With 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…
We live in a world of increasing disruptive innovation so it wasn’t surprising that some years ago the Australian Govt decided that the Education System was in need of an overhaul if Australia was to be the Clever country of the future. But then they appointed a well respected Commercial Lawyer – David Gonski – to head the review. Not surprisingly they got a financial solution to a massive structural problem.
More money for facilities, for teachers, smaller class sizes etc.
But they missed the point the world has changed since our current post Industrial Revolution – Education for all system was invented….. So we are still teaching kids to remember stuff they can Google if they ever need to know it.
No hint of Disprutive Innovation just spending ore money on the same system and expecting better results. But can we ever expect real innovation if we rely on the Government, Bureaucrats or Academics. Real Innovation comes from those who are not satisfied with way it is and see a better way. Continue reading Education Revolution Needed now…….Apply Here
I was interested but not surprised to hear lots of outrage when the last Australian budget announced cuts to various StartUp/Innovation/Entrepreneur finding programs. Along with cuts in almost every area of Govt in an endeavour to get the books back in balance.
Rather than provide grants and no strings attached funding to people who have good ideas I believe the Government should be supporting in other ways. Providing introductions and bestowing credibility and then getting out of the way is the best thing any Government agency can do.
With the exception of research and development that is not commercially viable budding entrepreneurs should not be putting their hand out but merely asking for a hand up … and this might mean helping them to cut through the red or green tape.
There are plenty of investment sources out there looking for opportunities that are at least commercially viable. But generally the want to know one thing and one thing only before they will be interested ….. Is there a customer for this and will they pay the asking price.
As such rather than wait on Govt funding, perhaps now budding entrepreneurs will do what they should always have done before starting work!! Having identified the customer that will pay then ask for some up front payment …. Think CrowdFunding … but failing that find an investor and tell them all about your customers.
And when it comes to investors ..
remember if you are going to rob a bank perhaps you should hold up a few service stations along the way…..
In the late 60s John Neller was a mild manner Accountant at the Bank of Adelaide with a keen interest in Fixed Asset Accounting. As such he was acutely aware that much of the approach to Fixed Asset Accounting was quite different to the practices in other parts of the world.
But he was unaware that the opportunity would arise for him to create a company that played a very significant part in the development of the Australian computer software industry – Neller Software
In fact he saw an unmet need in computerised accounting systems becoming available at the time as they were not designed to meet the specific needs of Australia. But in those days software was bundled with hardware and was built to meet major e.g. USA market needs.
So the choice was clear create your own or go along with what the market offered which was not easy to modify
But when IBM, who were are the time the main supplier of hardware and software for big business adopted a new marketing policy in 1969 John saw the opportunity to capitalise on this unmet need in the Australian market .
“Until this time customers did not pay for software or services separately from the very high price for leasing the hardware. Software was provided at no additional charge, generally in source code form; services (systems engineering, education and training, system installation) were provided free of charge at the discretion of the IBM Branch office. This practice existed throughout the industry. Quoting from the abstract to a widely read IEEE paper on the topic:
“ Many people believe that one pivotal event in the growth of the business software products market was IBM’s decision, in 1969, to price its software and services separately from its hardware. ”
In the late 70s I was a very young up and coming Analyst/Programmer in the DP Department at Chrysler Australia. Among the 3 systems I had some responsibility for was payroll…. an archaic in house developed system written in COBOL which ran on what was at the time a million dollar computer an IBM Mainframe … a System 360 Model 40.
One day my boss came to me to tell me he had been invited to attend a seminar at John Neller and Associates along with some other big name companies that used IBM Mainframes (inc Bank of NSW (now Westpac), SAGASCO ( now Envestra) ES &A Bank (now defunct)) to look at developing a computerised Payroll packaged system to meet the specific needs of Australia. Continue reading Want to be an Entrepreneur? – First find a customer and make a sale!
Given that at our consulting business enovAsia we focus on Innovation we have decided top develop our own model to assist many of the great Startups in our home town – Adelaide.
We will utilise the support of our major investor and the companies that we work with to provide a total Entrepreneur ecosystem.
It has been utilised with some success and now we are planning to open it up more widely.
The Enovasia Model – Looks Like This…
We have found financial investors that have access to significant capital ($50 million) to invest in digital media and sustainability focused opportunities, though this need not always rely on ADMSL.
We are now actively seeking early stage businesses that meet our criteria … start-ups that we can invest in and also derive revenue from for affiliated, “group” or “network” businesses via a direct solution sales model. Continue reading The enovAsia accelerator