Every ASX company, every city, state and Federal government understands the economic imperative to build relevant, new world companies that design, develop, sell and support products and services that are valuable in our globally connected economy. Why?
It’s about JOBS.
It’s about investing to create the next generation of large Australian businesses like Woolworths, Westpac, AMP, ANZ, and BHP Billiton that generate export revenue, attract investment into Australia, and create local jobs. It’s also about ensuring Australia has the businesses and economic stability to sustain our high standard of living, security, healthcare, education and superannuation well into the future.
It’s about protecting our lifestyle.
To be clear, our lifestyle is at risk. The global economy is changing rapidly and this will impact every Australian. This year over $110 billion dollars is being invested in Silicon Valley alone to develop products and services that will disrupt traditional businesses and industries everywhere.
Every market is changing. Markets are being disrupted, directly and indirectly, by technology, global competition and changing consumer sentiment.
Imagine a time when there are no new insurance jobs, banking jobs, legal jobs or accounting jobs in Australia. We’re likely to see an 80-90% reduction in jobs in these sectors in Australia over the next 5-10 years. This shocking statistic raises some important questions. How many young Australians are currently studying degrees in these areas now? What will they do? What should they be studying instead? What should our schools and universities be teaching instead?
Imagine how many jobs will be lost when autonomous vehicles replace taxi and Uber drivers, train drivers, bus drivers, truck drivers, couriers, port operators, construction equipment operators and airline pilots.
Imagine how advances in solar and wind power, power storage, electric vehicles and off-grid residential communities will impact the power industry, jobs and the value of power assets on government and corporate balance sheets.
This is just the tip of the iceberg. Governments and companies are only just coming to grips with the many direct and indirect effects that will rapidly change our economic, corporate, government and social landscape.
We can’t stick our heads in the sand, or legislate (out of fear) against progress. That would be foolish and would spoil any chance we have of building a competitive and sustainable economy. We need to embrace these changes, adopt early, and get the economic benefits.
The Future of Work will be very different – sooner than we think.
There’s no immediate answer to the macro economic concerns because these changes are happening so quickly. The first step is to create globally relevant new companies and new jobs. The challenges and opportunities are vastly different today. In a globally connected economy the successful companies, and therefore countries and economies, build product and services that are relevant everywhere.
For example, Google is used almost everywhere, by almost everyone and it’s now the most valuable company in the world.
That’s why startups are so important. It’s why businesses, cities, state governments and our Prime Minister are all talking about innovation. They know we need more startups in Australia to help generate our next generation of jobs. It’s super important for the startup community to help every Australian understand the role that startups can play in building Australia’s economy.
What’s a startup?
Startups start off as small businesses, but there is a difference.
Most startups use technology to design, build and sell new products and services. Most startup products and services are relevant to a large number of consumers or businesses in many countries. Startups often sell products and services online in Australia and internationally immediately. This is a good thing for every Australian because startups tend to grow quickly, create jobs in Australia and bring revenue and investment into Australia.
There are other things that everyone needs to understand about startups. These include:
- The goals we set for our startups right from the start; most startups plan to become global businesses from day one (we talk about being born global).
- Most startups want to make a product or service that solves big and highly valuable problems. Startups are taught, that to be successful on a global stage and to get user adoption and grow quickly (scale), you need to build a product or service that is 10x better than what’s available now.
- Because most startups strive to build a product or service that’s 10x better, we often have to completely reimagine how to solve the problem. Therefore the solution we come up with is often unique. It’s because of this, that people refer to startups as disrupting traditional businesses and industries.
- The way we operate, the business model we use, the way we fund growth and the network or community we operate in (often called an ecosystem), is all designed to encourage, support and accelerate our growth. Startups are created in a community and the community provides diverse support and services so that startups can rapidly grow, learn, improve (often called iterate or pivot). The proactive companies, cities, states and our federal government all understand the importance of creating these startup communities, ecosystems and clusters. That’s why governments are funding innovation and startup programs like the Federal Government’s Ideas Boom and the QLD Government’s Advance QLD Program. These programs are designed for broad community participation and are worth checking out.
What’s great about Startups, is that we can, and should be, established in any town, community, city or home in Australia. This is particularly important for regional Australia. The next generation of global companies truly can be founded anywhere.
Establishing regional startup ecosystems and providing the fast internet infrastructure will help Regional Australia’s economic development and prosperity as well.
This is another reason why the National Broadband Network is so critical to Australia’s future prosperity. Every Australian needs fast, affordable internet at their home and work.
Why we need to get more Australia’s involved in startups and innovation:
- More startups in Australia = more jobs, more revenue and more investment into Australia.
- Startups are born global into a community called a startup ecosystem which supports their rapid growth.
- Government funding for programs that enable and encourage the development and growth of more startups in Australia is critical to help us all have a sustainable high standard of living.
- The type of Jobs that will be available in Australia are changing. The “Future of Work” will be very different in every business and industry and we need to start thinking about and preparing for this now.
Please like and share this on Linkedin, Facebook or Twitter and help us get more Aussie’s involved in #aussiestartups and #innovation
Wayne Gerard is a startup founder at RedEye. He is passionate about helping develop Australia’s startup ecosystem to create jobs and a sustainable future economy.
Wayne and his company RedEye are holding a “Future of Work” conference in Brisbane 16-17 Aug to help Australian companies, investors, and government think about and prepare for the future, for more info visit www.redeye.co/FoW