Intros

I get intro’d to a lot of people. I also get cold-contacted by a lot of people. I don’t really mind it, in fact I consider meeting new people a perk of being involved in the startup community.

Back in the day when the community was much smaller, new people I’d meet usually knew someone I knew – which made things really simple. Now, with the amount of activity in the space, this is the exception rather than the rule.

There are lots of suggestions for the right way to do intros (my general rule is that if we haven’t had a laugh together I’d prefer you to ask me first before introing me to others)

Either way, if you’ve been intro’d to me (or if I’ve intro’d you to someone else for that matter) do me a favour and and least make me feel like you value my time and friends.

Normally that means offering to come out to see me or the person you’ve been intro’d to first (rather than expecting me/them to come to you), not asking me/them to do intros to others if I/they have never met you before and trying, where possible, to add value first before asking for it. Continue reading

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Net Neutrality and Australia

I’m fascinated by the way the Net Neutrality argument is playing out in the US.

The recent US Federal Appeals Court decision to strike down the FCC’s net neutrality rules has brought this topic, once again, to the forefront of attention.

For a really good primer on the topic you should check out this post –

What’s Net Neutrality? What Happened to Net Neutrality Yesterday? What Happens Next? A Q&A for the Rest of Us.

While there have been some interesting reactions amongst well-known Net Neutrality supporters in light of that decision my reading of it is that the decision was far more about the technicality of the FCC creating rules, as opposed to the content of those rules.

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2013 vs 2014: Tech Startup Press

With January now upon us, it’s time for the obligatory start of the year post reflecting on the past year and making predictions for the year to come. I’ll be doing this over a series of blog posts (which you can find on this blog)

TECH STARTUP PRESS

It’s always been my belief that the tech startup press plays an important role in any tech startup ecosystem.

They build awareness on a macro level, which helps to bring tech startups into the mainstream psyche and the associated benefits e.g. increased entrepreneurial activity, more investor/acquirer interest, and more political weight for the sector.

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2013 vs 2014: Exits

With January now upon us, it’s time for the obligatory start of the year post reflecting on the past year and making predictions for the year to come. I’ll be doing this over a series of blog posts.

NB: This won’t be a comprehensive list. It will only focus on some areas I’m interested in.

NB2: The posts will also be heavily biased based on the startups and founders I’ve been exposed to and like i.e. I’ve made no real effort to scour the startup landscape and to provide some sort of unbiased list of perceived excellence.

EXITS 

Exits matter. And there aren’t enough of them from Australian startups. I’m not talking about billion dollar exits, I mean exits at all stage of the exit continuum.

I’m going to focus on the largest exits below but my belief is that unless we see an increased number of exits in all stages, and more specifically in the early parts of that continuum (i.e. the $5M-$50M range) we will never truly have a sustainable startup ecosystem. This is a topic that deserves its own post, so I’ll leave it there for now.

How do you compare exits?  They can be measured and compared in multiple ways depending on where your focus is. For example:

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2013 vs 2014: Early Stage Startups

With January now upon us, it’s time for the obligatory start of the year post reflecting on the past year and making predictions for the year to come. I’ll be doing this over a series of blog posts.

NB: This won’t be a comprehensive list. It will only focus on some areas I’m interested in.

NB2: The posts will also be heavily biased based on the startups and founders I’ve been exposed to and like i.e. I’ve made no real effort to scour the startup landscape and to provide some sort of unbiased list of perceived excellence.

EARLY STAGE STARTUPS

With all of the new activity in the startup space it was really hard to narrow down the startups I really liked last year and, subsequently, startups I like for 2014. But I think I’ve found a couple. Apologies to all those I don’t include below. There were far too many good startups and founders to name individually and far too many I don’t know to create a comprehensive list – so I’ve decided to go with exemplars instead.

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Planting Trees Yesterday.

It was my wife’s birthday yesterday. She’s an awesome woman who is world class in her field, which is always inspiring.

Yesterday, however, it was her birthday that inspired me to think. Her birthday, all birthdays, new years days and all of the other catalytic calendar events that come into our lives.

There’s an old saying that goes something like “the best time to plant a tree was yesterday, the second best is today”. Yet we often wait for these catalytic events to spur us into action rather than just getting started on the path when whatever change we’d like to make first strikes our minds.

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