As part of our summer series looking back on an extraordinary year and the one ahead, we asked Right Click Capital Partner Benjamin Chong about the good, the bad and what he learnt this year, his summer plans and for suggestions on what to read when he gets a chance to catch his breath.
Here’s what he said:
Out of 10 (being totally awesome) what mark would you give 2020 and why?
- Six. Many people outside of Australia have died this year as a result of COVID-19 and many more have been infected with the disease
What were your personal highlights?
- Supporting portfolio companies as they responded to the pandemic
- Exploring my home city more
- Learning how to bake sourdough bread
And the lowlights?
- Not seeing enough of my friends and family
- Too much time at home
- Adjusting to uncertainty
What was the hardest thing you had to do in 2020?
- Counsel founders going through difficult times
And what brought you the greatest joy?
- Seeing founders figure out ways of providing their product to customers overseas despite not being able to meet them in person
What did you learn from the year and in hindsight, is there anything you’d do differently?
- The importance of adopting a growth mindset compared with a fixed mindset. I’d like to spend more time with discussing mindsets with friends and colleagues
What company do you most admire for its achievements in 2020 and why?
- Australia’s supermarket chains worked with their suppliers, staff and government to ensure we had access to essentials
How do you view the current technology climate in Australia?
- Australia is well placed to bounce back after this year. More investors have realised that technology can play a very positive role in our lives and the external shock created by the pandemic has only sped up the adoption of technology
What tech companies/startup will you be watching in 2021?
- Locally: Afterpay, Wisetech, Xero
- Internationally: Alphabet, Facebook, Netflix
What are you expecting to see in tech in 2021?
- Greater scrutiny of big tech, particularly in the US
- Increased usage of applied AI
- Cybersecurity will heat up
What are you hoping will happen in 2021?
- More vaccines will be approved providing options for the population to get immunised
- The underprivileged, both in Australia and overseas, are not forgotten
- Families wishing to see each other are reunited
What are your goals for the year ahead?
- Continuing to support great founders
- Learning more about
- Holidaying overseas
What’s keeping you awake at night, business-wise?
- The resumption of international travel
What are your Christmas plans and what are you most looking forward to?
- Two weeks. I’ll be recharging the batteries by visiting the beach, reading and catching up with family and friends
- Celebrating the nativity with family and friends
Where’s your favourite place to head to relax?
- Nothing beats an Australian beach
Your favourite summer holidays tradition.
- Inbox zero
3 books people should read over summer?
- Samsung Rising by Geoffrey Cain tells the story of how Samsung grew from humble beginnings to now battle Apple and Sony on a daily basis
- Abolish Silicon Valley by Wendy Liu is a personal story that explores the myths and structure of the technology industry
- Blood and Oil by Bradley Hope provides a well-told biography of Mohammed bin Salman and his ascent to power