What's a Dream Worth?


"What's a dream worth?" my father would ask.  He introduced me to the concept that ideas matter, and that inspired me.  

Dreams are the life blood of industry. Industry is the life blood of the country, and so on.  Like my father, I became an 'idea guy', and to this day I consider myself an 'idea guy'. 

The Conversation, oilmen, Calgary, AB

The Conversation, oilmen, Calgary, AB

In fact, being the 'idea guy' I am the progenitor of almost all the business I've been involved in. I regularly polish the 'idea guy' trophy. Like the Inca progenitors, I stride forth from the entrance - master of all I control.

I founded a successful oil and gas company, growing it from nothing to $180 million in value in just 4 years. It's not the largest company I've been involved with, but it was a fascinating project.

Wonderland, Calgary, AB

Wonderland, Calgary, AB

We were in the business of energy, specializing in drilling and production of natural gas. We were a key player in the advancement of many technologies that became significant worldwide. 


I was happy with my part- remember I was the 'idea guy'. To be more specific I did the earth science-picking locations that led to successful drilling programs. Also, I was a leader in a multitude of other corporate requirements-but it was the science that I really loved. Deciphering the mysteries of Gaia.

One day my business partner proclaimed, "I drilled 65 wells last quarter with a 95% success rate." Honestly, that really bit into my ego, as I doubt my partner would have known the locations that we drilled. Let alone the scientific research, seismic, gas chromatography, drilling, completion, and a long list of other earth science skills required.

At the drilling rig, in the conversation with representatives from service companies, our drilling consultant said, "I drilled 65 wells last quarter with a 95% success rate." Apparently, our company issued a press release.

Then my good friend on the service rig, an excellent completions consultant said, "I drilled 65 Wells last quarter with a 95% success rate."

I heard the phrase repeated by our accountants, then the consulting lawyers that we used, our student geological hire, the IT guy, and once even from our janitor. No doubt our stock brokers, investment bankers (backing our company), said the same thing over a shot of whiskey or two. As did our shareholders at the morning coffee shop.

Liars! The bunch of irrelevant liars. I was the idea guy - the progenitor, the first-person singular nominative case personal pronoun, "I", belonged to me and "me!" alone. After all, it was my dream, and my ideas.

I became trapped in my Little-Red-Hen psychosis. Even today, the thought of sharing the credit as I write this, quite honestly stings a bit. I guess I missed that class on sharing in kindergarten .

Life went on and we sold the company (did you notice I didn't say 'I"?). A lot of people made a lot of money. All of us went our different ways, on different projects, with various levels of success. I do wish we would've held that company together for a little bit longer, as I always wanted to build a billion-dollar company. The group that bought us out, accomplished that goal a few months later, this was back in the heady days of oil and gas.

These days, I find myself in Vancouver, where I wandered into an interesting business incubator called Kickstart Catalyst. Originally, I came here looking for cheap office space, and a good quality printer to share. I've had many offices before and I loath the massive expense and presumptuousness of most offices. Kickstart has been rewarding and a good economic experience. A frugal Scottish man's delight, as far as expense.


More importantly, Kickstart has shown me a new model that takes the 'I' out of business development and replaces it with 'we'. And it does so in the most crucial period of business development, the beginning years. Now everybody becomes 'idea guy'. Every morning we gather the entrepreneurs, 'pseudopreneurs', and veterans of the catalyst space to spark a Scrum.

What is Scrum?

Scrum teams focus on results not effort. Scrum is a principle-based framework for continuous learning that focuses on maximizing value delivery instead of effort.  Scrum is a team-based approach to delivering value to the business. Team members work together to achieve a shared business goal. 

Here at Kickstart Catalyst, we have taken this concept and applied it to our co-working members, such that even solo entrepreneurs or consultants can benefit from this amazing concept. Our SCRUM meetings are open to the public for free, twice a day at 11am & 6pm.
— Jay, Kickstart Scrum Master

The greater concept SCRUM falls under the Agile project management method, which is like using a LEAN business model for tackling large projects. Perfect for a startup launch or software development.  Since 2001 agile has been used to describe project management approaches based on the LEAN principles applied so effectively at Toyota.

Why Use SCRUM?

  • Over 32% of traditional projects fail to meet time and budget. Agile is an alternative approach.   
  • SCRUM also has a 300% success rate over traditional project management tactics
  • Increase quality by regular, rapid feedback
  • Focused on individuals and interactions over processes and tools
  • Come join us, get feedback, and help and meet fellow entrepreneurs and business owners who can help you succeed faster. 

Kickstart Catalyst is located in Vancouver, BC. Find out more information about SCRUM and Agile Project Management by contacting Kickstart. I guess the verdict is still out whether this will be a success in my case.