Nortel’s patents sold for 4.5 billion dollars–a true indictment of the many dollars and years of R&D investment.  Some of Canada’s top scientists worked there–it truly was an innovative company (unfortunately with bad management).

It is also very sad that Nortel’s leadership, including Mike Zafirovski, did not know the true value of what they had in the company.  Also sad is the fact that our governments (federal and provincial) didn’t realize the value of this innovation to our country.  I still believe that investment into high-tech is more forward looking than investment in the automobile industry, and expecially construction.  Highly skilled knowledge workers are great for the future of the country.  Here is an article that I think sums up the loss pretty well: http://www.thestar.com/opinion/editorialopinion/article/1016391–family-jewels-frittered-away

Hoepfully this is a lesson that can be learned.  RIM is a true Canadian tech anchor–let’s hope we take to heart some of lessons from the down fall of Nortel.  I’m not talking a future bailout, but some manner of protecting the intellectual capital (patents, workers, skills) that is being developed at RIM.

Here’s hoping.

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