Sunday, February 28, 2016

Join us for Breakfast for the BBG Breakfast Briefings launch in March and April

What is BBG?
Business Builders Group (BBG) is designed to help you grow your business via a powerful close knit referral marketing community. The group is about helping each other grow each others business through referrals!
The BBG Process is specifically designed to overcome the key challenges that business owners and executives face when attracting referrals ... through their Community, unique BBG Structure, Professional Mentoring and Best of Breed Tools. 
The power of warm referrals work!

When registering for breakfast , be sure to enter in the promotional code"referron007" for your complimentary tickets

Saturday, February 27, 2016

Top 10 Big Mistakes by Entrepreneurs

Great talk by Guy Kawasaki - who I met at AlwaysOn a few years back.
ex Apple, now Canva evangelist and Exec fellow at Haas business school - prolific blogger

1. Multiply big numbers by 1pc

If only 1 percent of Entrepreneurs in Australia will join BBG, it will turn $15m make a profit of $5m and be worth $100m and multiply that by 10 countries! (If only!!!!!)

I hear plans along these lines every day. Huge mistake. It is hard to get 1 percent. Plus I don’t think any investor wants to hear that you want to get a mere 1 percent.

Be realistic with your projections. Work from the bottom up... What is your warm lead base, how many will look at the proposition , how many will you convert - based on market research or an actual sample! 

2. Scale too fast

Build infrastructure and business doesn't come! Be sure to build a laser focussed plan - to scale an already successful model - before diluting to build infrastructure 

I've never seen a business going broke by making sure more money goes out than comes in!! 

Case in point Atlassian ! Most successful Australian startup! 

Case in point... 2 technologies in competing space 

Company A - raised $8m - built infrastructure - entrepreneurs energy focussed on cap raise and infrastructure... Cash burn - Entrepreneur's vision is diluted with hired gun CEO - business sca

Company B - small team - laser focus on serving customers and building what customer wants - from 6 people - living on beer and pizza - now with annuity of $1m plus per annum and writing $100k plus a quarter

Make sure you have built a solid small business with a set of core customers - then think about the next step in scaling your business.

3) Focus on partnerships.

Most partnerships and JVs are just blowing smoke. Most partnerships are bullshit.

Sales solves most things and fixes most mistakes! (Money talks and bullshit walks)

4. Focus on the pitch.

Most entrepreneurs are so focused on the pitch that they think the most important tool is PowerPoint. The reason for your company is not to raise money. The end goal is to create customers.

A prototype and a demo is worth a thousand PowerPoints.
(Download Referron and have a play! )

5. Use too many slides
10:20:30 rule
10 points
20 minutes
30 point font


In the first minute, explain what you do. Not who you are. Nobody gives a shit. If you need money, it’s because you’ve not been successful so far.  … don’t tell about your team. Focus on what you do.... What is the pain you have solved 

Canva .... “We have democratized design so people don’t have to buy Photoshop and spend weeks learning.”

Referron ...." We have enabled people to easily refer (within 3 taps) and track measure and reward referrals! "

6. Proceed serially.
First raise money, then hire team, then get sales, then go public. But life is not serial. 

I need to raise money, hire, sell, support all at the same time. Life is a bitch.

7. Retain control.
Retaining control is a delusion. You think if you have 51 percent of the company, you control it. You are a tool, a means to an end to the investor. They want to give you a dollar and make back $50. If they don't - they will fuck you over! 

Have a small percentage of a Google or Apple rather than 51 percent of a piece of crap. 

8. Use patents for defensibility.
It will impress your parents. The ideal number of times to use “patent” in your pitch is one. But you won’t win a patent lawsuit against Google or Apple or Microsoft. The exception to this may be biotech, but generally don’t say patents make you 

Focus on building your business.... Scale makes you defensible.

(Too many examples of this!!)

Scale makes you defensible.

9. Hire like you.
If you’re male and white, you hire male and white. If you’re young, you hire young.

If you’re a kid, you need an adult. If you’re a man, you need women. It takes two women to overcome the stupidity of one man. Hire people who are different from you.

10. Befriend your investors.
You think they really like you. That they have faith in you. That is a very tenuous relationship. Accept the role that you are a means to an end.

As long as you exceed expectations, it will be a friendly and cordial relationship. 

Being an Entrepreneur is not for the faint hearted! Welcome to club fear!!!!

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Venture Capital in Australia: 4 Gems from TED X 2016

Venture Capital in Australia: 4 Gems from TED X 2016:

4 Gems from TED X 2016

Why Procrastination works - from Australis own Vik Nithy 

I learned that pretty much everyone procrastinates, and that pretty much everyone does not feel they have enough time to finish the things they start.

This great quote from Leonard Bernstein was shared,” "Two things are necessary for great achievement: A plan, and not quite enough time.” I learned that Leonardo DaVinci toiled for 16 years on the Mona Lisa. I learned that while procrastination can be a vice to productivity, it can be a boon to creativity.

Riccardo Sabatini, showed us the amazing potential from us understanding  the entire human genome


He wheeled out on stage 175 huge books with 262,000 pages of information, each page filled with A, G, T and Cs, containing the entire DNA of Craig Venter. 

If just two letters were in the wrong order, it would mean he has cystic fibrosis. 

If just two letters were in the wrong order, it would mean he has cystic fibrosis. Using machine learning, he is now able to predict things like height, eye color, skin color, and even facial structure based on a person’s genome.

Using machine learning, we are now able to predict (and potentially change!!)  things like height, eye color, skin color, and even facial structure based on a person’s genome.

How Joe Gebbia formed the idea of Airbnb 
I thought of a way to make a few bucks, turning our place into "designers bed and breakfast". Offering yourg designers who come into town a place to crash during the 4 day event, complete with wireless internet, a small desk space, sa sleeoing mat and breakfast each morning... hah!! 

"the sharing economy really isn’t just about sharing. It’s about commerce. But it’s about commerce with the promise of human connection."

The promise of virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR). 

Microsoft showing their Hololens augmented reality headset.
At TED, Microsoft showed their Hololens augmented reality headset. It precisely maps the room, and projects objects that you can interact with directly and seamlessly into your environment.

 My mind was blown looking at the possibility below of imagining a future where you can walk around in a magical forrest. Look how amazingly realistic the surface is, and how close you can get to the experience.I VR and AR is going to have a dramatic effect on  entertainment, educational, and productivity applications beyond anything we can easily imagine today.

I can't wait to see what kinds of impact these ideas have in the future.

inspired by Bill Goss 

Saturday, February 20, 2016

Is higher spending a pathway to prosperity?

 Tax Cuts or Investment in our future?: Treasurer Scott Morrison and his team are busy preparing the Australian Budget (or if thy already have, busy preparing how to sell it to the Australian public.

Here's a thought..... If you focus on reducing expenditure - you can only reduce your expenditure to 0 - and when you do that - all is destroyed.If you focus on the upside - it's not that relevant what you spend - if you earn more .... And there is no limit to the upside that you can create! 

In my view - continue to focus on investing on infrastructure, on education, on innovation. Spend more, continue to build and improve infrastructure, support the innovators , entrepreneurs and business builders - invest in building value - and the money will come - it always does.


Thursday, February 18, 2016

VC in Australia in 2016 is looking good

With four funds with $800m to invest , Blackbird, Blue Sky Venture CapitalSquare Peg Capital and Brandon Capital all announcing $200 million raisings. and a host of success stories, Blackbird's Scevak is looking forward to exciting times in the Australian VC world. 
As these funds begin to deploy capital to local startups, the market will inevitably begin to compete with the world, Blue Sky Venture Capital investment director Elaine Stead tells Startup.
Is there enough deal flow to place these funds in Oz! It us known that the money is made in the series A an B rounds - when companies are established and ready to scale aka Atlassian 
Tony Holt of Square Peg says the industry will take a while to mature, and building a successful VC community does not happen overnight 

" This year will see large deployments of venture capital into the Australian startup ecosystem.We have a significant capacity to invest,” Holt says.

“We’ve had interest that has exceeded our expectations. We’re certainly in a position where we are investing from the new fund.”
Blackbird is on the hunt for founders that are ready to scale globally, Scavek says.
“We want to invest in ever more ambitious Australians who are aiming to be the best in the world, not the best in Australia,” he says.
“We’ll simply invest in the best entrepreneurs at a pace that we think makes sense.”
Blue Sky Ventures will be looking to close its own $200 million fund by the end of the year and is on the verge of fully deploying its previous fund after it was closed only eight months ago.
“That’s a strong signal of the deal-flow quality and volume we are seeing at the moment,” Stead says.
“This year we will be relentlessly focused on delivering investor value.
“We have three investments in the works right now which I look forward to sharing with everyone when we can talk about them.
“Then we will focus on developing deal-flow for our third fund so we can hit the ground running when it closes.” Watch outkleiner Perkins !!!!!

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Australian startup knocks back $1 million

Troy Westley knocks back $1 million investment offer from his Melbourne based startup "CareMonkey" after  winning the Slush international startup pitch challenge after taking out the local competition in Melbourne.

The event was a great opportunity to network and meet potential partners and winning it was great publicity for us.” 

CareMonkey provides a system of managing sensitive personal and medical information stored by schools, clubs and groups with a duty of care, expanding from a team of eight in November to 17.

The company saw more revenue in November and December last year than all of the previous financial year and is “quite profitable”, Westley says.

“The business is growing fast – we’re earning good revenue,” he says. “We’ve turned into a profitable organisation.”

Because of this Westley says he isn’t interested in any outside investments at the moment – even a $1 million one.

“We did take it seriously and had a look at taking the investment but my co-founder and I decided that our focus is on generating revenue and proving we can be a profitable company,” he says. (Taking a leaf out of Mike and Scott's unicorn, Atlassian! )

We would rather focus on building the business than spending energy raising capital.

The Secret Formula 

Providing a great product, having happy customers and earning revenue.
We are spending our energy focussing on our  customers, giving them massive value so that they would be delighted to pay to use our service.

“From the very first customer we had revenue – I think that’s a good way to build a sustainable business.”

International Aspirations 

Westley says a move into the US and UK is already in the works, and we’ll do the same there as we’ve done here,” he says.

“We’ll get a foothold, get happy customers, earn revenue and understand what we need to do to be a dominant player in those markets."

“After that it’d be a good time to go to investors.”