Sunday, December 21, 2014

2 emerging trends for 2015

2 trends predicted by MIchael Evans 

The Outsourcing of Everything

Google, Amazon, and other companies have already become consumer outsourcing service providers. 

Meals, groceries, shopping, dry cleaning, and almost every other service one would leave the house for can be outsourced for a fee. 

To many, this is a trend that is reemerging from the past. Remember Webvan, the grocery delivery company that did a deep dive into bankruptcy almost 15 years ago at the nadir of the dot-com bust?

 As companies like Google figure how to make personal outsourcing services economical and profitable, outsourcing for consumers will become a huge growth industry in 2015 as people become willing to pay more to preserve their personal time.

Convergence and Consolidation of Social Media and Business 

- Facebook is largely a young consumer media company. 

-LinkedIn is largely a business network, and 

- Twitter a social commentary site. 

- keynected - enables brands and their customers communicate with each other 

Social media in 2015 will consolidate (how many social media sites can survive?) and become true B2B and B2C business tools through strategic alliances or mergers. is the preeminent sales and Customer Relationship Management (CRM)platform for business. 

- Microsoft is the leading small and mid-sized business software company. 

-IBM ( who are they? ) 

There will be significant consolidation and convergence in the Internet, business services, and social media industries in 2015.

About Michael Evans

Michael Evans is Managing Director for the Newport Board Group, with deep knowledge of business strategy. He can be reached at (415) 990-1844 or via email at

Tuesday, December 16, 2014


Love, respect, tolerance, sharing and mateship.

Makes me so proud to be an Australian!

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Join the referron user group to maximise the benefits of referron

Join the Referron User Group to enhance your referral and referron skills. Be sure to update your experiences and insights from your use of referron and your experience of referral marketing 

Wednesday, October 08, 2014

Ride Surfing

RIDE-SHARING services such as Uber, SideCar and Zimride are incredibly popular in the US for those needing a ride or willing to offer one. But following a long campaign by the taxi industry, there are moves afoot to close them down. The firms already have been fined $US20,000 each in San Francisco. In Australia the picture is rosier for now with Uber rolling out Uber Business, which allows companies to be billed to a single card. The Australian start-up RideSurfing, meanwhile, is expanding its recently launched Sydney ride-sharing service, with Perth coming aboard. Riders give the driver a donation they feel appropriate for the trip, rather than a formal fare. CHRIS GRIFFITH

Friday, October 03, 2014

Big Corporates - Innovate or Die!!

Innovation is becoming the buzzword - not only in the innovation hubs of startups - but also in the land of the big corporates

Indications that the Bureacratic Disease is setting in
  • Are you starting to defend your margins through pricing?
  • Is bureaucracy rife and issues re people trying to maintain their positions an, titles and jobs a problem?
  • Is it a mission to do something different?
  • can you relate to the drain phenomena?
  • Is the early vision of your Company exhausted?
A growing number of large brands are investing in non-core innovation for Growth. They must.
Disruption knocks. For some, disruption has all but destroyed the current status quo.

As my mentor Allen Pathmarajah says - when the rate of change on the outside is greater than the rate of change on the inside, the end is near.

there are 2 fundamental reasons why large corporates don't thrive in innovation
1. risk appetite is low and
2. fear of failing

Below are 8 examples of how organisations have started to infuse innovation into their culture
  1. Silicon Valley outposts, Nestle detting up a facility there
  2. Telstra supporting Muru-D
  3. Google supporting Fishburners
  4. On-Premise accelerators: Polleniser incubating Spreets
  5. Co-location with entrepreneurs, such as the RocketSpace model in San Francisco (soon             NYC and London)
  6. Continual learning - The Innovation Masterclass and the 10X Coaching Club and its                   accredited Business Diploma
  7. Attending investor forums
  8. Create a space where its ok for risky behaviour and the ability to push the edge with the             comfort that its ok to fail 
Many organisations need a good dose of new leadership to make innovation real and sticky.

Innovation is not a nice to have - its a necessity - and its good business.

Steve Blank talks about innovative businesses needing to both improve and invent!

So - in summary
  • Continuous disruption will be the norm for corporations in the 21st century
  • Continuous innovation – in the form of new businesses-  will be the path for long term corporate survival
  • Current corporate organisational models are inadequate for the task
  • Look to set up an Innovation Mastermind Group

The video below ( emphasizes that companies will need to have an organization that can do two things at the same time:  executing and improving existing models and inventing  – new and disruptive – business models.

When I speak to a founder of a start-up - it really gets my juices flowing 

They don't talk about building a lifestyle business (which represents 90% of all SME's). My Dad was a pharmacist, and his why was to earn enough money to live well, feed and educate his family and enjoy a day at the races to get is adrenalin pumping…..

Founders of Startups talk about

  • How they are going to change the world by doing something important
  • They are disrupting
  • They are making a massive difference
  • They are going to take over the universe
  • They are excited and they are on a mission

DO you think there should be a position for an Chief Innovation Officer? 
Can this position be outsourced? 
Would you like to learn more about innovation? 

  • -->

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Love this quote!

Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention to arrive safely and in a well preserved body - but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly worn out and totally used up - proclaiming  WOW , WHAT A RIDE!!!!

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

3 High Paying Dividend Stocks on the ASX recommended by the Motley Fool

According to Ned Davis Research , during periods of market decline between 1972 and 2010, dividend payers outperformed non-dividend payers by 1.5% per month.

that means the difference between turning a $100,000 portfolio into $2.4 million versus just $174,000.
  • ·         There is a direct correlation between high dividend yields and attractive total returns."
  • ·         High dividend yield stocks were also less volatile in terms of the standard deviation of returns."
  • ·         high dividend yield stocks outperformed other value strategies as well as the overall stock market return in declining markets."

compounding returns over long periods of time. Long-time dividend investors are surely on board with Albert Einstein, who supposedly called compound interest "the most powerful force in the universe."

Franking Credit advantage:- What that means is that a 6% term deposit provides a significantly inferior after-tax cashflow to a 6% dividend yield. 

In the US, a dividend yield (the annual dividend divided by the share price) of 2.5% to 3% is considered quite good. In Australia, sustainable yields of 5%, 6% and 7% are quite common.

Well-chosen shares can deliver something that a bank account can never offer - growth.
and it's very likely that a well-bought company with that sort of dividend growth would also have seen a (roughly) corresponding increase in share price.

3 interesting stocks 

Telstra (ASX: TLS)

 A nationally dominant telecommunications carrier with almost universal brand recognition. A business that has been revitalised through new management, that has been refocussed on the customer, and one that is likely to receive $11 billion (in net present value terms) from the government for giving up some of its infrastructure.
The growth in data consumption - both fixed-line and mobile - is strong and likely to continue, and this company has the largest mobile network and is leading the charge into the newest mobile data technologies.
Network application services grew earnings strongly in the last half, as the company's cloud computing and data centre services gathers momentum. This division could be bringing in billions in future, and is likely, along with mobile, to represent the majority of the company's earnings.
It also owns 50% of Foxtel, in conjunction with News Corporation (ASX: NWS). In the last year, Telstra's profit was boosted by a $155 million dividend from Foxtel. Foxtel is focusing on adding new subscribers and has launched Foxtel Go, which allows users to watch Foxtel TV and movies on iPads and other tablets - anywhere.
Telstra is also not limited to growth in Australia. It has a small but growing presence in Hong Kong, China, India, Singapore and Japan, as well as owning an undersea cable between Sydney and Hawaii, which it can rent out to other ISPs. Demand for data is set to grow at 66% a year, according to a recent report from Cisco (Nasdaq: CSCO).
Overall, though, Telstra is doing the right things to shed (or have taken from it) the low-growth and perishing legacy businesses. The directories (phone book) business can't be long for this world, and the Trading Post is now purely digital. The NBN will assume Telstra's fixed broadband business.
A freed up and focussed Telstra is readying itself for a bright (and increasingly mobile) future.
Telstra's dividend is almost the stuff of legend these days. The holy grail that is the 28-cent-per-year payment has almost become seen as a divine right - and would only be lowered by management as an absolute last resort, such is the expectation of its retail shareholder base.
That 28-cent dividend translates to a dividend yield of around 5.2% based on recent prices - and that's before franking. It certainly makes a 3% term deposit look stingy. That 5.2% grosses up to nearly 7.5% when you include those franking credits.What’s more, the company just increased its interim dividend for the first time since 2005!
Telstra has come a long way since March 2012 when the share price was $3.25, and even further since its shares changed hands for under $2.60 in late 2010. The share price has been on a stellar run since then - 

Thorn Group (ASX: TGA)
You've seen the 'Rent, Try, $1 Buy' ads from Radio Rentals (and Rentlo in South Australia), and Thorn Group is the company behind them.
For many Australians, buying whitegoods (like fridges and washing machines) or browngoods (televisions and the like) outright is often too expensive or inconvenient - and that's where Thorn comes in.
Its business model sees the company rent out products to consumers from its familiar stores, and an in-house financing arm looks after the contracts and collections. Breaking down a large purchase into small weekly payments makes the transactions easier for its customers - and vastly more profitable for Thorn.

Amcom (ASX: AMM)

The internet has been around in its current form for less than 20 years, but already it feels old hat. It's seen off Encyclopaedia Britannica in its original, printed form, created brand-new companies and industries, including the likes of (NASDAQ: AMZN), Apple's (NASDAQ: AAPL) iTunes store, and has put significant holes in the business models of our old media companies such as Fairfax (ASX: FXJ).
In doing so, the new industries have bought with them new and better ways of doing business. Chief among those is the concept of so-called 'big data', where companies are increasingly sending enormous amounts of business information across wide networks and are mining that information for insights into their customers and better ways of doing business.s.

Monday, September 01, 2014

22 ways to get online customers for free

From Michael Ugar at Appster 

High customer acquisition costs are the top reason why startups fail. So we have collated a list of some free customer acquisition tactics to bring your CAC down and help you get off the ground. Enjoy.

1. Direct Sales: Manually reach out and connect with your first 1000 customers. Use email, social media, phone, meet them and manually sign them up. These people are likely more important than the next 99,000 customers your get. The personal connections and direct feedback will make a huge difference.

2. Partnering: Find similar / complementing companies and create a value for their users to access their mailing list free.

3. Piggybacking: Piggyback on big platforms, for example Trulia made a partnership with CNN Money to power their real estate search. Instagram built a cross-posting feature leveraging Facebook and Twitter.

4. Reach out to groups with mailing lists bigger than 200 people and offer a freebie or create some other value.

5. Facebook and Linkedin Groups: Reach out to relevant group owners and provide some value for subscribers or make some trade with the owners.

6. Reddit: Go to /subreddit that’s related to your business and leave comments. Don’t be spammy, be helpful when interacting and don’t forget to mention your app.



7. Comments: Search 5-10 keywords related to you on Google and leave comments on those related pages (don’t be spammy, offer valuable response, advice etc.  

8. Giveaway: Create a giveaway campaign – offer free content or ask partners for freebies (I once got 20 copies of a newly published business book worth $600 for free just by emailing the author who connected me with his publisher – if you don’t ask you won’t get it)

9. Guest Posts: Write a guest post for any site that is related. Use Technorati to find them. Just write a great post and pitch it to them.

10. Referrals: Email existing users and ask them to refer their friends. Obvious advice but you would be surprised how few actually do it 

11. Competitor Users: Manually reach out to Twitter / Facebook followers of your competitors.

12. Think Outside the Box: Look new channels such as Instagram, Pinterest or international social networks to get new users. 

13. Betalist and Directories: Get listed in as many beta promoting sites and startup directories as possible. Try this list.

Screen Shot 2014-08-22 at 04.54.54

14. Bloggers: Offer top tech commentators like robert Scoble and bloggers early access or free demo.

15. Major Blogs: Pitch leading startup outlets like TechCrunch, Read/Write Web, Mashable, etc. Remeber to find relevant journalist covering your market. Be short and direct with your emails (they get them in hundreds) and always have some news to offer.

16. Local Outlets: Pitch local news and outlets in your region. You’ll likely get a “Local entrepreneur trying to solve a huge problem” kind of articles.

17. Stay in Loop: Setup Google alerts, twitter saved searches, and other monitoring tools for people asking questions about the type of service you provide.

Screen Shot 2014-08-22 at 04.52.40


18. Get Attention: Create controversy related to an industry topic and get attention.

19. Networking: Go to meetups and networking events. Get double-sided business cards with a link to your site and few bulletpoint pitching the signup.

20. Sponsor: You can sponsor most meetups on just by buing few beers. In return you will get an opportunity to pitch the crowd.

21. Pitch Events: Pitch your demo on the tech show or other startup event

22. Competition: Monitor competitors for controversy and become a leading source of news about it. Offer incentives for people to switch

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Who could forget this technology Shared via Keynected (

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

2m raised at big pitch funding 
Powered by Keynected (

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Coca-Cola and Monster deal turns founders into billionaires

article extracted from  my favourite keynected feed

Rodney Sacks and Hilton Schlosberg purchased a debt-laden soda maker in 1992 for $2m and took over debt for $12m

Over 20 years later, they are now billionaires as their company, Monster Beverage, agreed to sell a 17 per cent stake to Coca-Cola for $US2.15 billion ($2.3 billion), sending its shares as high as $US97.48 in New York trading.

The deal gives Coca-Cola greater exposure to the energy drinks market, one of the fastest-growing segments in the industry having doubled in sales since 2007.
Its main product, Monster Energy, has sold more than 10 billion units since its introduction in 1997. It has almost four times the amount of caffeine as Coke.

The Monster Story

Seeing the success of Red Bull, they introduced Hansen-branded energy drinks in 1997, the company languised for 5 years.
"They played with a bunch of different formulations. The first Hansen energy drink offering wasn't well received."

Fortunes shifted for the better in April 2002, when the pair launched Monster, an energy drink priced the same as Red Bull in cans twice the size. The Monster brand was so successful that the company changed its name to Monster Beverage in January 2012.

Monster has 34.3 per cent share of the energy drink market to Red Bull's 33.9 per cent, according to a Monster presentation to investors in January. Last year, Monster started a protein drink, Muscle Monster. In a nod to its natural soda roots, it introduced a kale flavored Hansen-brand soda earlier this year.
Coca-Cola explored buying Monster in 2012 and found the price too high, according to a person familiar with the matter who asked not to be named.

Caffeine concerns
Monster's caffeine levels have sparked ongoing investigations by state and federal officials into any connection energy drinks may have with unusual deaths. Countering the allegations has drawn Sacks more into the spotlight, including testifying before a US Congressional panel on energy drinks last summer.
In a meeting in February this year, Sacks opened the meeting  by confirming that  energy drinks are safe. A 473 ml cup of coffee served by Starbucks has more than double the caffeine of a Monster the same size!

The difference between a startup and a small business

An article inspired by smart company - (which is in my Spark collection on #keynected )

Download keynected - it's like a flipboard on steroids! 

“Startups have two important defining characteristics: Potential for high growth and disruptive innovation. Small businesses, on the other hand, lack those defining characteristics.”

– Alan Noble, head of engineering Google

“A startup isn't a business yet. It's a guess that if you build X product that Y customer will value it. When that changes from a guess to a reality, you're a business. For a new business, they already know the product is valued by customers, it's just a question of whether they can find enough of them and deliver it efficiently.”

 Mick Liubinskas, entrepreneur in residence Muru-D

“A startup is a temporary organisation that is still discovering its purpose and intends to grow very large when it finds it. A small business knows what it is and will probably stay comfortably small forever.

“For example, YouTube was a dating site in its days as a startup but discovered it needed to be a video-sharing product. When it knew this, and understood how to make money, it ceased to be a startup and began scaling. In contrast, a web development agency has a well-understood business model that can immediately be executed. But it is unlikely to be a massive business.”

– Phil Morle, CEO Pollenizer

“Startups are high-growth, high-risk ventures that set out to find a scalable business model in a large market. They almost always have a strong technology component in order to facilitate the ambitions of rapid growth. At the very beginning of a startup, it is usually unclear who the customer is and how they will obtain value from the product.

“Over time, startups have the capacity to make economic and cultural contributions that are disproportionate to their modest beginnings.”

– Scott Handsaker, co-founder Startup Victoria

Airbnb - How it started

Nathan Blecharczyk - 30 yr old Harvard graduate cofounder of Airbnb - launched in 2008 -  online accommodation portal 15m stays in 190 countries .

Idea :- Joe Gebbia, a designer , Brian Chesky leased out a room to help pay the rent - pumped up an air mattress and called it air bed and breakfast!
Joe , Brian, Nathan and a couple of developers then launched airbnb.

2 key points from article :- 

'Twas Cool because it impacted so many people around the world in a positive way! 

Think Big - see the big picture - and how you can change the world 

Friday, August 15, 2014

Keynected launched today - need your help!!

We are delighted to announce the birth of keynected ... (Launched on App Store today).


I have been challenged to get a sample of 1000 users to download the app within the next 5 days -
So...please download keynected, play with it, and if you love it share it with your friends.

At the moment you need to have an I-phone or IPAD and have Facebook (Android is coming soon)

It would be fantastic if you could give us feedback and suggestions.

What is it
Keynected is an aggregation of all your Facebook and Social Media LIKES and their POSTS.

Now you can find your favourite magazines, brands, celebs, teams and causes ALL IN ONE PLACE, and share the content that you like with your friends via email, message or social media.

IT IS SUPER EASY TO USE (and I find it a bit addictive!!)

If you have an iPhone and are on Facebook, please download Keynected from the Appstore or from (and soon to come for Android devices and phones.)

Download from App Store:

Check out the Website

View the Demo Video

have a great weekend

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Who do you know that became successful before going to University?

Ten people who found success without finishing a degree before going to work in Australia

There’s an old adage in university circles that ‘Ps’ (a passing grade) get degrees. Yet it would seem that degrees don’t necessarily get you jobs.

Australia’s unemployment rate hit a staggering 12-year high this week. Youth unemployment is faring even worse, plumbing to depths not seen since 2001. These figures have fuelled an ongoing debate in business circles about whether we have an oversupply of university graduates and an undersupply of particular skill sets.

There's a perception that a university qualification is a gateway to a long and successful career. And while there’s no denying that particular degrees can open doors, it’s worth remembering that university isn’t the be-all and end-all, particularly in business.
Indeed, Australia has its share of business mavericks who chose not to further their formal education, but have nevertheless achieved immense financial success.   

Clive Palmer

Palmer United Party leader, multi-billionaire and law-school dropout Clive Palmer has made a fortune from property development and the resource sector. He was ranked 28th on this year’sBRW Rich List after earning $1.22 billion last year. He says he is worth over $2bn. Palmer has made some erratic purchases in his lifetime, including the Gold Coast United FC, and has built a dinosaur amusement park. He is also building a replica of Titanic, which will set sail in 2016.  

Lindsay Fox

Lindsay Fox dropped out of school when he was 16 and became the founder of the country’s largest privately-owned transport and logistics company. His company, Linfox, employs over 22,000 people, has more than 5,000 vehicles, and owns the Armaguard cash security business. He is reportedly worth over $2bn.

Janine Allis

Like Fox, Janine Allis dropped out of school at 16. She was a stewardess on David Bowie’s yacht in the Mediterranean before opening her first juice franchise in Adelaide in 2000. Boost now saturates the juice market with hundreds of stores in 11 countries. On the tailwind of Boost’s success, Allis created Retail Zoo as an umbrella company, which owns Boost and other retail companies such as Cibo Espresso and Salsas Fresh Mex Grill. Last year Retail Zoo had a total turnover of $223 million. Allis maintains a 25 per cent stake in the business.

Solomon Lew

A key figure in Australia’s retail scene, Solomon Lew is perhaps best known as the chairman of retail conglomerate Premier Brands, and before that as the director of Coles Myer. Lew hailed from humble beginnings. At 18, he assumed control of his Dad’s retail business and built his empire up from there. Lew was thrust into the spotlight when he helped bail out Myer in 1983, taking a 10 per cent stake in the company. He helped manage the company through its merger with Coles and then pocketed a cool $1.1bn when Wesfarmers assumed control of the supermarket giant in 2006. Lew remains active in the retail M&A space. He pocketed $210m earlier this year in dealings surrounding South African retail giant Woolworths' takeover of David Jones. 

Grant O'Brien

From sparkie to shelf stacker to chief executive, Woolworths CEO Grant O'Brien is an example of just how high an individual can climb up the career ladder without a university degree.
After dropping out of high school in year 10, O’Brien originally trained as an electrician. Poached by the Glenelg Football club for his for his prowess as a ruckman, O’Brien left his home in Penguin, Tasmania and undertook a diploma in business and accounting to help manage his work as a contractor sparkie. This saw O’Brien change his career plans and move into number-crunching.
Four years later, O’Brien moved back to Tasmania and took on a role as an accounting assistant at Woolworths' Tasmanian supermarket arm, Purity. He stacked shelves after work to earn some extra pocket money for his family. He eventually became chief executive in 2011. Obrien did attempt to attain a MBA at Monash University but did not complete the course. Like most executives, he attended a short business course at Harvard in the US before being appointed chief executive.

Kirsty Dunphey

The 2002 Telstra Young Australian Business Woman of the Year was a broke university dropout before establishing her own real-estate agency in 2001 at the age of 21. M&M Real Estate was the 24th fastest growing company on BRW’s Fast 100 list in 2004, after making $2.4m in revenue. She was a self-made millionaire by 23, multi-millionaire by 25, and then sold her agency in 2007 for an amount that would have allowed her to retire if she wanted. She is now a co-director at Elephant Property, a Tasmanian property-management consultancy firm she established in 2008. Since becoming a multi-millionaire, she has studied a Master of Business at the University of Tasmania.

James Packer

When not caught in a bit of biffo, James Packer enjoys business success as owner of gaming conglomerate Crown Resorts. Packer inherited billions of dollars from his late father Kerry, who built a media empire. Kerry Packer felt that sending James to university would only teach him left-wing ideas and how to smoke dope, so instead he shipped him off to the Northern Territory to become a jackaroo. After a couple of years herding cattle, Kerry sent James to London to learn business from American business turn-around specialist Al Dunlap. BRWestimates James Packer to be worth over $7bn.

John Winning

After finishing high school and working a few odd jobs, John Winning went on to revolutionise his Dad’s business, the Winning Group, by founding Appliances Online in 2004. The web business is now Australia’s largest online appliance retailer and has helped keep his Dad’s business competitive. It was started by Winning with just a laptop, a rented car and by diverting a 1300 number to his mobile. The Winning Group’s 2012-2013 sales totalled over $350m.

Frank Lowy

Eight years after immigrating to Australia from Palestine, Frank Lowy listed the world’s biggest shopping-centre empire on the ASX in 1960. Today there are nearly 100 Westfield shopping malls. Westfield’s retail portfolio is worth over $40bn. The company now trades Scentre Group on the ASX since June this year following a shambolic corporate restructure that somewhat tarnished his reputation as one of Australia’s greatest business heroes. Lowy learned his business acumen not from school, but from living off the streets in Hungary during the Second World War. 

Shannon Bennett

 Shannon Bennett is a restaurateur who has established a successful restaurant empire. He dropped out of school at 15 and became an apprentice chef after a stint at McDonald's. Bennett spent time in Europe under the tutelage of the best chefs before opening his first Vue du Monde restaurant, aged 24, in Carlton, Melbourne. The restaurant has since moved to level 55 of the Rialto building on Collins Street, with Vue cafes dotted around the city. Last year he purchased a $5m property in South Yarra, which is probably easy to do when the bill for two at the restaurant can cost as much as $1000.
Read  in an email from a mate who got this  from UBS

Saturday, August 09, 2014

Digital Disruption is the key

Republished from

The giant dotcoms like Google, Facebook and Yahoo have made the transition successfully through the most disruptive moment of their short histories. And they have emerged more powerful than ever before.

Disruption is not a death sentence.

The desktop web as we came to understand it emerged in the mid 90's and changed the world dramatically in just a decade. The mobile web emerged during the last decade with the arrival of iPhones and then Google's Android. Its impact was even more disruptive, dramatic and far reaching, and it is still only getting started.

Only three years ago Facebook made no money from mobility and in its stock market prospectus said it didn't really know how it would. Google was a search engine seven years ago, and there were no Android phones in the world. Yahoo was the old man of the club, poorly run and trading on reputation, until Marissa Mayer laid down her "mobility first" dictate.

Today those three companies clearly lead mobile web traffic in the US, each garnering over 85 per cent reach amongst US mobile web consumers in the most recent month according to comScore. And the story doesn't stop at the top three. Run your finger down the top ten list and the story is the same all the way down. Giant tech brands with an internet provenance anchored on the desktop now dominating the smartphone economy.

How were these techs leaders able to survive the wave of digital disruption and emerge so powerful when so many other companies in other sectors withered.

Three characteristics stand out;

  • An obsessive focus on customer service, epitomized by companies like Amazon
  • An extraordinary pursuit of digital capability and design excellence as represented by companies like Apple
  • And a brutal facility to execute disruptive strategy at scale and speed as demonstrated by companies like Google and Facebook.

Capgemini rang the bell on this trend in a report into digital leadership last year where it measured the maturity of business models based on digital capability and capacity to execute. Not surprisingly tech companies own the leadership quandrant as the chart below describes.

As Statista noted earlier this year , "In the end it appears as if the same companies that dominated the internet for years smartly used their size and scale to reach dominance in the mobile space as well."

When you start to drill down into individual company performances the impact of mobility becomes even more stark. Apple for instance will likely derive almost 70 per cent of its gross profits from iPhones this year as the chart below from Statista outlines.

With a higher priced and bigger screened iPhone apparently on the way, Apple is replying on smart mobility to defend its margins. As Statista says, "Given the fact that the iPhone is already Apple's biggest cash cow (see the chart for a breakdown of Apple's estimated 2014 profit), the prospect of improved margins on a top-selling new iPhone will bode well with Apple's shareholders which are waiting for positive news from Cupertino."

Source: Statista

Andrew Birmingham is the editor and publisher of Which-50. For smart insights and analysis around digital disruption and subscribe to our Irregular Insights newsletter.

Tuesday, August 05, 2014

Have retailers embraced mobility? Great opportunity for them

Australia’s shoppers have embraced mobility, but retailers are barely getting started: study -By Stanislas Nouveau
Despite the rise of smartphone usage in retail by Australia’s shoppers, most Australian retailers have yet to adopt sophisticated mobile strategies. A joint mobile commerce study from NetSuite and the Australian Retailers Association, conducted by Frost & Sullivan, has revealed that local retailers remain largely unprepared for mobile commerce. 

 “There is a reasonable disconnect between the retailer and customer expectations, and this creates a lot of opportunity for retailers to rise to the occasion and take on market share.” Read more

Thursday, July 31, 2014

There is funding for Australian Innovation

Many software companies from around the world look to list in the USA - as that is where markets and valuations are 


the Australian ASX and other Exchanges around the world are becoming viable options.... 

Positive news for innovative companies that have commercial opportunities!!

Both Atlassian and Xero (Xero currently listed in Oz and NZ , may  go ahead with plans for a United States listing, and the  Baker & McKenzie Cross-Border IPO Index indicates that  the number of companies listing on foreign exchanges is rising sharply.

Australia was a stand-out performer ,  with one of its strongest half-year performances in the past decade. chief executive Matt Barrie has promoted the ASX as a home for Australian technology companies seeking access to public markets. He listed Freelancer on the ASX last November.

Keep your eyes open for the IPO of Chinese online retailer Alibaba Group in New York in the pipeline.

The biggest winner was North America, with companies raising $US7.9 billion in 27 cross-border IPOs in North American exchanges in the first half of 2014, a 274 per cent increase year on year. The lion’s share went to Nasdaq, with $US5.8 billion raised in 18 cross-border IPOs. The biggest listing was China-based JD.

In the Asia Pacific, the Hong Kong stock exchange dominated with $US6.1 billion in 35 cross-border IPOs, led by the listing of China-based Harbin Bank . 

“Resources companies have traditionally gone to the US, Toronto or London,” Frank Castiglia from Bajer and Mckenzie told BRW 

 “For technology the heartland is still the US and it’s having an investor base which understands the companies and attributes appropriate value and also being close to the customer base as well.”

" Companies that deploy technology for their basic business model, like Freelancer or Virtus where technology is part of but not the dominant feature, the ASX is a very viable and helpful option,” Castiglia says.

“One of the things that makes [the ASX] very attractive to many companies and particularly early-stage companies is the listing rules and the flexibility around that. Companies at an early stage, for example, can list under the assets test so they don’t need a profit track record, so getting on the exchange is relatively easy compared with the rest of the world. And also you’ve got very good listing rules to facilitate further capital raising, probably the best in the world.”

For inbound IPOs, Castiglia says the ASX has traditionally attracted resources company listings, but more recently has proven attractive for foreign life sciences and biotechnology firms such as US-based companies, Osprey Medical and GI Dynamics.

Castiglia says globally exchanges are looking at facilitating more dual listings and should consider fast-track procedures, such as those of AIM, the secondary exchange in London.

For more info on how to find VC - call us 

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Venture Capital in Australia seems to be the flavour of the month

Venture Capitalist, former Microsoft executive Daniel Petre and Craig Blair , chairman at social TV start-up Beamly and former Expedia Australia, closed their $60m new fund, AirTree Ventures Fund.

In 1997, Mr Petre started ecorp for Kerry Packer’s PBL with $30 million capital, floating the subsidiary six years later for $385 million.

He then teamed up with Mr Blair and former eBay Australia managing director Alison Deans to form netus, a $40 million fund half-owned by News Corp, producing an internal rate of return of 63 per cent on investments.

AirTree will look to invest $2 million to $5 million in about 15 businesses across the fund over 3 years. 

“In netus, we did nine investments, seven of them returned between three and 22 times, and only two didn’t make money, so that is the kind of rigorous approach we will take now.”

Airtree are looking for businesses that demonstrated signs of traction in the market, and said they could sit in any number of sectors from e-commerce, media, retail and financial services, through to education and health. 

Other VC Funds include
- OneVentures started raising $100 million 
- Blackbird Ventures 
- Square Peg Capital  - Bassat, Liberman and Packer fund 
- Montech listed fund - David Shein and Geoff Levy's recently listed fund merging the skills of Monash and Comtech!!
- telstra's Muru-d - run by Mick 
- and then there is Fishburners - who have just done a deal with Google 

And it looks as if their will be more coming to the table!!! Watch this space .

Hitech and startups  seems to be an interesting space at the moment!!

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Con Georgiou - One Million Acts of Innovation - Book now for Aug 15

Our BSI Connect Entrepreneurs and Innovators Forum together with Referron were fortunate to have had Con Georgiou give a keynote at our Friday on "one million acts of innovation" and what his vision is to transform Australia into a leading innovation nation over the next 5 years! 
Listen to some gems!! 

Con has agreed to present again at our Friday Entrepreneur Mastermind series on Friday 15 AUgust at 12:30pm - 2pm - Please confirm your tickets for you and your guests by clicking here  

If you are a referron subscriber - type in referron007 in the promo code for your complimentary ticket

A gem that I took out of the seminar! 
  • Low skill , high challenge - stress, tension and anxiety
  • High skill - low challenge - boredom 
  • When you increase your level of skill, and are prepared to take a challenge - that is when you get innovation, inspiration, creativity 

Con has agreed to join us again and present  on Friday 15 August  from  12:30pm - 2 pm 

Con  Co-founded Velteo which focused on integrating culture with process and technology for sales and service improvement. Velteo received industry awards, deployed projects to some of the largest organisations in the country and gained international attention which ultimately helped him reach an exit 4 years later when he sold the company to an overseas competitor. Velteo's high performance culture was recognised as second to none and was the critical element to its success.
Con Georgio is an Angel, Coach and Speaker. Co-founder and CEO One Million Acts of Innovation, and Flow Engine

 I am certain you will have a few golden nuggets that you will take home with you!

See you on Friday... be sure to register here . And feel free to bring potential clients and potential referron advocates!

( ps.. be sure to use referron to refer someone to a business that you know like and trust today)