The first half of 2011 was spent a lot of time in the US. Although we encountered some great interest from financial specialists in the US, we found that they were mostly tepid about a little Australian organization like ours. We received some enthusiasm, but in general they were increasingly curious about whether we were moving to the US. This was a special case for us in Australia. Their global view was undeniably more comprehensive than most financial specialists in 2011. Apart from that, there was a ton of stream slack for very little return.
It was an honour to be a part of 500 startup australia. There are not enough words to describe the effect we had on each other from the people and groups we met while we were there. We have made numerous companions who despite everything we keep in touch with four years after the fact. We didn’t have an extraordinary time outside of the program. Matt and I were both stuck in the external rural areas of San Jose, miles from Mountain View with no car other than the Caltrain, and Matt was even further from his better half and children. The fact that we were completely honest with each other wasn’t an extraordinary occurrence.
Having completed 500 startup australia, I headed home to spend some time with my newly conceived daughter. Matt remained in the US to make things work out from “Demo Day”. In the meantime, I returned home to Australia to do likewise here. He had about six holy messengers who contributed, and I had a Melbourne VC who jumped on board as quickly as he did. In the end, it was a coin toss. We can either take the US money, pack up, and move to the US, or we can take the Australian dollar and stay in Australia. Making this decision was difficult.
We have decided that the most essential element for BugHerd to be a fruitful organization is to have creators who are enthusiastic, engaged and driven to grow an exceptional organization. I didn’t immediately perceive anything extra about being in the US. Our relocation to the US would open up some truly amazing opportunities that we wouldn’t be able to access here, however, there were no undeniable benefits beyond fund-raising. Therefore, the next thing for us to assess was the financial specialists and what we felt they could bring to the table.
It was a pleasure meeting so many amazing people in the US. Especially financial experts, originators, and groups. The one thing that was evidently clear to me was that we Aussies are slightly better at working with our US counterparts. Although there are a lot of speculations here, this is merely based on our encounters, which, right or wrong, added to our decision.
The majority of the financial professionals we interviewed felt it would be inconceivable to grow a large organization in Australia. Eventually, we would have to relocate. I can concur that the open doors for fortunate occasions in a spot like Silicon Valley are far more prominent than here, and I can perceive how the accessibility of assets is so a lot more noteworthy.
However, I don’t think there are naturally better developers or creators there, and group and execution are at last where achievement lies. You ought not care where your group is situated when you have ventured, what matters is that they are building impressive products. I think that contention does not sit well with me. It is understandable why a speculator would need to be close to their portfolio, but that is a different concern than whether you can or cannot run an organization outside of Silicon Valley.
The other thing that bothered the two of us was that in the US you have to eat horse crap. No matter what your organization (List of Australian organizations with royal patronage) looks like, you should talk as though it’s the next Facebook. Despite knowing you’re most certainly not a unicorn, imagine that you’re one. When asked, “how are things going?” I have never encountered an author who was able to provide a genuine answer. They are slaughtering it, crushing it, and exploding it. Breaking things is your only option. It’s each of them going a million miles per hour, with the consequences being damnation. Words like “considered,” “careful,” and “pondering” aren’t allowed. If you don’t move now, you’ll be kicked out. It’s as though everyone and everything is part of the Hollywood generation. Even though the veneer looks like a million bucks, it’s all kept together by duct tape. It’s fantastic until things go wrong, at which time the whole thing implodes. Also, for the vast majority of startup Australia founders, that is where things finish.
Because the persons donating the money are placing several wagers one after another, the system works exceptionally well along these lines. They’re putting money into a wide range of businesses in the hopes of reducing risk and increasing returns. In any case, as an organiser, you are not entitled to such luxury. You may only have a few chances to build a truly remarkable organisation. If you’re shooting for a 1 in a million result and only have three shots, you’ll figure it out. The thing is, in the United States, that appears to be an entirely satisfactory method of achieving advancement. It’s either win or go home.
In the end, I believe that working in those conditions is unfavourable for organisers. It’s fine in little doses, but in the long run, it’s a road to personal disaster. When you realise that your personal happiness (and that of your family) is more important than anything else, you’ll notice that success is measured differently for different people. No matter what attitude we encountered in the Valley, we couldn’t seem to connect with that achievement as creators. We aren’t all unicorns spitting rainbows on a moon rocket, and we shouldn’t be.
Fortunately, in Australia, the conditions are ideal for establishing a stable, profitable firm that grows year after year. We don’t have unicorns in this town. There are no Facebook, Snapchat, or Instagram here, but there are also no Color, Secret, or Pets.com. Australian authors, as well as the speculators who store them, tend to be more interested in building large useful organisations than in creating “quick money scams.” Maybe we’re becoming a more laid-back culture that prefers to take as much time as required to achieve success rather than attempting to do so in the short term.Perhaps the gap between rich and poor is smaller here, and so the achievement isn’t quite comparable to what it is in the United States. Or, on the other hand, perhaps, as a country, we simply don’t like the powerful, but are increasingly inclined to see their wealth with suspicion rather than vicarious confidence.
Regardless, the entrepreneurial spirit is strong here, but it’s an unexpected beast in comparison to the United States.
This dual notion of growth instils a drive in American authors that is typically lacking in Australian authors. While the average American author will take on too much work for as long as humanly possible (and then some), the average Australian organiser values things outside of work too much to work 100 hour weeks. It’s not so much that we’re lazy as it is that we’ve realised there’s a limit to how much work you can get done in a week and still be happy and successful.
It’s also possible that the typical startup australia organiser in Silicon Valley is more likely to be in their mid-twenties (25%) than the average Australian author (just 6 percent ).We don’t usually start businesses right after graduating from college; instead, we start businesses after gaining 5-6 years of experience. Maybe by then we’ll have married and had children, or maybe we’ll just be prone to working the 9-5. Perhaps we’re just a little more risk averse as a result. Instead of pursuing success, perhaps we could form organisations to effect change. Perhaps we’ve seen more of the world and learned more about what we want our lives to be. During the limited time I spent in the Valley, it appeared that there were a lot of incredibly brilliant people either working or celebrating themselves to death.
Looking back, I believe we’re not the type of organisers who place a premium on immediate gratification at the expense of everything else. We need to take on a problem that we’re passionate about, and if it happens to be in a market where we’ll never be extremely wealthy, so be it. In any event, we are also aware that there are some important drawbacks. It makes us uninvestable to a large number of US venture capitalists. We don’t think beyond practical limitations often enough, and we consume too quickly, yet we’re content with that.
For us, and any other creator, the reality is figuring out what you want your life to look like. BugHerd (and, more recently, Macropod) are certainly not a way of life company. As I’ve frequently stated to a variety of people, if this is a way of life business, it’s the most dreadful screwing way of life anyone has ever had! It would be fantastic if, after four years, we could finally observe a leave that secures our families’ future. In any case, if all we wind up with is a hugely profitable company that employs a handful (or hundreds) of people who love coming to work every day, I’ll be happy with that…
That is also, in part, why we chose to stay in Australia.