If you're wondering why The Record has been running fewer local business articles lately, it's because yours truly and fellow business reporter Rose Simone have been working hard on features for The Record's annual Technology Spotlight magazine.
Tech Spotlight, which will be published near the end of October, has been going for about 15 years and is full of features and photos on the latest and greatest tech companies in Waterloo Region and area.
It's a massive effort with most articles being written by local freelancers. The whole enterprise is capably led by our business editor Ron Deruyter.
Last year's edition contained 35 different features.
During eight years contributing to Tech Spotlight, I have penned articles on a slew of interesting local companies including BlackBerry (more than one), Christie Digital, Dalsa, Google, Captec Americas, Lone Wolf Real Estate Technologies, Tangam Systems and Com Dev International.
I've also done issue stories on raising capital, tech failures, the Accelerator Centre, the brain gain and the impact of Conestoga College on the local tech community.
I can still remember one of my first interviews for Tech Spotlight in 2005. It was with Gerry Remers, the chief executive officer of Christie Digital. He spoke so fast and used so much technical jargon to describe the company's digital projectors, I soon resolved to tape every interview going forward.
A few years later, I was all set to interview BlackBerry co-founder and co-CEO Mike Lazaridis by phone for a feature on the company. His communications assistant contacted me the day before and suggested I lead off with a question about the future of the smartphone industry.
Naturally I followed her instructions. Lazaridis seemed momentarily confused, then changed the subject to BlackBerry's contributions to the local community. So much for the script.
One of my more interesting interviews was with Savvas Chamberlain, founder of the digital imaging company Dalsa, now Teledyne Dalsa. When I arrived at his home, he subjected me to a five-minute harangue on the incompetence of most journalists.
Once he had gotten that out of his system, the interview proceeded quite smoothly.
Several key sources have come to my aid over the years to put issues in perspective and suggest ideas. Two who stand out in this regard are jack of all trades and tech sage Randall Howard and veteran tech entrepreneur Yvan Couture.