The State of the Nation in Australian emerging technology


Chris Saad, the hyper-energetic co-founder of Particls, Engagd, APML, Media 2.0 Workgroup and probably many other interesting initiatives I haven’t had the time to hear about yet, has added to his plate editing Blognation Australia. Blognation is a very interesting set of blogs covering technology developments in 13 countries, which can be used to provide country-specific or an aggregated global view into what’s happening in technology.

To launch Blognation Australia Chris has written a State of the Nation: Australia post, which provides a fantastic overview of the state of emerging technologies in Australia, covering People, Companies, Capital, Politics, and Leadership/ Community. The intention of the blog is cover Australian start-ups with a global perspective.

It’s well worth reading the full post, however here are a couple of extracts:

Australia is full of bright, passionate people. People who understand how to mix business and pleasure. How to create products that people love and how to find creative solutions to day-to-day challenges.

Australian culture, however, is often a mixed bag when it comes to entrepreneurial spirit. Generally speaking, while many of us are ready to strike out and run our own companies, a number of social and practical problems sometimes limit the scope of our ventures.

* We typically think local (city, state or country). We don’t spend enough time thinking about local and world-wide trends to make sure we are not re-inventing the wheel.

* Many of us are not comfortable with self promotion or promoting our ideas.

* We usually prefer the cash and perks of a big company over building equity in our own companies.

* We are a little too concerned with holding onto our own little piece of the pie (because we think there is so little pie in Australia).

* We usually don’t fund our ventures to world-class standards.

* Lastly, and perhaps most importantly, our culture does not really encourage failure as an inevitable and useful stepping stone along the road to success.

While this might seem fairly pessimistic, my intention is to help define some of our challenges so we can overcome them together. I also want to highlight our strengths so we can learn to leverage them for great successes.

Local capital is a problem in Australia. There is plenty of it going around, but most local Angels and VCs do not typically understand the web. They prefer to bet on traditional or tangible industries rather than try to understand the ethereal nature and value of eyeballs, Attention and Intention.

I have literally heard investors saying ‘We can’t find the right teams/companies to invest in’ and I have heard Founders say ‘We can’t find investors willing to give us the right deals’.

I very much hope Blognation Australia succeeds in its intention of being a catalyst for Australian emerging technology. Given just what I’ve seen in the last few months there’s definitely much exciting in store.

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