our emotional wealth. Having access to a family Digital Estate and all the wealth of wisdom and knowledge contained in it, is a powerful asset for our children in understanding and integrating into a complex society.  I, for one believe that in a world where the pace of change is so rapid knowing where you come from is as important as where you are headed.

In a recent interview on the CBC Radio show Spark, I talked with Nora about how the gift we leave to future generations can be a testament to our openness and a true recognition of the importance of a richer cultural and personal life record.

Sound a little cliché? Well maybe it is; but then isn’t life sometimes? with it’s mix “run of the mill” and almost unbelievable variation –  the question asked by Dominic on the Spark blog is, “… are we doing a good enough job at immortalizing our lives online?”   My question is, don’t future generations deserve to receive something that reflects the full range of our experiences from a unique point in our life history?

Posted in Ancestry, arcalife, arcalife.com, Digital Assets, Digital Estate, Digital Legacy, Family History, family tree, Genealogy, Memories, Social Networks | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »