We think those Aussies are kind of the same as us.... don't be fooled they are most definitely not!
Craig and I are just back from a few invigorating days in Sydney courtesy of NZTE as the culmination of the Path to Market program timed to coincide with CeBIT. There were about 20 in our Kiwi delegation and the 4 days played out like a mini conference.
We heard from both business and government, ex-pat Kiwis and die-hard Aussies. We were both impressed and surprised by the parochial attitude of each of the speakers when advocating for their respective state or city... the competitiveness is intense!
Inspiring speakers such as Rebekah Campbell, former manager of Evermore and founder of posse.com, Paddy O'Brien, general manager of SmartPay Australia and Ian Clarke CEO of Fronde were some of the highlights.
We made some new friends including Matt Steele, Business Leader for Apple in Sydney (like). Apple are really keen to build relationships with companies who create productivity tools that are winners on the Mac platform. We have plans afoot to do presentations at some of the Apple stores in Sydney. Companies like us are the enablers, through our custom software we can demonstrate how business can operate on the Mac platform efficiently and effectively.
We ate lunch at the top of the KPMG building in one of their swanky boardrooms... after a brisk 3 hour hike across the city in heels (me, not Craig) in the rain.
We went to the opening of CeBIT at the Opera House, The Cure were playing on the same night next door... wish we went to that instead. I shouldn't complain really, we did get to listen first hand to Australian and German politicians in a mutual love fest.
This article wouldn't be complete without a mention of Lee Sinclair and Carole Wright from CDC and NZTE respectively - what a couple of super-cool chicks. They have been helping us and other affected Christchurch based businesses through some challenging times - it was great to spend some time and get to know them better over the past few days.
So overall what did we learn about doing business in Australia?
The best part about Australia is - they want us. Almost every speaker was encouraging us to set up shop in their city, state or technology park. Offering introductions, free office space and a beer on Fridays.
So Craig and I are not quite changing our All Black for the green and gold just yet, but we are incredibly enthusiastic about the possibilities in this market that's right on our doorstep.