One thing is certain. The film and TV production industry may be small but it has amazing heft for its size. The entire film and TV production industry in New Brunswick represents 0.048 percent of the GDP but I have gotten more calls, emails and blog comments on this in the past few hours than just about any other concept I have thrown out there.
At the risk of alienating one more segment of my readership, I will express my congratulations to the folks over at Radian6 for their sale to Salesforce.com. My first exposure to Marcel Lebrun was during my short lived stint at NBTel. Lebrun was Gerry Pond’s protege and that status combined with a good management team has led to the sale today – I have no idea what the ownership structure was but my suspicion is there are a number of new millionaires in the province tonight.
This is wealth creation folks.
The reason this seemingly positive event is likely to generate additional rotten tomatoes in my direction is that a number of my peers do not like foreign companies gobbling up our best and brightest firms – moving the decision making out of the province. They bemoan the loss of decision making here and see this kind of thing as weakening the province.
While I readily admit that decision making does migrate out of the province, what we have witnessed is an unlocking of capital – much of which will be put to good use in New Brunswick. How many IT firms in New Brunswick with interesting ideas have gone under and all that goodwill was destroyed? I can name a dozen firms right off the top. This is one, Radian6, that made it and we should be happy.
It now becomes the job of economic developers to make sure Salesforce.com continues to grow the NB operation. Just like Oracle, or GTech or RIM – when they make a buy in New Brunswick it flows new capital down here and plugs us into the big, global tech firms.
We need to embrace this. Hopefully, there will be firms that eventually do the acquiring and become the next McCain Foods from New Brunswick. But in the meantime, I’ll celebrate this stuff.