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July Newsletter – Five Years Young

July 7, 2014

Dear Friends and Colleagues,

 

Hard to believe but this month we turn 5 years old!  My how we’ve grown. Birthdays are a good time for self-reflection so I thought I would take a moment and assess how we are progressing.  Rather than look back at our year over year revenues, or quarterly growth, or searches completed, or any number of other commonly tracked performance metrics, I instead decided to ask Siri.

 

“What are the developmental milestones of a 5-year-old?” I asked. Siri dutifully directed me to the www.sheknowsparenting.com website which provided a checklist of developmental mile markers for a 5-year-old.  Suffice to say we are doing better at some than others.

Knows right from wrong

 

Well, generally speaking, yes.  The right candidate for the job?  Yes.  The right mandate to accept or turn down?  Usually.  The decision to order that extra round of Organic Agave Margaritas at PF Changs during our firm retreat in Las Vegas…okay, we’re still young.

 

Doesn’t use adult logic

 

From time to time that has been suggested.

 

Plays make-believe

 

Only at quarter-end and when returning from a pitch and we convince ourselves we ‘nailed it.’

 

Likes to play with friends rather than alone

 

Well, we did invite 500 of our closest friends to our annual rooftop Stampede party.

 

Seeks praise from adults and peers

 

Yes.  Our post-search quality assurance surveys are reviewed by the team and acted upon and we do enjoy receiving the testimonials, thank you notes and referrals.

 

Walks on a balance beam

 

Every single day.

 

Runs in an adult manner

 

Well, if that means somewhat ungracefully and with hip and knee pain, then yes.

 

Can jump rope

 

Rope, no.   Through hoops, yes.

 

Bounces and catches a small-to-medium-sized ball

 

Yes but more accustom to juggling several small-to-medium sized balls at once.

 

Stands on one foot for 10 seconds without swaying

 

Yes, except during Stampede week.

 

Completes 3 sit-ups

 

With a break, yes.

 

Grasps a pencil in an adult manner

 

If that means in a clenched fist while repeatedly jabbing ones own eye, then yes, from time to time.

 

Speaks fluently and uses correct pronouns and plurals

 

Most of the time.   Though we do want to say a special thank you to all those of you who were good enough to point out last month’s spelling of ‘flare’ ‘ludacris’ and the use of ‘drivers licence’ and not ‘driver’s licence’.

 

Wants to conform and may tease those who don’t

 

More on that below.

 

The foregoing demonstrates that we are generally developing at the correct pace for a 5-year-old but the literature also points out that neurologically a 5-year-old’s brain is almost the size of an adult’s but will continue to develop for the next 20 years. Perhaps this explains our approach to the new CASL (anti-spam) legislation.

 

You’ll note that among the barrage of spam-like emails you’ve been receiving seeking your consent to continue receiving more spam-like emails in the name of reducing spam-like emails, we have not sought your consent.   Is it just us or is there a certain irony in all of this? Law firms were first out of the gate warning those on their lists that “the consequences of violating the law including up to $10 million in fines for corporations, personal liability for individual officers and directors, vicarious liability for companies for non-compliant acts of their employees, and after July 1, 2017, possible civil actions” and then, usually in the next paragraph, offering to “help demystify the law and provide practical answers.”   No doubt, for free.  It sort of reminds me of this classic Far Side Cartoon:

 

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And yes, when 2017 roles around and a private right of action gives rise to a whole new industry of “spambulance chasers”, this legislation will become even more burdensome.    If you actually read the legislation, a “commercial electronic message” (a “CEM”) is defined so broadly that, in the words of the legal counsel we sought, “an email from one employee to another offering the sale of Girl Guide Cookies would be considered a CEM.”   Those thin mint ones?   Now that’s a crime. The point is this.   If the legislation protects innocent people from being bilked out of their savings by the Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation wanting to transfer $20 million to the recipient’s bank account, that’s a good thing.   But if the CRTC wants to come after a small business trying to communicate with its friends, colleagues and clients and provide original content, credible thought leadership and hopefully the occasional smile, insight and opinion then I believe it’s flawed.

 

This isn’t just the not-yet-fully-developed brain of a 5 year old speaking; it’s common sense.   Not only do we believe that all of our readers who have thus far chosen not to unsubscribe fall into one or more of the provided exemptions in the legislation but we also feel that our CEM is not intended to encourage the participation of a commercial activity.   We are comfortable taking this position and weighing the business risk of losing 85% of our readers who simply won’t bother to consent, not because they don’t like our newsletter but because the anecdotal evidence suggests that only 15% of all those across all industries seeking consent have been granted it.  We are also just unsure enough about this course of action that we are sending this late on June 30th and not July 1, after the legislation comes into force.  So, while a developmental motor skill we were supposed to have acquired by now includes colouring within the lines and conforming with authority, consider this our version of a 5 year old tantrum.

 

We were actually planning on taking the summer off from newsletter writing in any event.   Our twice-monthly publications are a labour of love and we, like you, are ready for a respite. Our plan is to be back in September and if you have suggestions as to how we could improve or ideas for future articles, we’d love to hear from you.   And, of course, if you’d just prefer to unsubscribe, an offer we’ve made with every edition of this newsletter over the past 5 years, we’d invite you to do so again by clicking here.

 

Have a great summer and please keep an eye for the Pekarsky & Co. feature in the August edition of Business in Calgary magazine.   We’ll be back to you after Labour Day.  By then we’ll be two months older and possibly wise enough to seek your consent.

 

Regards,

 

Adam

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