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Unicorn in the woods : how East Coast geeks and dreamers are changing the game

A Globe and Mail Best Book of 2020
A CBC New Brunswick Book List Selection

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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by Gordon Pitts

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