Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle. As with all matters of the heart, you’ll know when you find it. And, like any great relationship, it just gets better and better as the years roll on. So keep looking until you find it. Don’t settle
Logan Wait from Spark Alumni EcoPortal talks a bit about EcoPortal and how Spark helped their growth. This is all part of a great feature in that was in the latest issue of Unlimited Magazine featuring Spark and some of the companies that have come through the programme.
I worked with Logan back in 2008 as a part of Innovationz, and have since then seen the development of EcoPortal (and Origin / Papaunu Eggnog), a great example of grit and determination really paying off after hard work on market validation and developing and redeveloping the focus of the venture.
Check out Logan’s post about the article here: http://blog.the-ecoportal.com/post/43033817146/logan-talks-to-unilimited-magazine-about-spark
Inspiration is important because it provides the fuel you need to do what you REALLY want to do
– Graeme Fielder, Inspiration
I just had the chance to read Graeme Fielder’s latest blog post on inspiration, a short, sharp piece on what inspires him and what inspiration actually means.
One of the interesting points he brings up is that the people who inspire him aren’t usually the superstar Mark Zuckerburgs or Bill Gates, they’re the people that he knows, people that are close to home and have done some great things. Now, having spent almost my entire University life involved with Spark in one way or another, the names Graeme mentions - Priv Bradoo, Alexei Dunayev, Logan Wait, Wared Seger, Chris White, Fady Mishriki - are quite familiar. They’re inspirational people and have done / are doing some pretty cool things. (Google a few of them!)
I would wholeheartedly agree with Graeme and after having a think about it, I realise that it is definitely those people closer to home that bring the most inspiration for me as well. The thought that these people have all gone along the same path as we did, at the same University, with the same goals and dreams, really gives you the inspiration and motivation to aim for the big world-changing goals and ideas.
My own list of people would probably look much the same as Graeme’s, and it is incredible to think how far these individuals, and their ideas, will go in the future. It’s almost overwhelming to think about, but instead of shying away, we should certainly make the most of our opportunities and strive to achieve those world-changing goals.
Who or what inspires you?
(I worked with Graeme when he was CEO of Spark in 2010, and he definitely belongs on my list of inspirational people!)
I have a lot of time for @angusblair, an awesome Sparkie from back in the day, and always full of great ideas. While my own path (BCom/LLB) doesn’t follow his advice at all, if I were to go back in time I’d give this advice a lot of thought.
His advice of BSc/BA allows you to follow a great combination of the creative thinking approaches from liberal arts papers, with a technical foundation (e.g. physics or maths). Yes, commerce is useful, but I agree with Angus in that some of the best commerce education I have gained has come from extracurriculars such as Spark and MCC, which have the scope to teach so much more practical aspects.
A great read!
Eco-alternatives to plastic, shoplifters and wandering children are problems dealt to by this year’s winners of the University of Auckland’s Spark $100k Challenge.
Very proud of our Spark $100k Challenge Winners for 2012!
(Little bit of a quote from me going on in there as well)
While I didn’t get to participate in Startup Weekend this time around (Law Dissertation SO CLOSE), I took the time out to go see the announcement of the winners last Sunday. When i got there I saw a great number of Sparkies and others involved in the weekend, and my friend (and ex-Spark marketing lead!) Lisa Jansen just posted a great review of the weekend. Go check out her writeup at the link above!
Sweet little bit of advice from Peter Thiel (hat tip: Angus)
In fact, Thiel argues, we often shouldn’t seek to be really good competitors. We should seek to be really good monopolists. Instead of being slightly better than everybody else in a crowded and established field, it’s often more valuable to create a new market and totally dominate it. The profit margins are much bigger, and the value to society is often bigger, too.
It’s a SmallWorld after all
We had a real treat last night at the Spark IT Roadshow. Mitch Olson, the founder of NZ’s largest online social game (7 million users!) - came to speak. Mitch gave us an outline of his career path, what he’s done with SmallWorlds and how he moved into the gaming world.
Mitch Olson at Spark’s IT Roadshow
SmallWorlds is an online social world targeted mostly at teens. It is similar to SecondLife, but runs entirely in your web browser. Users can interact with each other, build a home, customise their avatar, and purchase things like in-game TVs which let you watch YouTube videos with other players in the game.
As you see from the photo, before building SmallWorlds, Mitch started out on some old school equipment (the first one, which I missed a picture of, was an old punch card machine… and I thought my old 286 was ancient!). A huge difference from today’s computers. One of the first key things I remember though was Mitch’s emphasis on finding a co-founder. Mitch founded SmallWorlds with Darren Green, a fellow computer science grad. The combination of the two, both with expertise and passion in the same area, made for an excellent team.
"Do exactly what you love doing, and find a way to get paid for doing it…"
Another thing that really struck me was Mitch’s passion. You can really tell that he loves what he does, and can’t think of any better career to have. Mitch tells a story of a graduate they tried to hire. After going through piles of applications, they settled on one person - who had the perfect combination of creativity and analytic expertise. After proudly offering this grad the job, they were turned down… for a bank. “A bank!?” Mitch exclaims, with a mix of surprise and incredulity. “Ah well,” he shrugs, “hopefully that worked out for him.” You could see the question on everyone’s faces, who would choose working in a bank over being part of one of NZ’s most exciting game dev companies?
Mitch also spoke of his belief in the kiwi innovative streak, and the knowledge we have some really amazing people doing cool stuff in NZ’s IT world. It is this belief that led Mitch to start the Gamedojo, which is a co-working and accelerator programme for fledgling game development companies in NZ. I’m very keen to see some of the Gamedojo graduates and what they go on to achieve.
The message really for me was that kiwis can really do big things. As Mitch mentioned, with just a laptop and an internet connection, someone way over on this end of the world can create incredible value. SmallWorlds has been featured on TechCrunch, Mitch has been intervewed by Fast Company, and gave a pretty inspiring mini-talk at last year’s ICE Ideas Conference.
Jeremy Moon - Icebreaker
Jeremy Moon was Spark’s first speaker of the year, at the Spark Launch in March. Jeremy is the founder of Icebreaker, one of NZ’s most successful clothing companies, and an amazingly innovative company at that. Jeremy spoke to our crowd of 550+ students at the University of Auckland Business School, and got everyone amped up for an amazing year ahead.