News & Analysis

Digital Disruption in Australia: A Guide for Entrepreneurs, Investors & Corporates

- September 8, 2015 2 MIN READ

It is estimated that over 50 percent of Australian businesses are currently affected in some way by digital disruption across various areas of what they do. Some studies actually suggest that over 5 million jobs are at risk of being automated over the coming years – disrupted by high-growth technology startups. The topic is being explored in greater depth in a new book that was released this morning by one of Australia’s most prolific technology lawyers, Nick Abrahams.

Abrahams has started and exited several businesses. He is an angel investor and a non-executive director of one of Australia’s leading software companies, Integrated Research; and he is also an investor in legal tech platform Law Path.

Added to that, Abrahams is a former professional stand-up comedian and was once the creative executive at Warner Brothers in Los Angeles and COO for listed dotcom group, Spike Networks.

According to his new book Digital Disruption in Australia: A guide for Entrepreneurs, Investors & Corporates, Abrahams suggests that companies can navigate the next digital generation and use it to their advantage. He claims that the book should serve as a wake up call for the entire economy.

“No one is immune,” says Abrahams. “Take accountants: almost 100% of the tasks they do will be automated by 2035. How can we as an economy survive this? That’s what my book seeks to help answer.”

Within the book Abrahams talks about some very good points, particularly when it comes to the mindset of Australian startup founders and investors. He says that as a country, our biggest inhibitor to becoming a global innovation powerhouse is our preoccupation with what he has labelled our ‘corridor of comfort’.

“Australia loves the middle too much,” says Abrahams. “We don’t like tall poppies and we are scornful of bankrupts. To succeed in the future, Australia needs to embrace risk-taking. We need to celebrate our successful entrepreneurs and give support to those who have failed.”

In the book, Abrahams draws upon his experiences to analyse the impact of more than 500 corporate transactions across the Australian technology, media and telco sectors over the last four years to identify areas of true disruption in the Australian economy. It is not a theoretical analysis either; Abrahams has used the book to call out real-world examples of local disruption currently happening.

The good news to come out of this is that the rapid changes happening in various sectors like mining in Australia is driving a boom in the Australian tech scene. In fact, many industries are reporting high levels of investment and activity from the increasing popularity of digitally disruptive solutions.

“This is a critical issue for our children and generations beyond,” says Abrahams. “There is solid research to show that many of the jobs people have today will not exist in 5 or 10 years. We need to ensure that companies embrace innovation and that the government has the right policy settings to ensure we give our kids the right type of education.”

“Frankly, we don’t need more lawyers, We need different skills, let’s have more data scientists, social media identities and user-experience experts. Our universities have a duty to their students to give them an education that will set them up for this new world.

“We are facing a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. Never before have startups managed to move so quickly to maturity and even global leadership. Former Telstra CEO David Thodey says in the past forty years, the greatest rate of change has been in the last two. We won’t get this chance again.”

Featured image: Nick Abrahams. Source: Provided.