As I travel the world, I love to brag about my Canadian origins – I am unabashed Maple Leaf brand badger (tougher nowadays admittedly given Bieber’s adolescent hijinx, stance on global warming and Rob Ford – our resident crack mayor).
I’ve apportioned out why Canada deserves top tech nation status with a very sophisticated, if not highly unscientific breakdown of why:
5th reason – Education (4% of the equation)- we generally have the basic reading, ‘riting and ‘rithmetic skills to find our way around digital landscapes – we rate #10 internationally on our schooling – as a result, our ability to CTL-ALT-DEL is without equal (Source: Pearson)
4th reason – Income (7% of the equation) – we have the budget to afford the gadgets, toys, upgrades and time to stay on the leading edge of technology at work and home – we rate #7 internationally on wealth per capita and the reason likely why we have legions of people lined up for PS4s and Xboxs this time of year (Source: World Bank)
3rd reason – Universal Access (11% of the equation) – as much as we begrudge the oligopolies that manage and control our tech nervous system, we have universal access to the technology (we rank #9 on access to broadband penetration - Source: OECD) and ability to work with it across all gender, religious and geographic sectors of the population (we rate higher than the average developed countries on overall digital literacy – Source:OECD)
2nd reason – Embrace of Creative Innovation (23% of the equation)- ever wonder how a nice polite country of 34+ million people can infiltrate the top sectors of art, creative and business life in this big 7+ billion person world- think Comedy (Myers, Rogen, Carrey, Candy) think poker (Negreaneu, Duhamel, Gavin Smith), think music (Neil Young, Bieber, Cohen, Joni Mitchell, Arcade Fire, and sorry Dion, Nickelback), think acting (Shatner, Plummer, Gosling and the Sutherlands), think adventure/personal zeal (Terry Fox, Rick Hansen, ) , think innovation (Nanting/Best – Insulin, Naismith – basketball, Lazaridis/Balsilie – Blackberry, Fessenden – SONAR, Bell- the phone, IMax, the Pager, the modem…etc.)…we could go on. Part of it is our ability to do a lot with a little (poor venture capital, government support of innovation), part of it is our urbanization – 81% of us live in urban settings, part of it is our multicultural nature (18% of our population was not born here) and part of it may be our instinctive need to impress others and prove ourselves (first to our British parent and then to our larger US neighbour to the south)
1st reason – It’s Damn Cold 4-6 Months of the Year (54% of the equation) – what else are we supposed to do from November to March (see also Online Dating below)? Perhaps we shouldn’t be surprised that countries like Norway, Iceland, Finland and Sweden also top the charts but only Antarctica and Russia beat us in the cold. So unless you play hockey, ski or bobsled – you’ll likely find yourself online in our cold weather season sitting across from a fire, wearing long johns and drinking a hot double/double or Canadian Rye Whiskey.
Unknown Basis – The Canadian Special Sauce (1% of the equation) - somehow the fact that our beer is stronger must factor in too somehow – we are chalking a 1% factor there….for now until we prove a greater link.
So here is what drops out of these contributing factors:
A. Regular Web Access Leadership
87% of Canadians access the Internet Everyday
B. Time Online Leadership
Online PC Time – Ranks 1st globally – 45 hours per month
C. Surfing YouTube Leadership
Video – Ranks 2nd globally – 25 hours/291 videos per month
D. Friending, Following and Poking Others Leadership
Social Media – 82% of us are social networkers
Facebook (19MM users) –#1 globally in daily returns and friends, 74% of our Facebook users come back daily
Twitter (11MM) – #5 Globally, Canadians surf twice as much vs. average Tweeters
Linkedin (7MM) – #3 Globally, 50% are senior management/owners/executives
E. Smartphone Addiction Leadership
Mobile – 91% of us have a mobile phone, 62% of them are now smartphones, we also the #1 iPad nation
F. Launching the Next Big Thing Leadership
Startups – we have three of our cities (Toronto #8, Vancouver #9 and Waterloo #16) in the top 20 startup scenes in the world (Source: Startup Genome)
G. Playing Candy Crush, Farmville and Solitaire Leadership
Canadas has the third largest video game development industry in the world employing 18,000 people but also has a population that toils in hopes of hidden eggs, shootouts and sharp hairpin turns more than any country
H. Downloading Heisenberg, Draper and Doctor Who Leadership
We love internet TV – perhaps it’s our reluctance to watch another mini-series about obscure Canadian history always starring one of Colm Feore, Paul Gross or Megan Follows. Not surprisingly, Canadians represent 46% of Netflix subscribers outside of the USA (Source: Netflix)
I. Finding Mr. /Mrs. Right or Mr./Mrs. Right Now Online Leadership
Whether it’s because we work long hours and have little vacation or we appear less tanned in person (see Climate comment), there seems to be enough evidence to indicate that Canadians make for good online dates - here is a full analysis It may be one of the reasons why eHarmony has 3 million Canadian registered users and that our country has hatched the popular 2 million user Lavalife or more nefarious 21 million strong Ashley Madison. But careful, Vancouver women are pickiest.
J. Our Connected Poutine Maker and Tim Bit Bakers Leadership
Canada has 140 million connected devices to the internet, zooming to 270 million by 2017. That’s currently 4 to 8 connected devices per person! And yes these Bud Hockey Red Lights do count.