Insightful advice from famous founders on Startup Grind Day Two

Friday 2 December marked the second and final day of Startup Grind APAC Conference, where the likes of Layne Beachley and Martin Hosking took to the stage to share their insights and lessons learnt from a life in overcoming challenges. Here’s some of the most salient advice given throughout the day.

Some of the themes of the day previous were repeated on Day Two, including the fact that we’re all ultimately in the business of people, not of tech.

But with a greater number of speakers from healthcare and energy-related startups, there was also a greater emphasis on the importance of data-driven business planning and maintaining an analytical mindset.

Rather than teasing out these broader themes and providing the blow-by-blow detail, here’s a collection of some of the stand-out points made over the course of the presentations.


Stand-out startup quotes from Day Two


“It’s the internal dialogue that will determine the action. How you think determines how you feel. How you feel determines how you behave. How you behave determines the results that you produce in your life,” Layne Beachley (AO), World Champion Surfer and Founder, The Layne Beachley Foundation.

READ: Pearls of entrepreneurial wisdom from Startup Grind Day One

“If your startup idea is easy or obvious, then it’s not really a problem that needs to be solved and somebody’s probably done it before.” – Martin Hosking, Co-founder, Redbubble.

“The golden rule: treat other people the way that you would like to be treated. Yeah? We’ve all heard this and in leadership it’s dumb. Treat other people the way they want to be treated and I promise you your results will get better immediately.” – Omar DeSilva, Co-founder, Plato Project.

“Most people just give up, they run out of money, their situation doesn’t allow them them to keep going, but I believe that’s your job as an entrepreneur or somebody running a startup to make your opportunity to succeed last as long as possible.” – Derek Anderson, Founder and CEO, Startup Grind.

“It has to be simple. I work in the blockchain and the energy field, which are both quite technical, but we don’t talk about a lot of that. Customers want a digital wallet and they need a cryptographic key but we’ll say something like: ‘it’s like phone minutes but for your energy bill, and you’ve got an online wallet…’ It has to be relatable…you need a product that’s simple to understand. You need to focus more on the benefits than the features.” – Dr Jemma Green, Co-founder, Power Ledger.

“What got you here in the corporate world, the character attributes that created success in that world, will ultimately be your undoing when it comes to entrepreneurship. Because in one world you’re building certainty and you’re playing defense, whereas in entrepreneurship you’re building a lot of uncertainty – you might not even have a business model to execute on – and you’re playing a lot of offense. You can’t rely on the voracious planning, research and analysis that you would do in the corporate world.” – Steve Glaveski, CEO, Collective Campus.

“As a founder, your number one job is to be really clear about what the company’s about and what you’re trying to do, because there will be a lot of people providing input – while that’s useful, it is just input – it’s up to you to digest it and figure out what to do with it.” – Martin Hosking, CEO, Redbubble.

READ: Q&A with Martin Hosking on life after Redbubble

“Think carefully about what you’re going to need to do in order to break the rules of the incumbents and spread as quickly as possible. As Reid Hoffman said: ‘it’s not about first-mover advantage, it’s about first-scaler advantage’. – Adam Nash, VP of Product, Dropbox.

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