Friday Five: Retail Directions’ Andrew Gorecki


Every Friday we’ll profile a prominent figure from Australia’s IT, telecommunications or video gaming industries in the Friday Five.

Retail Directions managing director Andrew Gorecki started in the IT industry at the age of 21. In 1980 he defected from then-communist Poland and in 1981 started his professional career in Australia.

In 1985 he started his association with the retail industry working as an IT Manager with prominent Australian retailers and in 1993 founded Retail Directions. Today Retail Directions employ 50 people and provide systems to 40 retailers worldwide. The company makes retail management software.

1. What was your first job ever?

In parallel with my full-time studies I worked as a contractor developing a software system for automatic programming of numerically controlled machine tools.

2. What do you most like about working in the IT industry?

The clean run. Once a software system is deployed and starts to work smoothly, I have a deep feeling of satisfaction knowing what the system keeps doing for my customers — every day — with no more effort.

3. What’s your hobby?

I like writing – mostly articles, but my first novel is about to be published too. I am also fascinated by modern physics and the human mind. I keep exploring both areas, hoping to crack it one day — so I can understand what consciousness, time, mass, space and energy are all about.

4. Where do you think the Australian IT industry will be in five years?

There are two challenges which remain unresolved: user interface and data volumes. Software continues to frustrate users and I am yet to see a truly ergonomic system that can be used by the first-time user without any manuals or instructions. Data volumes are a different issue. They keep growing rapidly and the management of digital information will be a real challenge soon — call it a ‘megabit bomb’. I can see an emerging need for smart ystems to ‘humanise’ the data generated by other systems, so people will actually be able to use it.

5. What/who has been the biggest inspiration in your career?

Robert Kiyosaki. His training programs in the late 1980s changed my life. His point that in order to be successful the key question to ask is not: “What do I need to learn?” but “What do I need to unlearn?” has been fundamental.

Image credit: Retail Directions