As a serial entrepreneur, I never had time to follow popular media, or keep an eye on government fiscal and monetary policy. Every ounce of my energy was focused on what mattered most to my staff and customers. I always thought that understanding what was taking place in my industry, and staying ahead of those broad trends would be enough. It should allow me to properly position my product against competitors, adapt quicker, and ultimately win.

The Bigger Picture

And it worked.

In retrospect, I now realize just how lucky I was. I was missing an important part of the bigger picture.


I’ve done my best to boil down all the info we have been analyzing the last 3–4 months into a tool CEO’s can use as part of their efforts to update forecasts.

The infographic below provides a guideline on how we expect G8 governments to phase in normal economic activity. We expect a variance of +/-2 weeks for the G8. G8 will likely prioritize the restart of services with the highest impact on GDP and the lowest public risk. The lowest impact on GDP and the highest public risk will resume operations last.

If your business category is not specifically…

I was unfortunate enough to lose my job in the 2008/2009 great financial crisis. I always wanted to start my own company. This ended up being the best, worse, thing that ever happened to me. It pushed me outside of my comfort zone. It led to building 4+ companies in 10 years. It significantly accelerated my personal growth trajectory. It shifted my mentality to being fearless from fearful.

Humanity is resilient. The most disruptive change and innovation come when we are pushed outside of our comfort zones.

Since it has been a while since our last recession, I decided to…

The number one most important task of the C suite is to be able to operate within the 99.9th percentile when it comes to their ability to predict the future. At first glance, this is a daunting and seemingly insurmountable task. When you are fighting to live another week, it seems almost absolutely foolish to be thinking about the future. And you are right, your job is not to be a philosopher, and to ponder what might be. …

As Canadians we have a naturally conservative nature. This has helped us avoid major issues, like the 2008 financial crisis, but also results in us failing to capitalize on major opportunities.

I’ve recently emerged from my protective Canadian shell that has served me well. I’ve started to make bold claims and have been encouraging others to do the same. For years I have felt that being bold would require me to give up the Canadian values I hold so dear. I will happily pay my taxes to ensure we take care of the less fortunate. I will continue to say…

Capital Won’t Help You Take Off — Talented Advisors Will

This article is going to sound counter-intuitive. It works alongside the common belief that people will only want to lend you money when you don’t need the money and in parallel with a blog I recently wrote discussing the power of grouping. That blog has helped me better understand the power that the advisor/influencer talent network that surrounds a company has over your long term success and how it should be prioritized over traditional VC financing.

My hope with this blog is that it will help you understand the thought process we are applying as part of scaling our organization…

Defying the Laws of First Principal Thinking

I love First Principals thinking. I apply it regularly and realize extremely powerful results. But it has a fundamental flaw. It's structured around logic. Its power is derived by ensuring that 1+1=2 and by preventing 1+1=1.

While I still apply first principals thinking daily, lately I have been finding myself more regularly turning to the powers of grouping to amplify mine and my teams personal potential. Grouping encourages you to stop thinking that 1+1=2, and instead encourages you to determine how to make 1+1=3 possible. Grouping has turned into a borderline unhealthy obsession of mine. …

Flow State — The Delicate Balance of Life and Entrepreneurship

Entering the flow state is the ultimate productivity hack. In the flow state, your productivity level multiplies, and you do everything at 2x normal speed while loving every second of it. The flow state is the equivalent of going to the gym, having the workout of your life, coming out with aching muscles and feeling incredible because you just pushed yourself to a new level. …

The Magic Recipe To a Successful Business…He Said Satirically

Many great entrepreneurs are fundamentally contrarian in nature. When properly applied, their nature provides them with the determination to respectfully defend non-obvious truths with investors, colleagues and entrepreneurial peers, and to garner the necessary support to help their businesses succeed.

Proper application requires that when there are fundamental issues, with non-obvious truths, that can be logically supported (typically by data) that a rapid pivot ensues. Two people with conflicting intuitions is one thing. Conflicting intuition and data are another.

When I started my first company over 10 years ago, YC combinator had just launched in San Francisco, there was one…

Runners and technology enthusiasts share many common attributes. Both domains measure success by the velocity at which change is successfully obtained. They both create a similar euphoric feeling once we have completed our challenging objectives.

This euphoric feeling we obtain brings us back time and time again. When the conditions are right, it pushes us to become the best versions of ourselves.

What insights can be obtained by comparing the two?

Why Walk When You Can Run?

I have never been one for moving slowly. Time is finite. Our existence is finite. If we are able to enjoy moving at…

Jason Van Gaal

4 Time Canadian Entrepreneur. Thirsty for knowledge, complex problems & inspiring others.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store