Showing posts from October, 2019

Beating the Odds in Venture Capital With Canadian Technology Pioneer, Norm Francis

Entrepreneur Norm Francis was sitting pretty during the Dot Com boom, and even attended a private dinner once at Bill Gates’ house. Francis co-founded and sold a top accounting software for the early personal computer era, then created one of the leading Customer Relationship Management (“CRM”) software companies. But his biggest venture success began as a bust, and provides a valuable lesson to budding entrepreneurs: play the long game, and do right by your investors. A tablet software startup Francis co-founded in 1991, PenMagic, attracted backing from famed venture capitalists Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers (“Kleiner”). Hardware could not keep up with PenMagic software, and by 1994 the company was running out of steam. Rather than fold and start over, Francis and his team pivoted to CRM software and rebranded as Pivotal Corporation, keeping old investors along for the ride. Pivotal went on to enjoy tremendous success in the late 1990s, IPOd on the NASDAQ, and was later acquire