Over the past 30 years, we have witnessed as technology has permeated nearly every aspect of our daily lives. Advances in technology have affected everything – from how we work with one another, how we shop right through to how we connect with our loved ones.
I’ve been in the Bay Area for almost two years and the biggest learning curve I see for Aussie founders centres on the business culture and the subtle, unwritten rules that exist in the tech industry here. One of the most nuanced cultural differences is around how to get and make introductions.
The model through which we calculate customer lifetime value (LTV) is broken. I don’t mean mechanically broken – the maths works out just fine – I mean principally broken.
It’s often very amusing trawling through the startup zeitgeist to see how many posts there are on ‘How to succeed’ or ‘The secret to startup success’. I read these articles and wonder how this journalist is in any position to be dictating specific steps on how to be successful within a technology business.
Imagine a future, perhaps one like this, where your data is a genuine asset. It is owned and controlled by you. You provision your data to the people and organisations you choose in ways that have value to you. In fact, when calculating your net worth, data is a key consideration.
If you talk to most venture capitalists or authors of management books, I’d wager the majority of them would argue all day with you on one fundamental truth: thy should only have ONE chief executive in a startup.
Most startups are terrible at early stage marketing. If you don’t believe me, just take a quick search of any startup featured on Startup Daily – check out their social media profiles, and if they have a blog. What you’ll find is that there is not much is going on – kind of like Donald Trump’s hair once upon a time, but hey, he fixed that!
There has been a lot of hype around The Lean Startup in Australia. Startup accelerators not just in Australia but around the world treat this methodology as gospel. For startup accelerators using this in their current programs, I question whether they are doing enough for entrepreneurs. Anyone can just pick up the book, read it, and start implementing these strategies, so why do startup founders need accelerators? Have accelerators lost their way?
All these acquisitions seemed ‘hot’ new inroads at that time, but have now seemed to have fizzled into a quasi acqui-hiring strategy for bigger players. Apple did indeed need Topsy, but perhaps just not for social analytics. This has opened up the space again for competitors as social media practitioners have been left out wondering where to fill the Topsy void.
The primary objective of a product manager is to solve the right problem for the right group of people at the right time. Therefore the product manager is directly responsible for the efficacy of the product. This is also what they should be measured on.
Ever since I’ve had any meaningful purchasing power, I’ve completed transactions electronically. I simply viewed a number in my bank account, and after a given transaction occurred, my account displayed the transaction itself as well as the remaining balance available to me. I received my goods or service and was on my way, often giving little thought to the implication of the value exchange.
My role at #PolicyHack was very clear – I was the lead facilitator for Team 3: tasked to improve gender equality in the ecosystem. The biggest lesson from #PolicyHack was how harrowingly hard it is to combat a systematic problem like gender equality in tech in one blow. For all the noise I make about this issue, I was truly humbled by how challenging it is to get anyone, let alone the government and the private sector, to agree on what to do first.
Innovation and disruption have been in the spotlight recently, with our new Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull throwing his support behind Australian startups and the FinTech industry.