Brains Trust

Oh no, Have I done something wrong?!?

- March 14, 2013 2 MIN READ

I don’t want to be fatalistic or a scaremonger, BUT you know that you are doing at least something wrong in your business, don’t you? Sure, you are the “ideas person”, the driver of your enterprise and proud of the fact that out of nothing, you have made something pretty special. You are even providing others with opportunities to make money along-side or as a consequence of what you are doing, and have an employee or three hovering in the wings, starting as a “casual” or a “contractor” for now, being paid in sweat equity or when the next big invoice comes in, or on a “trial” basis until you decide that they are worthy of a paid position.

Brains Trust

Sweat Equity & Startups

- March 8, 2013 3 MIN READ

Yes, I know. You are a start-up. You have limited resources and a difficult cash flow forecast – but could really use some help. We spoke about interns a while back, now we are going to look a bit deeper into other ways you might think about to supplement the limited funds you have to hand to get the right person helping you out.

Brains Trust

Hipsters & Startups

- March 5, 2013 3 MIN READ

Those who can’t do…start.

Thick rimmed glasses, fixed rim bicycles, skinny jeans rolled up to just below the knee, boat shoes, vegan diets. Okay, you got me, I’m talking about hipsters. Or am I? You’ve probably noticed the convergence between hipster culture and local start-up culture so let’s explore why.

Brains Trust

Government Grants are a waste of your time

- February 28, 2013 2 MIN READ

I was on a panel last night at Lean Startup Melbourne talking about different ways you can raise capital for your business. The panel featured a venture capitalist, an entrepreneur who had raised VC capital, a government grants consultant and myself talking about my experience raising capital for Tweaky.com from local angel investors.

Brains Trust

Is your business going anywhere?

- February 21, 2013 3 MIN READ

Often we get so caught up working in our business, that we don’t stop to take a look at how our business is actually performing. You win a big project, and you spend all your time working on it that the actual running of the business goes out the window. Basically, what’s happening is that you have stopped working on your business, and you’re now working in it.

Brains Trust

Advance Innovation

- February 20, 2013 3 MIN READ

Advance is an Australian non-profit public-private partnership with communities spanning 90 countries and outposts in New York, San Francisco, Hong Kong and London. Founded by Ken Allen, Advance fosters a worldwide community of Australians, taps into knowledge far and wide and facilitates global career opportunities, innovation and entrepreneurship.

Brains Trust

Why team culture will help your business succeed faster

- February 18, 2013 3 MIN READ

Having survived two and a half years, with our third store on the way and with almost 25 staff, we have grown organically and independently (no capital investors or franchisees) in what some might say is a short amount of time. How we have been able to achieve this is not pure luck but instead it has come from the hard work, passion and dedication from the team of people that work with us. I always tell everyone that our team work with us and not for us. There is a profound difference when you hire people to just do a job and get paid – to the people that you hire because they believe in your company and want to join you for the ride.

Brains Trust

Could we all just be purists in the startup space?

- February 15, 2013 2 MIN READ

On Wednesday night I attended a talk at the University of Sydney by two of the founders of The Iconic. Most of you should know what The Iconic is, especially if you have the internet radio or tv. One of the things that I didn’t know about the Iconic was that it was a manufactured startup, like One Direction – but a tech business.

Brains Trust

The Piggy Back Theory. Part Two – The Proposal

- February 11, 2013 3 MIN READ

Last week in Part One – The Approach, we looked at identifying a potential strategic partner and executing a successful meeting with them. Today we are going to be looking at how we go from that initial meeting, to constructing a professional proposal, that outline everything discussed at the meeting and insure’s that both parties… Read more »

Brains Trust

There is no such thing as a free worker!

- February 8, 2013 5 MIN READ

A common theme with start-ups is the hunt for cheap (read: free) labour – and with a pool of eager-beaver workers (read: students looking for a CV-booster) putting their hand up to work for peanuts, it is very tempting for over-worked founders to get some “interns” to share the load.

Brains Trust

Startup Profile: 121Cast

- February 6, 2013 5 MIN READ

While one might be forgiven for thinking that the founders of the Melbourne based 121Cast might have faced some challenges based on their age, Ed Hooper, who we caught up with, insists that that this was never an issue due to their previous involvement in successful start-ups.

Brains Trust

The Piggy Back Theory: Part One – The Approach

- February 4, 2013 6 MIN READ

Before I started shoestring.com.au and the hardcopy magazine that preceded it, I attended my first Young Entrepreneurs Unconvention. At that stage, I didn’t know about the “startup scene” in the way that I know it today, I had no connections and NO idea who I was going to even interview for the bloody magazine.

Brains Trust

Before we go throwing around the word “Bigot”

- January 24, 2013 2 MIN READ

The word bigot has become like the word migraine, it is overused and has been given it’s own meaning in an urban context. Just like someone in the workplace is “going home because they have a migraine” [if you really had one, you would not be driving home, you would be crawling into the darkness of a storage cupboard at work to sleep] the word “bigot” is thrown around on and offline these days like confetti at a wedding.

Brains Trust

I prefer Congruency to Back Peddling

- January 23, 2013 5 MIN READ

If there is one thing that is certain in our society, it’s the fact that everyone has an opinion, and we are entitled to express it. If people disagree with that opinion they in turn are entitled to express that. When opinions are given in forums by people who may have a public profile, we see people expressing their opposing opinions on a grander scale such as protest, petition or demonstration – all of which are perfectly legal and acceptable ways to get their point across.