I’m Brian Garside
This is what I’ve done with my life (up until now).
I am a digital experience leader, with nearly two decades of experience building digital presences.
I’m multi-disciplined, able to jump in and write copy, speak to large groups, conduct user testing, communicate with stakeholders, create strategies, design user interfaces, and even roll my sleeves up to write code or shoot and edit video.
I have been working on the internet since 1997, and I have at one time or another figured out things that seemed impossible at the time, but which turned out to be simply really difficult.
I joined Info-Tech Research Group in 2007, and immediately brought their website into the modern age with a focus on user experience and making content more digestible. With Info-Tech I grew and managed a team of web professionals, and was given the opportunity to learn new management skills. I also pursued my love of product development, and finished in the top five of the company’s annual “Case Competition” on three of the four times I entered.
Over the course of my career I have also worked on various side-projects. These have included freelance internet design for professional wrestlers, writers, local sports leagues, small businesses, and retail stores. I was part of the team that built an online invoicing software-as-a-service application, and I co-founded All New Comics, an online comic store which to this day serves hundreds of comics fans all over Canada.
I am the Chief Strategist at NorthIQ, where I put my experience to use in order to build amazing digital experiences to companies looking to expand their business.
Since the pandemic, I have focused primarily on building Manage Comics, my online comics subscription service for stores that lets them manage their comic shops more efficiently online.
Oct 2015 – Present
Chief Product Officer
Manage Comics is a subscription service for comic stores that lets them manage their subscriptions, pull comics for their customers, make it easy for customers to see what is available to them, what titles they are following, and what their current bill is.
Stores that use Manage Comics sell more comics to their subscribers, and have happier customers.
I was a comics retailer during the 90’s boom, and I ran my own online shop for half a decade, so I understand the space like few other people.
Combined with my expertise in web technologies, I can help you reach the next level for your business.
Learn more about Manage Comics.
NorthIQ Business Solutions
August 2015 – Present
I help businesses get to their next growth stage by focusing on their online presence and creating a digital experience that meets their company goals.
With nearly two decades of experience in the online space, I have built everything from mom and pop websites to sites able to scale to 50 million unique visitors per month, and everything in between.
I have built websites focused on converting prospects to customers, and sites where millions of people counted on getting reliable information. Every website I have worked with has seen significant growth in revenue
All of these websites, no matter how different their business model, share a common formula, and I can help you implement that formula for your own business to make you more money.
Learn more at the NorthIQ Website.
Other Previous Positions:
Info-Tech Research Group
December 2006 – September 2015
- Nov 2012-September 2015 – Director of Digital Experience
- Aug 2011-Nov 2012 – Manager, New Initiatives
- Aug 2010–Aug 2011 – Architect, External Applications
- Dec 2009–Aug 2010 – Executive Producer
- March 2007–Dec 2009 – IT Manager (External Applications)
- Dec 2006–Mar 2007 – Senior Software Developer
My roles at Info-Tech were varied, but my primary purpose was as a hands on Business Analyst, where I played the role of Systems Analyst, User Experience Designer, Usability Consultant, and Information Architect.
Most recently, in my role as Director of Digital Experience, I’ve was responsible for merchandising new features and products of the Info-Tech website, and encouraging our 30,000 paid members to use the site more by displaying relevant content to them. Info-Tech’s Creative Director reported to me, and we advised a team of eight “full stack” designers on building graphics and assets to support our research team, creating marketing material, and maintaining a “house style”, while also allowing for some artistic freedom. The design team is also responsible for mocking up and prototyping new products for the site, and for a separate line of business called the Innovation Team.
I also worked with a team of developers on a daily basis to create the Ruby on Rails code that powers our website. In this role I wrote specifications, created wireframes, and crafted user stories with the team to help identify who we are coding our features for.
As manager of the New Initiatives team, I was responsible for a team of eight developers and two designers to create new products and features.
I identified a need for the role of Executive Producer to oversee and be accountable for the production of content on the website. In this role I created video recording, editing and uploading processes, streamlined the production of content for the site, and introduced social media as promotional tools. In this capacity I managed a team of four production assistants and two designers.
In my roles of IT Manager and Senior Software developer, I was responsible for the front end design and code of the Info-Tech website.
Awards and Recognition
- President’s Club Winner 2013 – Top IT Performer
- Placed 5th, 3rd, and 2nd place in the annual “Case Competition”
- Innovation Day winning team – April 2012
- Multiple “IT Person of the Month” awards
- Company X-Factor winner February 2010
All New Comics Inc
April 2005 – Present
- June 2011-Present – Internet Marketing / Server Maintenance
- April 2005-June 2011 – President/Owner
I built the initial All New Comics website, and managed the technical aspects of a project to build out an e-commerce shopping cart, and create modifications for both subscriptions and Canadian taxes to create an online comics store.
I created and executed on a marketing strategy to build out All New Comics as Canada’s Premiere Online Comics store, and went from zero to six figures in revenue over just eighteen months, all while entirely bootstrapping the business.
After selling the business to my partner, I continue to consult on email marketing strategies, server, database, and domain management.
August 2012 – February 2015
Co-Owner / Director of Customer Experience
I worked with two developers to create an SAAS application called “BalanceDo”, which is an online invoicing application that caters to small businesses. In the summer of 2014 we brought two MBA students from Laurier’s MBA program onboard to help with market strategy.
I have been handling most of the product development. Creating mockups, applying styles to the end product, writing copy, handling customer service, and creating the marketing strategy for the business.
The business was closed in February 2015.
Bell Globmedia Inc / CTV Inc.
June 2001 – December 2006
Production Manager, TSN.ca
At The Globe and Mail, I helped plan and launch TSNMAX, a subscription service and part of Bell Canada’s convergence strategy. I created specification documents for new products based off of user input and co-ordinated multiple projects involving several developers in three different locations which involved both internal and external resources.
Before leaving in December 2006, I led a successful redesign of the TSN.ca site using XHTML, CSS 2.0 and .NET technologies along with my team of two designers and three developers.
April 2003 – August 2004
Instructor, E-Commerce 101
Alliance Atlantis Communications
January 2001 – June 2001
Senior Web Developer
In a relatively short time at Alliance Atlantis, I redesigned the websites of their major broadcasting properties including Showcase, HGTV, Life, and History networks. I also produced and developed websites for TV and movie properties, and created processes to allow the team to rapidly turn around web projects.
January 2000 – January 2001
As Activate Canada’s sole web developer, I created mini-sites that mirrored client sites, produced interactive Flash animations, and assisted in the build of an IIS development environment to allow for 10,000 simultaneous streams of 300k video.
The Sports Network
January 1997 – January 2000
Online Sports Producer
While at TSN, I reported on sporting events including the Grey Cup, World Junior Hockey Championships, and Olympic games
I worked in both the television and internet departments simultaneously, editing sports highlights and packaging them for both broadcast television and the internet.
I created original graphics and animations, as well as several new areas of the site which increased traffic significantly.
Seneca College – Toronto ON
1994 – 1996
I graduated from the Radio and Television Production program with high honours