Building your dream team: Hipster, Hacker & Hustler

QUT Creative Enterprise Australia
4 min readFeb 12, 2018


First coined by AKQA’s Chief Technology Officer Rei Inamoto, the ‘Hipster, Hacker, Hustler’ theory specifies that three types of people are needed in order for a company to succeed. We take a closer look at some modern day examples of this, and why a Minimum Viable Team makes for such a winning formula.

The Hipster

Identifiable by their trendy threads, penchant for high priced coffee and obscure taste in music (‘needs more cowbell man’) the hipster is the purveyor of all things cool. In charge of making a product marketable, a hipster can often be overheard endorsing the mainstream use of Helvetica font, or lamenting how basic Ebay’s newsletters are. When they’re not meticulously getting things pixel perfect, they’re scolding you for using low-res images.

The ultimate Hipster: Jony Ive

Have you heard of Jony Ive? Chances are you’re reading this on a product he designed. Jony is the Chief Design Officer (CDO) of one of the world’s most revolutionary technology companies — Apple. Hailed as the creative genius behind Apple’s greatest products and the ‘spiritual partner’ of the late Steve Jobs, Jony’s artistic prowess has seen him net a cool $130 million. Not bad for a modern day artist.

Jony Ive ( Image courtesy of Hypebeast)

The Hustler

A hustler has no sympathy for your excuses and little patience either. They’re the type of person who can keep to a kale only diet and actually go to the gym when they say they will. In fact, they pretty much stick to whatever fleeting thought, idea or resolute decision they ever make. Often conversationally gifted and nauseatingly charming, the hustler has a network to rival that of a wealthy suburban mum. Hustlers are the key to selling a product to the masses, as their way with words could get anyone on board with their vision.

The ultimate Hustler: Sheryl Sandberg

As the Chief Operating Officer (COO) of Facebook, Sheryl Sandberg is both a business tycoon and an inspiring figure for young women. Starting her journey as an economics graduate (Harvard), Sheryl quickly climbed the ranks and was awarded placements in high profile institutions such as the US Department of the Treasury and Google. In late 2007, Sheryl met Facebook Co-founder Mark Zuckerberg at a Christmas party and was soon offered a position as the company’s COO. Now, how’s that for networking skills?

Sheryl Sandberg (Image courtesy of Time Magazine)

The Hacker

Hackers are your typical tech heads who routinely appear more machine than human. With a knack for spreadsheets, data and all things logistics based, the hacker is in charge of arguably the hardest of tasks — creating the actual product. Not one for idle chat, a hacker’s razor sharp focus can have them tapping away at their laptop for hours, with silence broken only by the occasional grunt of frustration. When a hacker does choose to talk about the project, it’ll undoubtedly be in lingo nobody else understands.

The ultimate Hacker: Bill Gates

Bill Gates was first introduced to computers at the age of 13, when a local mother’s club used garage sale proceeds to buy a Teletype Model 33 ASR termina for his school. In what may be the nerdiest excuse for suspension ever, Gates, along with three other precocious teens, was caught exploiting bugs in the operating system to garner more computer time. Other noteworthy escapades include modifying computer codes to enrol himself in girls only classes, and hijacking an airport control panel when he missed a flight. His hijinks seem to have paid off though, as Bill Gates is now the second richest person in the world — falling shortly behind Amazon Founder Jeff Bezos. Rumour has it that if Bill Gates dropped a $100 bill, it would be a waste of his time to pick it up.

Bill Gates (Image courtesy of Gates Notes)

Author: Philippe Ceulen

Philippe is the Programs and Engagement Manager for QUT Creative Enterprise Australia. He is passionate about building startup communities through coworking, events and programs and works closely with founders of early stage ventures as a personal, tech and business mentor.

Have you got your Hipsters, Hackers and Hustlers all lined up for Startup Weekend Creative Tech 2018? Read more about how you can survive your first Startup Weekend.



QUT Creative Enterprise Australia

QUT Creative Enterprise Australia helps start, grow, scale & connect Creative Industries companies. CEA Startup Fund + @c3forum + The Coterie coworking space +