Story of Australian Founders At Work

Today I would like to give you some more insights into how this journey of following Aussie technology startups started and where I'm heading with this initiative.

I have been following technology startups coming out of Australia since 2005. I published the first comprehensive list of startups in Australia in 2006 for RWW. Martin Wells & users at Whirlpoolforums provided leads in compiling that list. From their onwards, I have kept a close eye on the new ventures coming out of Australia.

In March 2008, I conducted the First Online Startups Carnival which was Judged by Duncan Riley, Ross Dawson & Justin Davies. During the carnival, we (Judges and I) covered nearly 30 startups. Since then I have covered an additional 40 startups - so in total 70 startups and interviews with VCs & Angel Investors. This list will be growing, as I will be covering more in the coming days/weeks/months/years.

In addition to this, I have started publishing market analysis, technology & business trends, especially with a focus on the local market. In future, I intend to write more in this area as well.

Now what next:
Well, I have now started compiling these published interviews in a Book under the Title - Australian Founders At Work. This idea of a Book was suggested by none other than Duncan Riley when I caught up with him and Ben Barren. My sincere thanks to Duncan for suggesting this excellent idea.
I must admit this will be my first attempt at writing a book in a non-technical area. I have published quite a few articles online and 1-2 famous technical tutorials, but nothing like this. Writing this is a little bit easy :-) as most of the content (99%) is created by others (people whom I have interviewed). My sincere thanks to all who contributed to this, sometimes painful process. 

I would like to get some feedback from all of you on this initiative and your thoughts on this.


Anonymous said…
This is a fantastic initiative Vishal, and something that can only help fuel the growth and interest in Australian start ups.
Anonymous said…
My instinct is that it seems a little too close to Jessica Livingstone's Founders at Work, in name, concept and even the sample cover artwork. I gather this is intentional, but I don't know why you'd be so blatant about it.

I'd question whether Australia currently has enough truly successful tech startups to make this project worthwhile. Jessica Livingstone's book featured stories from founders of companies that are (or were at some time), bona fide winners, and thus their journeys to success (and where applicable, their subsequent decline) had many valuable lessons.

I don't see any comparable success stories in your list of startups. A comparable Australian list would probably have to include names like Seek, Sausage Software, Looksmart, destra and Sitepoint. But these would mostly be stories of blind luck and poor judgment.

So, I don't think there's a huge amount to be learned from the current generation of struggling startups, nor the Australian successes of the past; the most valuable lessons are more likely to be found elsewhere in the world.

I'd say it'd be more worthwhile to explore just why it is that the Australian landscape currently seems so mediocre, and what needs to change for it to develop.
Renu Sharma said…
Thanks Scott & anonymous :-)
This is an idea I'm exploring and nothing is concrete on title & design.
You are right, there are lot of other ventures which need coverage and I'm trying my best to do so.

To others who sent their feedback via email, I'm slow to respond but will reply one by one. Thanks for that.
OurPatch said…
I think it's a good idea. I would not worry too much about anonymous contributions. There is quite an active culture of people giving it a go and that alone is helpful. THe USA is full of people trying different things and sometimes they work and sometimes they don't. When they do it's always a mix of timing, luck, skill and actually being in the right place. Let's get anonymous to tell us his achievements and contributions, perhaps they are worthy or a chapter. But I suspect it's a posting from a consultant i.e. someone who knows a 100 ways to make love to a woman but just does not know any women.