World Headquarters is in the process of moving from greater Toronto to greater Halifax, Nova Scotia – not exactly a hub of activity in the digital signage business, but close proximity to our grown kids.
We’re going from a city of 8 million people, stupidly inflated real estate prices (we cashed out) and increasingly ugly traffic, to a city about 5% the size that’s right on the Atlantic and has the kind of music, food and social scenes reminiscent of places like Nashville, Austin and Portland, OR.
There are a pile of digital signage software, hardware and solutions companies in Southern Ontario and none that I know of in pretty much all of the Canadian Maritimes (save Screenscape in beautiful PEI), so I am leaving an epicentre and driving into a business black hole. But most of what I do is virtual and remote, so as long as I have fast and reliable Internet, I’m golden.
I was a little worried about connectivity at what will be my new home office and World HQ, but it turns out that even on an acreage 10 minutes south of Halifax I’ll have, I am told, 300 Mbps up and down via fiber. Yay.
I also hope to start building up a bit of a community out there, as there are AV integrators who do signage here and there, and lots of potential end-users in a region that I only see growing. I think more people like me will cash out of Toronto. Halifax has sooo many universities cranking out smart young people who won’t be interested in leaving anymore to live in Toronto or Vancouver, where they’d need a $100K income to even think about owning a shoebox condo. Better to stay home and build their own companies and careers, and still have non-work lives.
It will be more than a little weird to be in a time zone later than East Coast U.S., with four hours difference with the west coast, and same the other way for the UK. Halifax has a great airport (though way the hell out from downtown), so getting places is not that much of an issue. Just means connections instead of non-stops.
Moving means I am shutting down for a while to deal with all that, including necessary stuff like breaking down my desk and packing my printer, endless cables and power bars, and the rest of the office debris. We’re 95% packed, but …
I have banked a bunch of interviews from InfoComm, so weekly podcasts will continue without interruption.
I will post if big stuff comes up, but will mostly be off the grid from today and for the next 2 or 3 weeks. There will be a few days in between houses when I may have time, but I may also get “the look” if I crack my laptop after promising to genuinely take some time off. I think I’ve had 37 flights since Jan. 1, so downtime is attractive.
Back by mid-July. Happy Canada Day. Happy Independence Day. Happy other national holidays in other places.
Dave Haynes is the founder and editor of Sixteen:Nine, an online publication that has followed the digital signage industry for some 14 years. Dave does strategic advisory consulting work for many end-users and vendors, and also writes for many of them. He’s based near Halifax, Nova Scotia, on Canada’s east coast.