Working across Australia and the US over the past few years, I’ve noticed that Australian founders have a very different approach from their global peers – especially those in places like Silicon Valley and New York.
Australian startup founders can match or better their international competitors when it comes to product quality. But Australia has only a handful of real global startup success stories like Atlassian and Canva. There is the opportunity for far more global-leading tech startups to come from Australia.
One of the biggest barriers to this happening is what I call the curse of complacency.
I believe this is a function of Australia’s more “laid-back” business culture, and the cultural cringe associated with self-promotion. Perhaps it’s related to the fact Australia hasn’t experienced a recession in the past 25 years – other markets have experienced the angst of a bad economy and the reality of an uncertain future, which drives urgency.
Whatever the reasons, the outcome is that too few Australian startup founders are able to realise their global potential.
As an ecosystem, the Australian startup community needs to open its mind to bigger possibilities. We need to discover a real hunger to make our startups the best global players.