Belgian Beer Rocks

A Montreal Gazette article this morning tells us about the world’s biggest brewer. Perhaps you haven’t heard about Inbev. That’s the combination of Interbrew of Belgium and South American Ambev. They had a great year in 2004 unlike Molson who suffered in South America and with Coors now form the fifth largest brewer in the world. Inbev owns Labatts.

So have you had any Inbev beer lately. They also are the makers of Beck’s and Stella Artois. Where’s the best place in Montreal to sample Belgian beers? Perhaps you’ll find it in a list of the best beers in Montreal or in the Montreal Beer Guide. There are quite a number of locations, both in and around the city.
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Congratulations, Yahoo! … and thanks for the free ice-cream

Yahoo! is celebrating its 10th anniversary today. In a number of countries including Canada, you can get a free ice-cream from Baskin-Robbins. You just go to the Yahoo website and print out your coupon. That certainly is an indicator of just how tough the Search business is becoming.

P.S. Since the offer was only for March 2nd, you will now find the link takes you to a great 10 year retrospective of Yahoo!s history.

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A Great Montrealer, Carlo Oronato Catelli

The CBC this morning was suggesting that following a recent Greatest Canadian contest, it was appropriate to have a Greatest Montrealer contest. Dr Victoria Dickenson, Executive Director of the McCord Museum, here in Montreal, had a slightly surprising suggestion. She nominated Carlo Oronato Catelli. He established Canada’s first pasta plant in Old Montreal in 1867. That was the year of Canadian Confederation, Canada’s birth date. Catelli’s first products were hand-made vermicelli and macaroni.

There have been many Great Montrealers, but this suggestion is very appropriate. Montreal is the most multi-cultural of cities with a very strong Italian component. Mr. Catelli created a supreme example of the interesting mix of businesses, very many of them over 100 years of age, that are here. These complement well the multitude of successful high-tech businesses that are added every year.

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Oscar-winning "Ryan", a tribute to a real Montrealer

The headline says it all, “Montreal Panhandler Inspires Oscar-Winning Film“. Chris Landreth, the animator who created “Ryan,” describes the film as an animated documentary. It depicts the damage that life has wreaked on the creative spirit of Ryan Larkin, a pioneering Canadian animator. He was himself honored with an Academy Award nomination in 1979 for his short animated film “En marchant.”

To me this story is symptomatic of the richness of Montreal. There’s so many real people here, and sometimes with very human faults. However it’s not surprising that Montreal is such a fertile breeding ground for creativity and an envigorating home base for so many creative people. So congratulations to Chris Landreth and also to Ryan Larkin. We’re proud of your accomplishment.

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YesMontreal, YES Montreal, Yes Indeed

I see from Mitch Joel’s blog that the 8th YES Entrepreneurship Conference is taking place on March 12, 2005. Full details can be found at the YES Conference web page. This is a very worthwhile activity and should receive all our support. Getting young people into the work-force is a tough challenge and it’s toughest of all to do it by setting up your own business. YES has the following mission:

Youth Employment Services is a non-profit community organization that delivers English-language job search and self-employment services to Quebecers.

Previous versions of this Conference have been fully subscribed and there seems no reason to think that this won’t do even better.

I think Yes Montreal is a great name for this endeavour. I think there’s a lesson there for all those budding entrepreneurs. Try to get your company name so that it clearly expresses the Unique Selling Proposition (USP) that you’re offering to your clients. Don’t go for some neutral word like say Monday, as happened in one of the biggest corporate name blunders I’ve seen. Your company or agency name can do wonders in selling your company.

YES – Youth Employment Services. That’s an excellent acronym. Although it’s tough to “own” YES on the Internet. Google knows of over 76 million web pages related to the word, ‘Yes’. YES Montreal came #27 this morning but that means you’re a bit lost in the crowd. However the name of this agency is YES Montreal and they come up #1 for that. They also have the domain, www.yesmontreal.ca, That’s as good as it gets. Chapeau to those who thought up that name. I would also encourage all to use the full name, YES Montreal, whenever you talk about it. You don’t want to run the slightest risk of getting lost in that huge Internet crowd.

So all best wishes to this year’s event. I trust next year we’ll see an even bigger 9th YES Montreal Entrepreneurship Conference.

Related Books:
For information on interesting Montreal places to visit, see
Frommer’s Montreal & Quebec City 2009 Guide (Frommer’s Complete)
or
Montreal & Quebec City For Dummies (Dummies Travel)

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Think Globally, Act Locally

The very first post in a new blog is somewhat like that poor old centipede’s problem. Which leg do I move first? Which event is enough to push me over the tipping point to start recording my thoughts and reactions. Some may already have visited BPWrap, a blog now running for almost a year on Internet Marketing. That takes a global view of the Internet and Business. It often presents issues from a different point of view than is appearing in the mainstream. In a sense, it reflects the real nature of the Internet. The Internet is international, without boundaries. Ms. A can communicate with Mr. B half way around the world. At the same time, such a blog suffers from the same failing as all Internet-based websites. In a sense it is everywhere, but at the same time in a sense it is nowhere: it is not tightly tied to any one physical place.

In reality, most of our every-day activities are linked to a smaller corner of the world. In some ways the Internet is tremendously efficient at economic communications. However it seems like overkill if I’m trying to communicate with someone two city blocks away. Indeed that is the irony of the Internet but also the challenge. That person two blocks away may have their website hosted 2,000 kilometres away. So what does ‘Local’ mean in Internet terms. The Search Engines are illustrating the difficulty of that ‘Local’ term as they all seek to create some credible form of Local Search.

The challenges of ‘Local’ in Internet terms are one of the key reasons why this new blog sees the light of day. It will be firmly anchored in Montreal and will bring out issues and happenings in Montreal as they affect Business and the Internet. Montreal is a rich, cultural milieu with many resources and, like anywhere else, many challenges.

The best blogs are always the personal reflections of folk who are alive to what is happening. They are often most illuminating when they take a 360 degree view of all that is happening. That 360 degree view is the commitment standing behind this blog.

It’s called ‘The Other Bloke’s Blog’ because that captures the essence of what this blog is about. There is at least one other person calling himself the Blog Bloke on the Internet, so that explains the ‘Other’. Other also reflects the determination to examine issues carefully and bring out what may be missing in the popular views. Bloke is defined rather unkindly by Google as another word for “geezer: a man who is (usually) old and/or eccentric” Be that as it may, it’s used here to signal the author is an ex-Brit who has now been living and working in the manufacturing and services sectors in Montreal for over 35 years.

Montreal is a great place to do business and that will be revealed as future postings are made. So many exciting things happen here that it has been frustrating to wait to get the whole package correct before starting the interesting part: making postings.

For example, there were three triggers that might have been suitable starting posts in the last 14 days. On the 10th of February, we had the great news that the Mayor, G?rald Tremblay, had succeeded in retaining the FINA 2005 World Aquatic Championships to be held in June. It is perhaps the biggest sporting event in Montreal since the 1976 Olympics. On the 16th, the Prime Minister, Paul Martin, announced that Montreal would be the host city for the 11th conference of the parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change in December 2005. Then more personally on the 17th, the Montreal Gazette had a major business article on one of my favourite clients, Frank Ralphs, a composite panel manufacturer for the transportation industry. There are some interesting aspects to that company’s name that will be discussed down the road. Most days there’s something of note that often has important business ramifications. Montreal is on a roll and here you’ll find my take on what a businessperson may find of interest.

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