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Unicorn in the Woods

Unicorn in the Woods

264 pages
Published:   September 22, 2020
Non-Fiction  /  Biography & Memoir
Hardcover:   9781773101514   $29.95

As tech investors the world over search for elusive unicorns (start-ups valued at over $1 billion), acclaimed business journalist Gordon Pitts asks whether there can be a place for high-tech innovation and unicorn-like value creation outside of major urban centres, whether in Atlantic Canada, rust-belt New York, or Northern Ontario.

Journeying back to the origins of Radian6 and Q1 Labs — two New Brunswick companies that sold for a combined $1 billion — in the basements and offices of a group of geeks and dreamers, Pitts tells a story of two remarkable companies and the legacies that continue to this day. But theirs was not a simple tale of overnight success; there were sellouts and firings, comebacks and vindication, and still unfulfilled promise.

This is a story of high-tech value creation far from Silicon Valley, a story of the mythical unicorn in the woods. Are the stories of Radian6 and Q1 Labs outliers, rogue datapoints that should be discarded, or the foundation for a new knowledge economy outside of the mainstream?
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Author

Gordon Pitts is a former senior writer for the Globe and Mail’s Report on Business. He is the author of seven books, including The Codfathers: Lessons from the Atlantic Business Elite and Stampede: The Rise of the West and Canada’s New Power Elite, winner of a National Business Book Award.

Reviews

"Gordon Pitts, the dean of Canadian business storytelling, expertly maps out how a province with ‘too much infrastructure and not enough people’ produced not one but two of Canada’s most successful start-ups of the early 2010s. " — Sean Silcoff

"The behind-the-scenes skinny on one of the most compelling Atlantic Canadian business sagas in recent memory. Gordon Pitts provides entrepreneurs with a roadmap for what is possible when ambition and smarts meet opportunity, regardless of geography." — John DeMont

"You can’t beat Gordon Pitts. No guff, straight-up, Pitts always gets to the guts of things and keeps the story moving. Unicorn in the Woods is an engrossing read for anyone interested in the future of Canadian innovation and the promise of a new age of prosperity for a part of the country looking to write a proud new chapter in its economic history." — Howard Green

"A must read for the thousands of entrepreneurs building their companies, progressive policy makers, and business and community leaders. It’s also a real story about the challenges and excitement of building new ideas and new companies in emerging markets." — Annette Verschuren, OC

"Gordon Pitts has written a remarkable, readable book on a nerdy subject." — JDI Roundtable

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