Some comments from me on what Kiwi’s can do to drive their start-ups to new levels. At the end of the day I believe that NZ’s lifestyle is not a negative influence on entrepreneurship. In fact, it’s an advantage as this post from Rod points out.
We need a deeper shift in thinking and approaches to occur. I also don’t think that this should be viewed in a negative light but rather as part of the natural evolution of entrepreneurship in NZ.
I haven’t met a great entrepreneur that doesn’t think they could be working harder or smarter. I’ve met plenty of Ok entrepreneurs with lots of reasons why they didn’t go the extra mile.
New Zealand’s lifestyle is a competitive advantage. New Zealand entrepreneurs should revel in it and use it to attract talent. What we shouldn’t do is confuse working long hours with productivity and output. While there is no short-cut to building great companies, they do require a combination of working hard and working smart. Platitudes aside, it’s the smarts we have to build. Plenty of Kiwis are willing to work hard.
We also need a shift in the DNA that can only come from experience and role models. As new bars for creating value get set, a new generation of Kiwis will rise to that bar. Look at what we have seen in the past few years with Aftermail, 42 Below, TradeMe and Endance. These entrepreneurs will excite and inspire more to follow in their steps.
Longer-term we need to get more entreprenurial training and skills into our Education system. And that Education system needs to encourage students in disciplines like engineering, sciences and software development. If we don’t do that we will face a worsening skills shortage that can’t easily be corrected through immigration policies.
New Zealand is at a really exciting juncture. The Internet is a terrific leveler, getting about the planet has never been easier, and new models and standards for entrepreneurship are emerging in New Zealand. There is lots to be positive and excited about.