Resigned to Success
I, along with the 4 other original co-founders of Startup Tasmania received a fabulous email from on of our original members the other day. It was titled ‘Startup Tasmania – Resignation’ and went like this…
“Dear StartUp Tasmania,
It’s now been over six years since I joined StartUp Tasmania with Oliver George, Byron Teu, Polly McGee, Jason Gorman and Joss Fenton.
Thinking back to those early days the vibe around town has really improved out of sight and from my point of view, StartUp Tas helped turn that around.
For any newbies going through the, “What have I done” blues, let me share some reflections with you.
When starting up in 2007 most of my corporate mates told me, “No one will take you seriously if you don’t have an office in town” and “You’re going to sell one service, then what? That’s not a sustainable business model and won’t last”.
Every time that I started to fear that those comments would come true, I’d head down to a StartUp meet swap stories, pick up some ideas, get inspired and leave with a plan to improve things, comfortable knowing that we were all facing similar challenges.
This taught me an important lesson, which was, when taking on a totally new challenge you may need a totally new support crew.
Last month we passed the 10 year mark and I’d like to thank the StartUp crew for helping us through those early years.
With much gratitude I tender my resignation as a “Tas StartUp”
Goanna Energy Consulting Pty Ltd”
Super cute huh? I was so happy to reflect not only on the ten years that had passed since Ollie, Byron, Jase, Joss and I had put our hands in our pockets, pooled some cash and recklessly leapt in to creating a peer based support organisation for startups, but that many of the original players were now really kicking some goals.
There is no overnight success in startup land, we all know that is a myth, but there is the years of hard work, fear, loneliness, those fist pumping milestones, the pain of stretching into something bigger than you even know, and the strange creeping feeling that you are doing ok. Marc was a real beacon of positivity for us in those early days. He would rock up to events, casual as you like with a beaming smile and a wise word, then every so often he would appear in a suit, like a real businessman, and give us all a fright. Now I see him frequently on TV, a thought leader in his industry, and a man who has indeed earned the right to retire from being a startup.
When we started Startup Tasmania we had no plan, other than to provide a space for Tasmanian entrepreneurs to come and to be welcome and supported. A little social, a little space, a little education. More importantly, as founders, we weren’t going to be there for the long haul. All of us wanted to hand the baton across to new entrepreneurs with new energy so year after year, the same spirit of startup stayed in the organisation. There have been some awesome people involved across the years, and I get the best thrill of all when I’m at an event and I hear someone being introduced from Startup Tasmania that i’ve never heard of – then I know our plan is still working!
Startup Tasmania is now very much part of the Tasmanian startup ecosystem. James Riggall and Casey Farrell have done much over the past couple of years to really knit it deep, along with many other committed volunteers, evangelists, the business community and the support of the State and Federal government. Here’s my take away: if you want to do something, do it. You don’t need to know how the story ends, and you don’t need to control the outcomes. If it is meaningful and meets the needs of people, many sets of hands will pick it up and craft their parts on to it, and it will elegantly evolve and survive and thrive on its journey.