Experience Never Gets Old.. Just Unfashionable

Over the past few weeks I have been collaborating on a book about the History of the Australian Software Industry. While it covers history it aims to present useful guidanc for those on the Entrepreneurial Journey we were on in the 60’s,  70s and 80s

In reflecting on our journey I revisited a movie I watched a couple of years ago – The Intern. Because I often refer it to young people I mentor as a reason to consider having an “Old Bloke” (a bloke is male or female) in the business.

“70-year-old widower Ben Whittaker (Robert De Niro) has discovered that retirement isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. Seizing an opportunity to get back in the game, he becomes a senior intern at an online fashion site, founded and run by Jules Ostin (Anne Hathaway).”

Experience may not get old, but it quite often gets outdated and becomes unfashionable…

I also did some research on two hyper  successful startups and listened ti interviews with Brian Chesky Co Founder of AirBnB and Mark Zuckerberg.

Unlike the vast majority of startups they focussed on the things we were doing way back then including.

  1. Doing things that don’t scale – getting in front of customers and prospects often to get feedback and buy in – Knocking on doors and honing sales skills
  2. Getting the product out the door and making sure key customers are involved in the design, development and testing
  3. Not relying on Grants, VCs etc for funding but making real sales to real customers to provide seed funding to get started

Of course there is much more to the story – and I am not pitching for any more jobs – but my advice is find yourself an ageing Intern and you might find you get a surprise at the value just like Jules Ostin did in the movie.

And my advice for anyone 60 plus who has experience and skills that are relevant today DONT RETIRE!!  100% of people that do Die …it cant be good for you!

 

 

 

Bringing Collaboration to Your Mainstreet

The Collaboration Space on Main
th-2

a not for profit with a commercial focus

We Believe

Innovation is the Commercialisation of Creativity for Good………. 

Through Collaboration with Communities

While there is much talk and focus on Innovation, relatively few people in the broader community know what it is and how they can help engage and foster Innovation for the benefit of all in our community.  Through our Innovation In The City group we have opened the opportunity for people to Learn and become involved.

We aim to directly reach out to the people (including small business) who Vote, Consume and Invest and get them interested and engaged to help them understand why Innovation and Collaboration are vital for the future.

Now ….What better way to get more involvement that taking Innovation to a shop front in a busy street….and in doing so bring new people, vitality and opportunities for growth to local businesses. and where better to do it than in a Neighbourhood that needs it.

Hence the Vision for a Collaboration Space comprising – CoWorking, Training, Meeting and Exhibition Spaces and incorporation a small Photographic and Recording Studio

We aim to use vacant spaces comprising 300 – 400 sq metre in Mainstreet locations in a flexible and creative way to achieve all of these aims and more.

Showcase | Exhibition | Event | Flexible Space

We want to showcase Innovation – everything from drones to 3D printing and Sustainable Energy to the Internet of Things.

Each month we expect to have sponsored hands-on exhibitions focussing on different aspects of Innovation (eg Electric Vehicles, Solar and Battery technology, Smart Cities etc)

With a focus on flexibility the space will be easily reconfigured for Pop Up events (e.g. Product Launches, Charity Fund Raisers, Art Exhibition, Fringe Shows etc)

Members of the CoWorking space would be able to use the space as their showroom from time to time.

Education | Training | Presentation | Flexible Space

At the core of the Space will be Collaboration between local businesses to grow their business and collaboration within the local neighbourhood to become the hub of the area.

Much needed flexible spaces will be available to members od=f the Space and the local community for hire at reasonable rates for meetings, training etc

We will also provide education and training to business, schools and residents using a proven Innovation Methodology to help people leverage what they have into what they need for the future, using Technology and Information as an enabler, turning Hutt St into a vibrant, diverse Innovation Precinct.

Co-Working | Meeting | Flexible Space

A Co-Working space will add further diversity to the street and provide opportunities via scholarships for young people with big ideas to have a base amongst seasoned and experienced business professionals and proven innovators.

We aim to attract a wide variety of people – not just young startups – but many experienced professionals who see that if you work for yourself you don’t need to work alone. These people may also need space for Events, Exhibitions and Training.

We would encourage large businesses, Governments (State and Local) to become members and utilise the space to give their staff and opportunity to be exposed to new people and new ways and/pr possibly sponsor start up businesses needing  place to work.

Getting the right mix of members will be vital to the success of the venture and its impact on the street and neighbourhood. As such we will make offers to various creatives such as Graphic artists, photographers, writers and producers who can utilise the Photographic and Recording studio

Co-working has grown worldwide at roughly 36% over the past twelve months and as such we expect demand to be high especially given some unique points of difference we will offer.

We expect to be able to pay commercial rents within 6 months of start up and lease the building (upstairs and downstairs) for 5 years or more based purely on revenue from Co – Working  – given predictions that 40% of the workforce will be freelancers, independent contractors and solopreneurs by 2020

Photographic and Recording studio

Increasingly business needs to present themselves in innovative ways especially leveraging creative imagery, video and audio,

The simple and basic facilities will provide for a professional level of production of product shots, short intro videos and even podcasting. and will be available to members, the community and local business.

Creative professionals who can make maximums of these facilities will be encouraged ti become members of the space.

Membership

Three levels of membership will be offered

Full use of all facilities

  • Coworking, Training, Exhibition and Photo/Recording Studio

Partial use of facilities

  • Coworking and/or Training and/or Exhibition and/or Photo/Recording Studio

Casual Use of any/all facilities

Summary

Collaboration is the key to innovation and business success in the future. Encouraging small business in the street and the neighbourhood will be the key focus whilst serving as a hub for the neighbourhood.

We see this space as being attractive to business of all types and government agencies  (Federal, State and Local) who want to be seen to sponsor and support Innovation.  We will recommend to these sponsors that they have some their staff work in the CoWorking space for a month or two and also provide scholarships for young people who need such a space but cant yet afford it, so they begin to experience  Innovation not just talk about it.

Our key aim is to deliver growth in the form of jobs in SA and support the Initiatives of Federal and State Governments and in particular to help local Councils deliver some of their goals in developing their city as a base for Innovation, Entrepreneurship and Sustainability.

Our first Collaboration Space will become a model for similar centres in Australia and the re purposing of vacant retail / warehouse premises in high profile locations. in doing so we will be supporting businesses and landlords in such commercial precincts and the local community in general.

Hug an Entrepreneur

e1f187932fd9d901833353948e85cd94With the world changing so rapidly with deployment of new technologies, leveraging of more information and the ongoing digital disruption of many industries we need entrepreneurs and innovators more than ever.For the financial and social good of every community we need people prepared to have a go and put it all on the line not because they want to make money …. but generally because they know the good the money can do.

We cant rely on Government to make the bold decisions needed at best we need them to support those having a go and do their best not to get in the way …. As I often say if you rely on Government for nothing you will never be disappointed

But its never easy being an entrepreneur and it can be lonely as well as physically and financially challenging as generally it involves taking big risks…..  As the old saying goes an Entrepreneur is prepared to live like most others wouldn’t so that he can live like most others never could.

A few months ago I almost gave up on my dream… But thanks to Reece Formosa and his invite to an event where I heard an amazing collection of young entrepreneurs talk about their struggle and their vision I picked myself up again…

I was reminded that you don’t become an entrepreneur you either are one or you aren’t

Sadly most people don’t get us…. They don’t get that it’s not about money… if it was we would take their advice… Get a job… Accept a handout etc…
It is all about what the money can do!!
I know entrepreneurs do it for the passion of what we believe… Unlike most people we get our why … if you want to be passionate about anything first you need to find Find Your Why   …. Most of us want to make the world a much better place and we don’t want to wait on others e.g. Governments to do it.
I attended an event recently where Brad Feld spoke about Entrepreneurism – Feld  is an American entrepreneur, author, blogger, and venture capitalist at Foundry Group in Boulder, Colorado. Feld began financing technology startups in the early 1990s, first as an angel and later an institutional investor. One of many things he said struck an accord with me –
When Entrepreneurs see a need for something they go ahead and do it they dont wait for others. …  That explained why I started Innovation in the City
It’s that passion that gets you through the days when you decide to walk to the city and save the bus fare for a coffee….. Because you have put everything into your passion and suddenly you realise $5 has become a small fortune…coz that’s all you have.

If everyone esp Governments valued entrepreneurs the world would be a better place soon.
The great thing about not giving up is the amazing people and opportunities that come to you because of who you are – not what you have…or in many cases pretend to be with fancy titles etc

There will be a party soon and all of you who keep me going will be there…. Meantime if you come across a struggling entrepreneur give them a big hug… We are fuelled by passion and emotion and so we probably need a hug more than most people.
That’s it for now… 

Anyone want to catch up for a drink or give me a hug… Let me know…

Innovation on Your Mainstreeet

coworking-statisticsWhile there is much talk and focus on Innovation, relatively few people in the broader community know what it is and how they can help engage and foster Innovation for the benefit of all in our community.  Through our Innovation In The City group we have opened the opportunity for people to Learn and become involved.

Now ….What better way to get more involvement that taking Innovation to a shop front in a busy street….and in doing so bring new people, vitality and opportunities for growth to businesses . and where better to do it than in a Neighbourhood that needs it.

We aim to use a 400 sq metres  vacant space on Beach Road at Christies on the Beach (soon to be formerly known as Christies Beach) as a flexible and creative way to achieve all of these aims and more.

Innovation on the Miantreets  is the brainchild of Tony Williamson a long term business owner in the Hutt St Precinct and past member of Adelaide City Council and Rick Carter an Innovation, Media and Marketing specialist who lecturers at Carnegie Mellon University in Enterprise Innovation and will bring CMU students, projects and expertise to the Street.

Showcase | Exhibition | Event | Flexible Space

We want to showcase Innovation via an exhibition space fronting Beach Rd – everything from drones to 3D printing and Sustainable Energy to the Internet of Things.

Each month we expect to have sponsored hands-on exhibitions focussing on different aspects of Innovation (eg Electric Vehicles, Solar and Battery technology, Smart Cities etc)

With a focus on flexibility the space will be easily reconfigured for Pop Up events (e.g. Product Launches, Charity Fund Raisers, Art Exhibition, Fringe Shows etc)

Education | Training | Presentation | Flexible Space

We will also provide education and training to business, schools and residents using a proven Innovation Methodology “Selling your Way to Innovation” developed in association with Harold Sharples – The man who taught Tim Cook (Apple CEO) how to Innovate the way we Innovate – to help people leverage what they have into what they need for the future, using Technology and Information as an enabler, turning Hutt St into a vibrant, diverse Innovation Precinct.

Co-Working | Meeting | Flexible Space

A Co-Working space will add further diversity to the street and provide opportunities via scholarships for young people with big ideas to have a base amongst seasoned and experienced business professionals and proven innovators.

We aim to attract a wide variety of people – not just young startups – but many experienced professionals who see that if you work for yourself you don’t need to work alone. These people may also need space for Events, Exhibitions and Training. 

Co-working has grown worldwide at roughly 36% over the past twelve months and as such we expect demand to be high especially given some unique points of difference we will offer.

We expect to be able to pay commercial rents within 6 months of start up and lease the building (upstairs and downstairs) for 5 years or more based purely on revenue from Co – Working  – given predictions that 40% of the workforce will be freelancers, independent contractors and solopreneurs by 2020

Summary

We see this space as being attractive to business of all types and government agencies  (Federal, State and Local) who want to be seen to sponsor and support Innovation.  We will recommend to these sponsors that they have some their staff work in the CoWorking space for a month or two and also provide scholarships for young people who need such a space but cant yet afford it, so they begin to experience  Innovation not just talk about it.

Our key aim is to deliver growth in the form of jobs in SA and support the Initiatives of Federal and State Governments and in particular to help the Onkaparinga City Council deliver some of their goals  as a vital city and a base for Innovation, Entrepreneurship and Sustainability.

Innovation on Beach will become a model for similar centres in Australia and the re purposing of vacant retail / warehouse premises in high profile locations. in doing so we will support businesses and landlords in such commercial precincts.

 

Selling your way to Innovatiom

20140318_142350-1

A major barrier to Innovation in existing business has been concern about loss of focus in the core business. 

As such it it vital to ensure you are doing all you can to increase sales using digital media while implementing the changes needed to prosper in future.

Now and into the future its increasingly becoming a case or Innovate or Die for most business……and we are hearing more about products and businesses being innovative but have they ensured their existing business is as good as it can be and consolidated.

Cloud, mobile, social, robotics, driverless etc  — these are fundamental trends that are reshaping industry. What will be the next major disruption? Today’s successful companies need to embrace the full spectrum of innovation — from incremental to breakthrough to radical — in both their R&D and business model strategies. Continue reading Selling your way to Innovatiom

Innovation starts in every Mainstreet

innovation signage

My home town Adelaide is desperate to become a renowned Innovation City and I am very keen to help that happen ….as we need it if the city is to prosper!!

Adelaide has a unique opportunity to position itself as an Innovation Hub by capitalising on the existing Eco System that has been established and adding a few unique and missing elements.

For Innovation to flourish we need to develop a high level of support from the broader community to embrace the culture of Innovation. We need everyone to support and foster the drive and ambition of those who have the focus and opportunity engage in Entrepreneurial and Innovation projects in existing business and brand new start ups.

To do this its important to take innovation to the community and establish places where they can experience it in a manner appropriate to their situation.

While many people see Innovation as coming our of new ideas in Universities, Incubators, Think tanks etc and backed by Venture Capitalists, grants etc ….  to get Innovation that results in High Growth Ready Businesses we also need to grow it within existing business ….Micro, Small, Medium and large!!

Continue reading Innovation starts in every Mainstreet