What better venue than a bar to
learn the secrets to becoming a rockstar startup and more than 40 would-be tech
entrepreneurs packed out the Pier Hotel’s Cellar Lounge last week to hear from digital
pioneer - and INXS insider - Brendan Yell.
The audience was treated to the
wealth of experience that Brendan has acquired in the forefront of startup
culture - from the emerging days of the very concept of ‘online’ and his role at
CompuServe in bringing the first cable modem to Australia, his successful and
not so successful online ventures and a chance meeting with INXS which led to him
running their digital operations for a number of years.
Based on his work with INXS, he
believes that being a startup founder is a lot like being in a rock band. A
successful rock band - and therefore successful startup - requires the right
combination of complementary skills, like a guitarist, bassist and drummer.
He advised the packed audience to
avoid the pitfall of hiring people that were too similar to themselves. “We all
like to hang out with people like ourselves, but for a startup you need a bit
of tension,” he said. “You need someone to pull you up and test those
assumptions, not agree with you.”
Two local startups had the opportunity
to be ‘live mentored’ by Brendan in front of the crowd and both agreed they came
away with valuable insights.
James Hay of My Therapist said: “It
was encouraging to see that our startup stood up to the test and our challenge
now is growth in other geographical areas. Brendan also provided an interesting
viewpoint and suggested there are opportunities to learn from the primary
healthcare sector and how they are starting to take online bookings.”
Ken Thaine, of PowZat Promos learnt
from Brendan that you must get your App out there quickly, no matter if it’s
not perfect. Since his live mentoring, he is focusing on maximising the number
of users he has as Brendan highlighted that “it’s the number of users that puts
the real value on the business - not the cash flow.” He said overall the
message was to get a move on and get it out there.
If you’re a wondering how to kickstart your startup, go along to
the Six Degrees Coworking hub and ‘jam with the band’.
Find out more at www.sixdegreescoworking.com