Prospectus: Disruption more than a catchphrase for Ottawa’s Fastest Growing Companies

Editor's Note

In each issue of the OBJ newsmagazine, publisher Michael Curran gives his prospectus on the city's local economy. In the May edition, he takes a look at the commonalities between the region's fastest-growing companies.

There are many truisms in business. Just check the business book section of your local bookstore. Some ring true, others seem trite.

Students in the fine art of business management need to check out the profiles of Ottawa’s Fastest Growing Companies. (This special OBJ report starts on page 19.)

 

The commonality in these success stories really jumped off the page for me.

Take Rock Networks, for example, which has posted a whopping 5,036 per cent revenue growth over a three-year period. The shift from old-school analog radios to digital is opening up new opportunities in wireless communications.

The runner-up in Fastest Growing Companies is Lightship Security, with 664 per cent revenue growth. This company specializes in security certification for IT hardware such as switches and routers. The company is bringing a radically different and efficient certification method to market.

In third spot is Envolta, with 400 per cent growth. Working in the accounting sector, Envolta is embracing cloud technology to help customers with bookkeeping and related services. Not only is cloud technology making the process much more efficient, but it’s also eliminating traditional geographic barriers, as the firm attracts new clients beyond Ottawa.

For me, the constant theme is disruption.

Each of these three companies (and others on the top-10 list) are working in established industries where incumbents have become perhaps too comfortable.

There is a real lesson in these profiles. Find long-standing pain points for customers and innovate. Break the rules. Embrace new thinking.

Judging from these remarkable stories of revenue growth, it works.

Thanks, LinkedIn

I sometimes wonder about the real benefits of technology. Still, there’s no denying that daily reminders on my smartphone of birthdays and anniversaries are incredibly useful.

This month, April, LinkedIn was kind enough to remind me that I’ve officially hit 20 years at OBJ. Wow. I vividly recall meeting with Mark Sutcliffe and David Luxton, both at the helm of OBJ back in 1999, in the boardroom of our offices on Catherine Street. Together, they laid out a grand vision for OBJ that involved web-only news reporting, radio and TV shows, events, special projects and much more. Well, it all came true. I’m very fortunate to be associated with something that I consider to be a force for good in our city. Thanks to all the well-wishers on LinkedIn.