Chapter Fourteen: Crossing the Border
I’m from Canada, which some people in the US think of as a foreign country (and others more like an American province). I find that living here gives me a unique perspective on this business, as our company is in the mainstream of global enterprise, but also not stuck in a cultural mindset. Plus, our offices are in a small town in Southern Ontario, which helps keep us healthy and sane in a frenetic digital universe, which we’re very much a part of.
I spend a lot of my time in San Francisco and Silicon Valley and was introduced to an organization called the C100, a non-profit run by successful Canadian entrepreneurs in the valley. Their mission is basically to introduce the most successful Canadian entrepreneurs living in Canada to the most successful Canadian entrepreneurs living in the valley. It’s a great organization and we wanted to help them out, so we produced a video for them and they’ve helped make introductions for us.
1% of the Canadian population lives in the Bay Area and our video has led to a lot of business for us and a lot of goodwill, as it plays before all their events, including for large companies like Google, SAP, and Mozilla.
C100 wanted something light and funny to fire up a crowd and create brand recognition for the organization and drive visitors to their website. Since many of the attendees are obviously from Canada, the video plays on the differences between Canadians and Americans, having a little fun at the expense of both nations. Canadians are delighted to make jokes about beer, hockey, and beavers.
This gave us the opportunity to tell a story that was simple, funny, and easy for everyone to access and process, even after a couple of beers.
It’s really inspiring to see our fellow Canadians do so well on an international stage and I’m very proud that the incredible team we’ve built at Switch is a part of helping some of Canada’s most successful entrepreneurs take off in their new ventures.
So a beaver and a bald eagle walk into a bar…