A fascinating startup brain dump from Phil Morle


blog Want the inside track on what’s happening in Australia’s technology startup scene: the thrills, the spills, the trends, the ins and outs? You could do a lot worse than head to one of the regular shindigs held by Sydney-based startup incubator and consultancy Pollenizer, especially if you can manage to collar one of the group’s founders, Phil Morle and Mick Liubinskas. Every time I spend the time to do this, I walk away with about a thousand insights; plus the Pollenizer guys throw a mean party.

In the absence of this kind of opportunity, however, you could do a lot worse than read this fascinating braindump by Morle posted amid the dying embers of 2012. From raising capital to scaling your business and beyond, Morle swerves from one topic to another quite rapidly within the Pollenizer umbrella. But it’s all great food for thought from someone who’s positioned at the epicentre of Australia’s IT startup boom, and there’s many jumping off points. One of our favourite paragraphs:

“We have always been aware that a comfortable 9-5 life is not the place where world-beating disruptive businesses are built. They are built from the fires of fear, passion and obsession. They are built from thin-air, and become material slower than we want them to. In the first few months, they can vanish ‘with a thought’ and yet massive amounts of effort, determination and resources are needed for each drop of traction as the business takes form.”

I’ve been through this same process somewhat with Delimiter, which is now pretty stable as a slowly growing business, if nowhere on the scale that Pollenizer’s businesses aspire to and sometimes reach. So I can emphasise somewhat with the change that Pollenizer, which helps create half a dozen new businesses each year, is going through.

But what has always fascinated me about this quite unique company is not the companies it helps shepherd into the world (failures or successes though they may turn out to be), but the meta-ness of the process. Every time Pollenizer helps a founder gets a new company off the ground, it in turn learns a lot about the process of creating startups; and that knowledge is increasingly becoming institutionalised within Pollenizer itself. Just like many people believe that the biggest benefit of education is learning how to learn, I believe that Pollenizer is learning how to change itself constantly through implementing change. And that’s quite an amazing — and quite likely viral — thing. I suspect that one day several books may be written about the past several years and the next decade? in Pollenizer’s history.

Image credit: David Reece, Creative Commons


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