Matrix Men

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Innovation Night was held last Wednesday at McMaster innovation Park and it was a great success. Solid turnout despite the rain, a variety of interesting pitches and catering that included tiny hamburgers lathered with some strange pink paste. What more could one ask for in a night out?

This being my first Innovation Night, I couldn’t help but be intrigued by the diversity of the presenters with regards to backgrounds and skill sets. Being in the “Startup Weekend” frame of mind, I started noticing a pattern. The best ideas were not all that well delivered. The speaker was often soft-spoken, obviously nervous or fast-talked. Some of the middle-of-the-road ideas seemed much better than they actually were because they were delivered by strong, confident public speakers. To cap it all off, there were actually two different awards given out; one for the best idea and another for best presentation. But wouldn’t it be nice to have a great presentation AND a great idea?! It all comes back to everybody’s favourite buzz word, “synergy.” Enter Startup Weekend…

Hypoethetical situation: “The Architect” from The Matrix Trilogy knows he has the programming capability to get rich. He has tonnes of ideas and is barely able to keep them all organized because his genius creative mind is going too fast. What we can tell from his ivy-league lexicon and long-winded, condescending ramblings is that he is not the most charismatic or endearing public speaker. He needs some help pitching his new innovation “Matrix Squared” to investors.

In walks Don Draper (John Hamm’s character from Mad Men; hopefully this isn’t too much of a genre stretch) wearing his fanciest suit. He has an air of confidence to him that is immediately apparent. He is charismatic and confident, so much so that you would believe any statement he makes to be fact. The Architect introduces himself and tells Don about his idea. Don gathers the rest of the Mad Men to spend the next 54 hours with The Architect to develop the product and design a business plan and presentation. The Architect comes through with the best product, Don delivers the best presentation, and the newly formed “Matrix Men” go on to be multi-millionaires.

The moral of the story is that a jack-of-all-trades is a master of none and the greatest outcomes are achieved through complementary partnerships. Come out and get your synergy on at Startup Weekend. Only a couple more days to get tickets!