Creating Generational Legacies

Saturday, June 24, 2017

Australia to be the first fully connected continent by 2020


By 2020, we expect we’ll be the first country of our size to make broadband access universal. Our generation – GenNBN – will be more connected than ever before.  This will pay huge dividends in health, education and entertainment... to name just a few. And it will create exciting economic opportunities for everyone.

In the next three years, nbn is on track to put Australia ahead of the world for high speed, universal broadband access. How can we leverage this advantage to transform our businesses, economy, communities and lives?

Digital technology has radically changed the world and right now we’re walking into a wave of innovation that will revolutionise everything. Not just what we do on our computers, but the way we live our lives and interact with the world around us. This is the world of GenNBN.

Over the next five years, we’re going to see the proliferation of:

  • Self-driving vehicles;
  • Virtual and augmented reality;
  • The internet of things;
  • Personal robotics; and even,
  • Artificial intelligence to a degree...

So what does this mean?

Firstly, data usage in Australia is exploding, largely because of video uptake. In just two years, data consumption in Australia has doubled to 1.7 exabytes. For context, Cisco estimated in 2011 that one exabyteis enough capacity to hold over 36,000 years of HD video, or stream the entire Netflix catalogue 3,000 times over. On our own network, we are now seeing, on average, 131 gigabytes per month for each end user and we are predicting 30 per cent annual growth over the next four years. This is why networks like the one nbn is building are so critical.

Australia in transition

For the last 250 years, three pillars have supported Australia’s growth: manufacturing, mining and agriculture. These industries remain vital to our future. But, to flourish, we need more. We need to lift local digital demand to support local digital innovation. In other words, we need to build an Australian digital marketplace and then take it to the world.

We need to encourage more companies to follow in the footsteps of Australian innovators like Atlassian, Envato, Campaign Monitor, and Canva. These Australian companies are showing us the way forward. If we can get better at harnessing and commercialising this knowledge, we can build on their success. 

KPMG recently reported that small and medium businesses are the fastest growing employment sector within Australia, they noted: “While medium and big business are important components of the Australian economy, the really transformative element since the mining boom has been the small business sector.”

As a nation, we need to make it easier for entrepreneurs to get started, grab opportunities and build scale – locally and globally. And the nbn™ network has a vital role to play here. We can make sure that businesses have the tools to participate – and grow – in the new digital market place through the use of digital technology. We can help digital innovators grow across Australia by accelerating the local adoption of content and e-commerce. By providing high speed universal access, nbn won’t just improve lives. It will expand the local digital marketplace and make local innovation more viable. Then, as these innovative new businesses grow, we can help them build global scale. 

We are now entering what will be an exciting time in history: the nbngeneration – or GenNBN. It will be a time of rapid change and unique opportunity for all Australians but particularly for the private sector. I’m genuinely excited by the benefits nbn can deliver to all Australians.

The final question I have for you is this: how will you make the most out of a fully-connected Australia?

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Who are the worlds most innovative countries

They say the growth of a country is directly proportionate to how innovative they are.


The UNs World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) together with 2 business Universities, INSEAD and the SC Johnson College of Business at Cornell University, seeks to shed light on countries' competitiveness based on 81 indicators, and has created The Global Innovation Index.

The index takes in factors including political environment, education, infrastructure and business sophistication, and reviews the state of innovation in agriculture and food systems across sectors and geographies.

The top 10

  • The Nordic States (Switzerland, Sweden and the Netherlands)  topped the list , with Denmark being pipped by USA and the UK.
  • Singapore continued to punch above its weight by being placed 7th, pipping Finland, Germany and Ireland 
Other notable Stats
  • Australia slipped 4 places to 23, NZ placed 20th and  Israel was placed 21 out of the total of 311
  • China excelled in  high-tech exports, industrial design and business sophistication, but was left wanting in  tertiary education, the regulatory environment, creative media and protection of minority investors.
  • India rose 6 places to 60th (actively spurring investment and encouraging innovation), only being let down by its bureaucracy and lack of infrastructure. 
  • the United Arab Emirates from 35 to 41, Vietnam from 59 to 47 and India from 66 to 60.

Australia is ranked 4th among the top agricultural R&D spenders. The first is India, followed by South Korea, China, the Netherlands.

Australia's yields on crops are the envy of other countries.

Eg the rice yield in India is 2.6 tonnes per hectare—far lower than the 4.7 in China, 3.7 in Brazil, 5.9 in the United States, or 9.5 in Australia.

WIPO's head, Francis Gurry, (WIPO), told a conference that he believed that investing in innovation was key to economic growth and that international openness was a key to fostering innovation, and wasn't sure how Trumps protectionist policies and Britain exiting Brexit would effect world innovation. 

Australia has always been regarded as an Innovation Nation, 

Australia, let's rise to the challenge - and strive to be in the top 10 in Innovation and Growth. We have the Infrastructure and Education Facilities - we just need the MAD (motivation, authority and desire) by our leaders. 

I was encouraged to hear how the NSW Government was placing an enormous amount of importance and investing in innovation. Let's hope Malcolm Turnbull and  our Federal Government does the same.


Wednesday, June 21, 2017

SolarGaps | Photovoltaic Solar Panel Window Blinds

These blinds will reduce your apartment, home and/or business electricity bill by up to 70% with solar energy generating smart blinds.
 SolarGaps was engineered with features designed for renters, homeowners and small businesses to affordably reduce energy usage, create renewable energy and transition to energy independence.  SolarGaps smart blinds automatically track the sun throughout the day, adjusting position to the optimal angles to generate solar electricity to power devices in your home, apartment or office.
  • The blinds are not permanent.  With renters in mind, the interior wall brackets are designed as a non-permanent, plug & play solution with additional installation options for homeowners to maximize energy production.
  • The built-in solar panels can generate up to 100W-150W of renewable energy per 10 sq. ft. iof window, enough to power 30 LED light bulbs or three MacBooks. 
  • In addition to generating solar energy, the window blinds also save energy by shading your home interior and reducing air condition cost by up to 40%. 
  • Energy surplus can either be stored by battery or can easily be sold to your electricity company as green energy through a two-way meter they provide. 
The blinds easily integrate with smart devices like Google Home, Echo, Nest Thermostat and more to control by voice, temperature and/or smartphone app. 

Dubai's Robocop rolls onto streets to fight real crime

The Bob Pritchard Column 

A robotic policeman which can help identify wanted criminals and collect evidence has joined Dubai's police force and will patrol busy areas in the city, as part of a government program aimed at replacing some human crime-fighters with machines.  Dubai Police wants the unarmed robots to make up 25 percent of its patrolling force in the near future.
Clad in the colors of the Dubai Police uniform, the life-size robot, which can shake hands and perform a military salute, is part of a plan to use technology to improve services and security ahead of Dubai hosting Expo 2020.  These robots can work 24/7. They don’t require leave, sick leave or maternity leave. They can work around the clock,
The first automated policeman in the Middle East, the robot on wheels is equipped with cameras and facial recognition software. It can compare faces with a police database and flag matches to headquarters. It can read vehicle license plates and its video feed can help police watch for risks such as unattended bags in popular areas of Dubai, a financial and tourism hub.
Members of the public can also talk to the robot to report a crime or communicate with it using a touch screen computer embedded in its chest. Most people are not nervous about talking to a robot and some prefer it.  New generations who are using smart devices love to use these kind of modern tools.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Victor Dominello inspires at a pre budget breakfast

NSW Finance Minister, Victor Dominello shared with  us the 7 D's, at a pre-breakfast NSW budget launch (where the government posted a $4b surplus, wiped out debt and has budgeted massive spending on developing infrastructure, education and health)... saying that to survive and thrive, we need to make sure we take a grasp of the technologies that will drive us to 2050 and beyond.


  • Data - knowledge and big data is key. Your decisions should be  evidence based 
  • Digital - you need to be in 21st century
  • Direct -  things need to happen in  real time 
  • Display - present it in an easy way - display tools - make it easy to digest knowledge
  • Dissection - analyse it - operationalise those insights 
  • DNA - culture - needs to be in 21st century - or you will be left behind quickly
  • 3rd Dimension - mobiles will be toast,  its  2 dimensional  - you will have glasses or contacts - giving you a 3D - augmented reality experience. digital morphing - where we will be unable to distinguish what is digital and what is real. This is the future - and we (our government) should embrace this and be at the forefront of this wave. 

It's great to see that our NSW government has a solid vision, with the motivation , authority and desire to invest in innovation and adopt cutting edge technology. 


As a Shareholder and Director of BSI and a number of Innovative Startups, I believe that  this is the sort of leadership and direction that will provide a massive boost to our Country.

Monday, June 19, 2017

How common is a successful intergenerational family succession plan?

Entrepreneurial family businesses

The demographic reality for most family businesses is that the business created and then bequeathed by generation 1 (or G1) has to continue growing to support the needs and aspirations of a larger family in G3. But, you may ask, why would a family business bother when it is regularly claimed that all of them are doomed to go from clogs to clogs or shirtsleeves to shirtsleeves in three generations?

Damned clich├ęs

It is odd that ‘clogs to clogs’ is regularly trotted out as evidence of the vulnerability of family businesses. Really? Three generations is roughly 100 years. Few, if any, entrepreneurial start-ups will last this long and many listed companies will cease to exist during this period. If longevity of a particular business is so important, most family owned businesses will outlive their competitors. 

Can families breed entrepreneurs?

We may as well try to start at the beginning and look at the difference between sculptors and gardeners, as parents.

The sculptor has ambitions for the child and will do all he or she can to guide and form the child so that they turn out in a way that complies with the sculptor’s design. In comparison, a gardener tries to cultivate the child, caring for its roots, and with a bit of careful pruning from time to time waits for the right season in that child’s existence for the flower to appear.  A gardener doesn't expect a flower to emerge just because he or she orders it to do so.

The argument is that gardeners are more likely to breed entrepreneurs than sculptors. Gardeners allow space for the child to develop, no matter how occasionally exasperating this is. They acknowledge that life involves making errors that cannot all be avoided by careful planning, due often to factors beyond the gardener’s control. Meanwhile the sculptor is busy trying to mould the heir or heiress and for understandable reasons help them to avoid any of life’s pitfalls that do not serve the goal of achieving the sculptor’s desired outcome.

Gardeners, in other words, are more of the view “go out and see if you can make it”, whereas sculptors tend to the view “see what I’ve made you in to.”

Backing the talent in your lineage

After a family business has passed through the start-up phase the challenge becomes how to maintain an entrepreneurial attitude, when at the same time trying to run a maturing business.

One way of doing this, if resources allow, is to set up a new venture fund to support family members who want to start a new business. Family members can be encouraged to present business plans and whoever is in charge of the fund (family members, advisers, experienced business people) decide which to back, much as would happen with a conventional private equity or business angel fund.

Usually investments will be made on broadly commercial terms, maybe a bit softer to reflect kinship bonds, but the key driver for many families is to encourage entrepreneurship by backing the talent in their lineage. In so doing they are also wise to the fact that this can lead to successes that diversify the family’s wealth, thereby managing the risk of families having too many eggs in one business basket.

Don’t overlook history

Families who create great dynasties over generations are good at telling the next generation the stories of past success and failure. The key here is to focus on how each generation has contributed to the story of the family’s continuing entrepreneurial success. This encourages the next generation to take up the challenge of becoming the authors of the next chapters of the family’s continuing story of entrepreneurship.

This approach, however, is in stark contrast to the accounts of entrepreneurship that venerate the greatness of individuals, who are blessed with talents that are beyond other mere mortals. In a family business this comes across to the next generation as ‘you’ll never be as good as your ancestors, so why bother?’

Other things that get in the way

Entrepreneurs take risks that carry the imminent risk of failure. While it is understandable for families to create structures, like trusts, to preserve wealth as it passes down the generations, the idea of preserving what we have is inconsistent with taking the type of entrepreneurial risks that created the business in the first place. So the final word is a warning to be careful about using risk averse structures if the family’s aim is to continue being entrepreneurial.