One of the many cool things about running this site is the great people you get to meet. The other day I had a chance to speak with Matt Dion of Elastic Path and besides sharing our concerns about Team Canada, we delved into an interesting discussion about the company and the tech industry in Vancouver as whole. Moreover, Elastic Path was kind enough to provide us with two team Canada Jersey’s to giveaway.
The interview and contest details are below:
VcB: Elastic Path came on when the dot com crash was rippling through the tech industry. That must have been difficult to navigate through, how did the company manage, especially since it’s a private company?
Matt: The company survived on the sheer tenacity of the founders Harry Chemko and Mark Williams. Although the dot com crash made it extremely difficult, their desire to run their own business was strong and gave them the motivation to keep going. There is much folklore in the company about those early days. They both worked second jobs, lived at home, ate macaroni and cheese etc. Mark was the sales guy and literally made thousands of cold calls in order to find work. They took work wherever they could find it. There is a story of a contract they took that they though would be a small simple job that turned into much more – at the end of the day when they tallied up the number of hours required to do the job, they ended up earning 30 cents per hour – but had an extremely happy customer at the end of the day!
VcB: You guys work with some really cool clients, VANOC and Hockey Canada being two of them. How did you guys win the bid to become the e-commerce providers for the Vancouver 2010 Olympics?
Matt: We don’t know all the details behind VANOCs process or decision making criteria. We responded to the RFP originally purely as a provider of the ecommerce platform since that was our business model at the time. VANOC expressed that they didn’t have the expertise to just buy the software and do it themselves so they wanted us to respond with a full outsource model. We decided that this would give us a great opportunity to experience what our customers experience when they use our software, allow us to experiment with some ideas we had and hopefully provide us with some extra cash to invest on our business. So far all three have happened and it has been a fun experience as well.
VcB: The name, I assume it represents the flexibility aspect of Elastic Path? Is there a neat story behind the name?
Matt: Yes the name is actually from an engineering term which is “the easiest path to get to where you need to go”. Given our brand promise of providing full flexibility and control, this fits perfectly.
VcB: How many employees in the Vancouver office?
Matt: Approximately 130
VcB: For our readers out there who may be interested in working in this industry, why should they consider Elastic Path? Are you guys hiring?
Matt: Please see the careers section of our website: http://www.elasticpath.com/jobs/
This has lots of insight into our culture, reasons for working here, testimonials from employees and current job openings.
Most of the major downtown hotels are offering special “cheering packages” that include a team Canada jersey, pins, cowbells, scarves, toques etc at a substantial discount. As an added bonus while quantities last, we are offering free red mittens with the packages. People need to see the concierge at the hotels for details.
The following hotels are participating in the special packages:
Fairmont Pacific Rim
The Sutton Place
Hotel Le Soleil
Wedgewood Hotel and Spa
Clu Intrawest Vancouver
The Hotel at Terminal City Club
Coast Plaza Hotel
Executive Hotel Vintage Park
Coast Coal Harbour
Sandman Suites on Davie
Cascadia Hotel & Suites
Quality Hotel Vancouver
Four Seasons Vancouver
La Grande Residence
Delta Vancouver Suites
St. Regis Hotel
The Georgian Court
Best Western Chateau
Hampton Inn and Suites
Sandman Hotel Vancouver
Holiday Inn Hotel and Suites
Elastic Path and Vancity Buzz are giving away two white replica Team Canada jersey’s (size large) approximately retail value $135 each. To enter simply retweet this link @vancitybuzz and @elasticpath. You can also enter via comment, just tell us what your favourite Vancouver 2010 souvenir or piece of clothing is. Contest ends tomorrow at noon.