September 2016 - Tank Stream Labs
“When I look back over the past few years since I launched a SaaS startup, the most valuable lessons have come from making mistakes and pushing myself out of my comfort zone.
I’ve learnt many lessons along the way, but I think some were more potent and more business-critical than others.
To help you focus on the critical stuff and avoid some of my mistakes, I’ve put together a list of my top five lessons that will help you to become a more effective CEO and accelerate your startup.”
Brothers John and Patrick Collison have grown payments platform Stripe to a $6 billion ($US5 billion) tech company operating in over 20 countries with 520 employees, and remain behind the wheel of the business.
The company has raised $US300 million in the last seven years, and boasts the likes of Twitter, Shopify and UNICEF as customers.
…In short, here is where we fall short compared to Americans:
- We tend to underplay our achievements and our businesses
- We hold our connections tight to our chest, rather than openly offer them up to help others
- We are secretive about our business ideas, thinking that others will steal them, rather than believing that ideas are cheap and execution is everything
- We typically only have meetings that have a specific agenda, rather than meeting to explore and see how we might help or collaborate
- We lack the “pay it forward” attitude that is pervasive in Silicon Valley
- We are more transaction-focused than relationship-focused in our business dealings
- We operate with distrust as our default position, rather than trust. This results in a high cost of transaction which is counter-intuitive to the way startups need to operate
- Australian business often has a lack of a sense of urgency. This is in part because we have a much less competitive market than the US. Aussie startups often under-estimate the lost opportunity by moving too slowly
- We are much more focused on having a great lifestyle than we are on being successful
“Of all the industries currently being transformed by the world’s revolution in technology, financial markets are undergoing some of the most dramatic changes – and some that are most likely to uproot the industry as it currently stands.
For centuries, finance has been dominated by bigger players with massive amounts of power. Not anymore.”
“Atlassian co-founder Mike Cannon-Brookes has led a $1.6 million raising in a new superannuation fund targeting tech-loving Millennials.”
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“A new visa proposal, dubbed the Start-up Visa, will allow foreign entrepreneurs to live and work in the US for up to five years while they seek to grow their new business in the country.”
Let’s get one thing straight about ‘disruption;’ apart from becoming an almost clichéd word flippantly used to describe just about any great new idea on the start-up scene, disruption actually carries a depth of meaning. It’s not just about a ‘new idea,’ nor even an ‘innovative’ one. Bradley Delamare, CEO of Australia’s largest technology co-working space, Tank Stream Labs, puts it clearly. He says “disruption is about going against the status quo.” It’s about looking for “new ways to do things,” but perhaps most importantly, “good disruption drives efficiencies and drives down costs” – making life easier for consumers.