Monday, May 23, 2016

What it Takes to be a Technical Co-founder

Greetings from the startup accelerator, Blue Chilli, in Sydney, where Alan Jones talked on "What Does it Take to be a Technical Co-founder?". This is a meeting of the Australian Computer Society's Startups and Small-Business Special Internet Group. Alan stared by talking about the creation of Yahoo Australia and New Zealand. He explained that there was no substitute for the experience of being in a start-up and one of the band of brothers. Alan suggested that Australia is well positioned to export on-line products and services, without the talent to do it being drawn into Silicon Valley. One interesting piece of advice was to work in a start-up before launching your own bright idea. Advisers might bet 1% of the equity of a start-up in place of cash, but Alan suggested checking what it is worth. Interestingly Alan suggested not signing, or asking for, a non-disclosure agreement, as these are difficult to enforce and limit your ability to work for future start-ups. He suggested using Harvest, or similar, to track contributions to projects. I was also surprised that Alan recommended participating in competitions. He pointed out that family and friends are the major source of seed funding in Australia.

I am the instructor for the Australian Computer Society's "New Technology Alignment" (NTA) on-line postgraduate course, starts 19 June and designing an innovation course.

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