The launch of Hub Sydney – crowdfunding memberships and distributed value creation


The Hub global movement was founded in London in 2005, and is a very rapidly growing network of so far 30 Hub communities co-working spaces established around the world and over 5000 members.

I first heard of the Hub soon after it was established, but was first directly exposed to the network when I ran a workshop on Crowdsourcing for Startups and Social Innovation at Hub Westminster in London last year.

I was fortunate to spend some time at the Hub and with its co-founder the inimitable and inspiring Indy Johar.

Subsequently I had the chance to hang out at Hub Melbourne, which draws together an eclectic community in a vibrant space in the city center.

As such I was delighted when the launch of Hub Sydney was announced. It will open on May 8 in a large office space on William Street Darlinghurst, leased from the City of Sydney. Check out the video – it tells the Hub Sydney story well.

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Promoting alcohol on social media: where do we draw the line?


Last Friday I was interviewed for a segment on ABC 7pm News about alcohol advertising on social media. Click on the image below to see the video.


The piece begins:
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Professional services will be at the heart of our economic future


Last night was the announcement of the winners of the annual BRW Client Choice Awards.

Each year Beaton Consulting compiles the opinions of large professional service clients – this year 40,000 of them – who collectively select the best professional service firms in Australia. The results are announced at a gala dinner and published in BRW magazine.

The full list of winners is here. The magazine’s lead article on the awards Client choice awards: Savvy, digital, global: the face of the new professional, provides interesting insights into the state of the professions in Australia.

I gave the guest keynote at the event, with the intent of providing inspirational yet light-hearted perspectives on the awards.

My theme was “Creating Australia’s Future”, about how professional services firms are at the heart of Australia’s (and all developed countries’) future.
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Analysis: US, Australia social network usage flat, New Zealand now the world’s biggest user of social networks?


On February 13 I will speak at Air New Zealand’s Social Media Breakfast in Auckland, together with Teddy Goff, Obama’s Digital Director, with an expected audience of close to 1,000.

Air New Zealand ran its first Social Media Breakfast in July last year with Randi Zuckerberg as key speaker, with the exceptional success of the event leading the airline to continue the series with the second breakfast next week. While Air New Zealand is the 36th largest airline in the world, it ranks 6th in its social media presence.

In preparing for the event I have been looking at data on New Zealand’s usage of social media. I was surprised to find that there is a fair chance that New Zealand has the highest rate of social network usage in the world.


The chart above shows a summary of data from Nielsen on the time spent per month on social networks in a variety of countries around the world.
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How to make friends with and influence Sydney’s entrepreneurial and self-employed community


This year we celebrate the 14th annual Entrepreneurs and Self-Employed Xmas Party in Sydney.

As every year, the intention is to provide an opportunity for entrepreneurs and self-employed people, primarily from the technology and creative sectors, to celebrate the end of a great year with their peers. While corporate employees have someone to put on their Christmas party for them, those making it happen for themselves don’t have that luxury.

As we did last year, we have invited companies to support the Entrepreneurs Xmas Party by helping to buy drinks for early arrivals at the event. So far we have almost all the companies that supported our event from last year, who all found it highly valuable, plus a couple more on board.
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The future of news: automated, crowdsourced, and better than ever


ABC journalist Mark Colvin last week delivered the Andrew Olle Media Lecture, a prestigious annual lecture on journalism. Mark is a Twitter afficionado as well as journalist with over three decades of experience, making him a great choice for the lecture this year.

The full transcript of the lecture provides rich stories from the history of journalism in Australia, and an incisive view of the present.

On the topic of crowdsourcing, Mark says:
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The future of banking: biometrics take over cash, payments in fluid economy, personal digital agents


This morning ANZ announced its Banking on Australia program, in which it will spend $1.5 billion over the next five years to reshape its business and invest in digital technology, with the immediate launch of a range of digital initiatives.

At the media event announcing the program at ANZ’s headquarters this morning I spoke about the future of banking, and ANZ Australia CEO Phil Chronican shared ANZ’s initiatives.

I will try to write more later about what I covered in my presentation. For now here are some excerpts from ANZ’s press release on some of the very interesting statistics from a survey performed by ANZ for the launch, together with some of my comments.
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If you’re in Sydney and totally awesome, we want to give you $250!


We have recently been advertising for a Genius projects/ marketing/ web/ publishing assistant/ manager – part-time in Sydney.

As we describe in our working principles document, the process starts with an interview and tests, after which we offer the most interesting candidates a one-day trial, in most cases offering to pay $250. For those we hire after the trial work, the most common pay structure is hourly rate plus profit share.

So let’s reframe this. If you think you could add value to what we’re doing, and have a day of your time spare, we’d love to pay you $250 for helping us with some project ideas we have.
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Entrepreneurial migration: It’s not brain drain, it’s global network formation


I was recently interviewed by ABC TV for a segment on Australian entrepreneurs moving overseas. My key message was that we absolutely shouldn’t see this as “brain drain”, but the formation of rich networks that are enormous enablers for the economy and entrepreneurial opportunities in the future. The same messages apply to any country, but Australia represents a great case study.

There has been massive attention in the Australian media lately about entrepreneurs who have moved to Silicon Valley. Among other programs, ABC’s Foreign Correspondent did a one-hour feature called The Revenge of the Nerds featuring the Aussie startup scene in the US, the Sydney Morning Herald has a video series on Digital Dreamers, and a long series of articles with titles like Brain drain: why young entrepreneurs leave home.

Even Bloomberg has weighed in with a segment titled Oz Tech Entrepreneurs Set-Up Shop in Silicon Valley, shown below.

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We’re looking for an Admin Assistant With Amazing Digital Potential (PT) in Sydney


Continuing my series of posts on talented people we’re looking for, we want to grow our core team in Sydney with an admin assistant who will take on a variety of administrative tasks at the core of the business.

Every person who has been in a junior role in our business has moved on to project roles, and we’re looking for someone who not only has that potential, but can immediately assist on our ongoing projects.

It is a part-time role, and since we’re based in Surry Hills, students at UTS would find it particularly convenient. However we’re of course open to anyone who is highly talented and enthusiastic and seeks some flexibility in their work.

Read details of the admin assistant role here and be sure to look at our principles on how we work with highly talented people.