Have you met Brett from Blue Chilli yet?

  1. What is your current title/company?

Startup Advisor with venture tech firm Blue Chilli, running the Collaborate Startup Accelerator in Brisbane.

2. Other than Brisbane where else have you lived?

San Francisco Bay Area, Sydney, The Sunshine Coast.

3. So far, what’s been your most embarrassing career moment?

Nodding off in a meeting, only to be woken by my manager asking “Am I boring you?” I resisted the temptation to say “As a matter of fact, yes.”. Just.

4. Which current tech company do you wish you’d founded?

Ahh look, this is a predictable answer, but I have to say Apple. To have been at the forefront of the computer revolution back in the 70’s and early 80’s would have been insane!

5. What advice would you give yourself 5 years ago?

Start Instagram.

6. What tech are you currently focusing your efforts on?

I’m focusing on the technology behind building technology companies. Also about to start playing with Arduino, and toying with Swift.

7. What is your hidden skill/talent that not many people know about?

I used to design cars as a teenager. Even got invited to Franco Sbarro’s design school in Geneva when I was about 15, had letters of encouragement from companies like Lamborghini, and believe one of the designs I sent to Pininfarina in 1991 for an Alfa Romeo inspired the Alfa GTV of 1995. I was also prototyping perpetual magnetic and thermoelectric engines whilst in high-school (I spent a lot of time in the library).

8. What is your best tip on an up and coming tech company we should be looking at?

Any company coming out of Blue Chilli — some seriously great startups in our portfolio! However if I could invest at a good price, I’d be putting some money into Slack.com.

9. What is the biggest problem facing digital media in QLD right now?

I think it’s in the transition from building brands through advertising, to building brands through digital media. A lot of brands are missing the mark, producing undifferentiated content and apps that aren’t delivering any long term value for either the brand or the customer.

10. List the top three misconceptions that people often have about your job, and why.

  1. First is that it’s a job. It is, technically. But it isn’t. It’s like being a startup co-founder for 10 companies at once. It’s insane but it’s great!
  2. That the term ‘startup’ relates to any small business. A startup is a technology-based company that can scale independently of the need to scale physical resources. To scale a flower shop, you need to scale locations and staff. You can sell millions of subscriptions to a software service, globally, with just 1 person.
  3. That the term ‘entrepreneur’ relates to anyone in business. In my opinion, entrepreneur (not unlike the word explorer), should be reserved for those attempting risky ventures to bring something new (or better) into the world.
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