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The future of work? (2020 version)

July 30, 2020

WFHEarly in the COVID-19 lockdown I took the opportunity to use that extra time to completely re-organise my office and clear some of the clutter accumulated over the last 20 years working from home (WFH).

In the process I found an old APC magazine from 2002 which had an article from Phillipa Yelland about the future of work, featuring a much younger me.

At the time, the article stated, about one in 16 Australians were doing some or all of their work at home or away from the office.

Yes, in 1998 my family moved away from the city to the NSW Southern Highlands. Armed with an eye-wateringly expensive ISDN connection, I started working remotely about three days a week. I carried a concertina of paper files with me between the office and home and I had to remember to divert my office desk phone to my WFH number (these were the days before unified communications!). I often forgot to do this, so had to sheepishly call one of my office colleagues to redirect it for me. With a home Internet connection charged on a time used basis, I was very judicious about when I would go online during the day.

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Since COVID-19 hit, suddenly just about everyone is ‘WFH’. There’s already been a deluge written about WFH and how it has changed our working lives, so I’ll quickly mention the two things that quickly became apparent for me, and then I’ll stop there on that aspect.

First, I realised that your productivity, your output and your results defined how well you were working – which is actually how it should be for any role, but isn’t always the case in organisations.

Second, you have to be far more present, available and responsive. People can’t see you at your desk or walking around the office, so if they can’t reach you straight away (or if you don’t respond to them quickly) there’s a perception that you aren’t working. You don’t have to live up to that same expectation when you are physically in the office.
What I really wanted to talk about is some of the macro trends or the ‘new normal’ of WFH post-COVID.

In The Register, Simon Sharwood predicts a corporate backlash against WFH, and pens an imaginary ‘all staff’ email in 2022 from a CEO cancelling the organisation’s WFH arrangements, calling everyone back into the office. (‘A memo from the distant future… June 2022: The boss decides working from home isn’t the new normal after all’) Sharwood foresees insurmountable issues around staff productivity, inequality and cultural division as the killers for WFH.

On the other hand, Anthony Caruana believes WFH is here to stay, provided we sort out a few technical and operational things first. (‘Working from home is the new cubicle farm’) And it’s not necessarily from a corporation’s altruistic intentions! Responding to Sharwood’s article, Caruana writes: “The clear benefit of working from home is simple for employers. It’s cheap.”

While corporate attitudes are key, I think the future of WFH will largely be driven by personal factors.

WFH simply doesn’t suit everyone. I made the decision back in 1998 to work remotely due to personal and family circumstances knowing that it might be detrimental to my career progression and chances of promotion. However, my motivation was driven more by the constantly changing nature of the work I was doing and being creative – and these could be achieved just as well, if not better, away from the office. That’s not going to suit the ambitious corporate types out there with a five-year plan and career trajectory mapped out.

I’m also not the typical nine-to-five style worker. I’m happy to work whenever I have to, and to keep working on something to get it finished, whatever that takes. That’s a great way to work at home, but not necessarily so great in an office. However, that can be quite difficult for some people to manage. At home, it is hard to keep up the same sort of routine you can have in the office, because the boundaries between work and leisure aren’t marked by the daily commute and the parallel schedules of your colleagues.

The biggest issue by far though is the dichotomy of personality types in the workforce, and how that affects their ability to work from home. I’ve seen a polarised response to WFH during the pandemic. Some of my family, friends and colleagues are revelling in the isolation, and in the opportunities it has given for them to have time to themselves and to ‘get things done’. On the other hand, other people I know are really struggling without being able to draw on the energy and inspiration they generate from the social interactions and physical connections they have in an office environment.

So, what do we do?

We’ve already proven through the pandemic that most office-based businesses have continued to function through the extended lockdown and social distancing period with the majority of their staff WFH, so there is no reason why that can’t continue in some form when things return to ‘normal’. In white-collar industries we can complete all or most of the work we do on a day-to-day basis from home; we can securely access the applications and data we need, we can participate in meetings and connect with our colleagues and customers via a multitude of channels, and we can collaborate effectively on projects and documents.

After all these years, it’s finally dawned on most organisations that ‘work is something we do, not somewhere we go’. Hopefully that means we will all stop being measured by the length of time we spend sitting at our desks or tapping away on our keyboards. We might start getting better at recognising genuine productivity and achievement across all levels of the organisation, which will make it immaterial if we are at home or in the office. That way, where we work becomes a personal choice, and we might get more out of all the different personality types in our employee base in what will be a much more diverse and hybrid workplace.

Pictured top: ‘Female hand writing at home.‘ by Nenad Stojkovic, shared under an Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0) licence.

Communications in the Time of Corona

April 2, 2020

off to the sunNews that both MSNBC and CNN are no longer airing the full White House briefings on the COVID-19 pandemic is gobsmacking – given the alarming escalation of the virus in the USA right now.

One of the MSNBC hosts made a telling observation:

“we know these briefings have a tendency to veer in a lot of directions. Not all of them are informative or relevant in the midst of this crisis.”

At times of crisis, people are looking for clear, concise and factual information and advice – and also an expression of empathy for the emotional distress and anxiety we are all going through.

While I can’t speak for the veracity of the information, the clear, concise and empathetic way this executive responds to the situation regarding the Ruby Princess is a good example on how to communicate in a crisis.

Here are some quick pieces of communications advice for organisations right now:

  • Make sure that you are communicating regularly with your customer base and with your partners. They will want to know what you are doing to respond to the pandemic, and how any changes you are making will affect them. They will also want to know if they can continue to receive products and services from you during this time, and maybe other ways in which you can help them deal with the crisis.
  • Don’t be afraid to promote your products or services, as long as they are relevant during this time. Organisations and individuals are looking for ways to help them get through this crisis – whether that’s IT solutions to set up remote networks or support their employees working from home, personal protective equipment, supermarket opening hours or home grocery delivery services.
  • If you are providing advice or sharing information, limit this to areas in which you are a subject matter expert. Stick to known facts. At times like this, don’t waste people’s time with your personal theories or irrelevant information. They will already be looking to their own trusted sources of information and experts for this advice.
  • Get to the point quickly. People are dealing with an overload of information with regards to COVID-19, but they do want to hear from you if it is going to have a material impact on them. If you aren’t succinct or providing them with important information quickly, people will switch off and that’s the worst thing that could happen. You want to set the expectation that when they hear from you, your message is relevant and useful.
  • Don’t forget this is personal. While keeping things simple and to the point, be aware that this pandemic is affecting everyone and express that in your communications. Be empathetic throughout, and acknowledge the difficulties and distress we are all going through at the moment.

I hope everyone stays safe and healthy through this pandemic, and gets the information, makes the services and connections they need to keep on top of everything that is going on right now.

Pictured above: off to the sun, by Predi, shared under an Attribution-NoDerivs 2.0 Generic (CC BY-ND 2.0) licence.

 

Seven Attributes of a Great Endorsement

December 10, 2019

 

unfinishedbusiness_croppedEndorsements from companies and people that have used your services or bought your products are a great way to illustrate the value and quality of your business and your brand. Here are the seven attributes you should always factor in when making a decision on which ones to use.

1. Authentic. Whenever possible, use the endorsement exactly the way your customer expressed it. All of the examples I’ve included below are taken from emails received by Explore Communications. There’s nothing more authentic than direct praise that has been freely given, and there is nothing worse than a quote that looks like it has been written and reviewed by a committee! If you get a nice email or survey feedback from a customer, it’s also going to be a whole lot easier to get approval on the exact words that they wrote. If you do have to rewrite the quote (say, to stand alone as a specific quote), keep it as minimal as possible so you don’t lose the tone and expression of the original words.

“… you once again have impressed me with your general awesomeness!”

Changed to:

“Once again you have impressed me with your general awesomeness!”

– Martin Reidy, Operations Manager, Waterman Business Centres

2. Aligned. The endorsements you use should align with your company’s brand identity and persona, and with the services or products that you provide. If you are a B2B services provider, that’s going to feature quite different language and expression to a youth-focused consumer brand.

“Absolutely wonderful PR partnership and great results!”
– Mariana Kosturos, Senior Director, PR & Social Media, RingCentral

3. Personal. If you are a B2B organisation, always attribute the endorsement to a person, not just a company. It’s a quote, and companies don’t speak! If you are a B2C business, try to give a little more context to the person you are quoting: their photo, age, location, or maybe the product they bought or the service they used. Potential customers who are reading the endorsement need to be able to identify with some element of commonality – working in a similar role or in the same industry, living in the same area or in the same age bracket.

“You have done an amazingly fantastic job! Such a great read, well done. Congratulations on pulling together a great report.”
– Kerri Buttery, Director, VETNexus

4. Weighty. For a business endorsement, the more senior the person you are quoting, the better. It’ll carry more weight, and it will probably be easier to get it published, because it won’t have to go through as many levels of approval. For consumer brands, nothing beats a positive media review or unpaid, spontaneous feedback from a famous or well-respected person.

“Thanks for the awesome case study. I’ve just read it in detail, and gosh you could make even God blush!”
– Angelo Giuffrida, CEO, VentraIP

5. Short. It’s an endorsement, not a case study! Endorsements should be short and sweet – don’t try and cram in too much detail or description, or you will limit how you can use the content. Also, the longer the quote, the more difficult it will be to get it approved.

“You are spectacular to work with!”
– Sarah Hanel, Director of Global Corporate Communications, OneSpan

6. Approved. Make sure that any endorsement you use is approved explicitly by the individual quoted. It’s even a good idea to ask for their express permission if you have received the endorsement via social media or some other public channel. Keep a record of that approval, in case you need to rely on it in the future to prove that you received it at the time – but be prepared to stop using the endorsement if the company or individual withdraws their consent. You can use an endorsement that doesn’t identify the company or person, but that is not going to have anywhere near the same impact.

“You are a STAR!”
– APAC Marketing Manager, Global Networking Vendor

7. Reusable. Re-use endorsements as ‘nuggets’ where-ever you can. An endorsement is a positive, subjective view on your company in the words of your customers, so include them where relevant in your press releases, case studies, website, and promotional materials. You can even include them in your blog posts, just like I’ve done here 😊

Photo above taken from free stock images released to promote the movie “Unfinished Business” back in 2015: see further https://explorecomms.com.au/2015/03/05/making-fun-of-yourself-and-the-unfinishedbusiness-of-marketing.

From digital SLR to AR

September 12, 2019

Bridgewalk_inside_archTwelve years ago, the Sydney Harbour Bridge celebrated its 75th anniversary by closing the bridge to traffic for the festivities. Walking across the bridge that Sunday I was taking lots of photos on my digital camera – as were thousands of other people. I remember wondering at the time how many terabytes of data were being generated just by this one big event, but there was no way of ever knowing.

That was March 2007. The first iPhone was still to arrive later that year. YouTube was only a couple of years old, Facebook had not long been open to general users and Myspace was still the dominant web player.

Fast forward to now, and the iPhone 11 has just been launched. Multiple cameras, Dolby Atmos and a raft of other features. Most people are now permanently connected via their smartphones and crazy amounts of data are being generated and consumed daily by users on the Internet – largely via mobile and through social media channels.

We’ve just witnessed a new record for Wi-Fi usage at any in-venue event in sports history – with a peak data transfer rate of 23.24 gigabits per second when the New England Patriots NFL team unveiled their Super Bowl LIII banner before the game, surpassing the previous record at a sports event of 13.38 Gbps. According to figures from Extreme Networks, 44,906 of fans at the stadium connected to the Wi-Fi network at some point, 34,982 concurrent number of users at the peak. While the total amount of data transferred over Wi-Fi during the game was only 11.58 TB (only!), well short of the 24.05 TB at last year’s Super Bowl, this sort of activity is now becoming the norm.

The amount of insight we are getting now is on user engagement and behaviour is incredible – but what’s really cool is the way connectivity is opening up opportunities for a range of applications like an enhanced fan experience. Fans who can’t be there on the day can experience the event vicariously by following the event hashtag and inside the stadium, we are just starting to see some of the ways Wi-Fi and 5G can be used for AR and VR experiences – like this very cool ‘Pose with the Pros’ AR activation at the Dallas Cowboys’ first home game.

I think we’ve got a long way to go here in Australia before we have the same level of connectivity infrastructure in place in our local venues, but it will happen! Then it’s just a question of how imaginative we can be in putting it to use.

The next big Sydney Harbour Bridge event is coming up very soon: #BridgeClimb21 on 1 October, BridgeClimb’s 21st birthday. It’ll be interesting to follow the hashtag on social media and see how far we’ve come in just 12 years.

Pictured top: Bridgewalk inside arch by Saberwyn from Wikimedia Commons.

Pulling the plug on quality

May 31, 2019

cordWhen it comes to discussing technology, the focus today is usually on innovation – but that wasn’t always the case. The worrying thing about this is that we seem to have forgotten about quality, longevity and reliability.

That said, given that most tech we buy will be superseded in 12 months, does it really matter? Based on recent experience, I’d say yes. More on the cut cord (pictured) later!

Thirty years ago, I was working as a sales assistant in the ‘TV and Sound’ section of a department store (yes, when we still had VHS video recorders and 21″ – yes, 51cm – CRT televisions at around the $900 price point were the biggest sellers). Invariably customers would ask me which brand or product was the most reliable, which one had the longest warranty, and where was it made (Japan then being the preferred country of manufacture for quality consumer electronics).

People didn’t seem so hung up on features back than, or that they might be missing out on some new technology just around the corner. Most people wanted to know how well it was made and how long it would last. In fact, the first amp (NAD) and speakers (Richter) I ever bought are still going strong, and sound just as good as the year I bought them (1989).

Fast forward to this year, and I’ve just received my third multi-function cooker in three months after the previous two were faulty. We did have a ‘quality brand’ cooker originally, which lasted about two years before packing it in. So, instead of paying a couple of hundred dollars for the replacement, we went for the ’16-in-1 Multifunction Pressure Cooker’ for around $70 from a budget online retailer. My thoughts were, why bother paying a premium if it’s only going to last two years anyway? Also, how amazing to have a single device that has 16 different cooking functions! I think the old one we had only had four …

The first 16-in-1 cooker we received was faulty on arrival, and the second one developed the same fault after a month or so of use. At least the retailer had a pretty slick returns process (I guess they do a lot of them). First, I had to send them a video of the fault, then a picture of the cut electrical cord before they sent the replacement. The cut cord was to prove that I was no longer able to use the device – they didn’t want me to return the whole device – shipping fees would have ended up costing more that the product itself!

So what happens with all these faulty products? They just go into landfill. What a colossal waste of our finite resources in a time when we are facing the biggest threat to our environment we have ever seen.

Really, should I care about having 16 cooking functions? In the time I’ve had a working device, I’ve only used three.

I was given a Wi-Fi extender purchased from the same online retailer, and it was so bad that I stopped using it almost immediately and reinstalled my trusty Apple Airport Express, which is well over ten years old and still going strong.

What worries me is not just all the people who are buying this cheap, nasty technology – or the number of budget retailers out there selling this crap. The biggest worry is the pressure that this price-driven race to the bottom is putting on the ‘so-called’ quality brands to cut manufacturing corners to stay competitive. We are getting to the point where we will no longer have a quality option for tech. The sheer scale of the problem needs to be addressed before it becomes unsustainable (if it isn’t already).

And don’t get me started on other industries. Poor clothing quality, thanks to fast fashion,  is costing Australian charitable recycling organisations a staggering $13 million per year sending unusable donations to landfill. That’s also spilling over into the quality brands. Have you noticed that your new sheet sets barely fit your mattress any more? That’s because manchester manufacturers have realised they can save a few dollars on material by making every standard sizing a little bit smaller.

I could go on, but I won’t. I love innovation, but it shouldn’t come at the cost of our planet. We need to make manufacturers more accountable for the products that they are selling; if not by introducing longer mandatory warranties for technology, then maybe we need to force manufacturers more generally to take responsibility for their product over its entire lifetime. That way, it will force them to think more carefully about the overall quality and longevity of the product, the sustainability of the materials they are using and the ability to recycle or the product at end-of-life. That will also put a real cost on this cheap, throw-away tech that everyone seems so happy to buy.

App overload?

April 17, 2019

comms appsAs a consultant working with a range of different technology companies, it’s a matter of course that you have to become familiar with a bunch of different communications applications, because everyone has their own set of collaboration tools that they use. The picture left gives you an idea of the number of comms apps I’m using on a day-to-day basis.

While it’s unavoidable for consultants like Explore Communications, for employees in a large corporation collaboration should be a lot simpler. However, a RingCentral survey last year found that workers use an average of four communications apps at work, and almost seven out of 10 waste up to an hour of work daily simply navigating between them.

Of course, it shouldn’t be like that, but there are any number of reasons as to why organisations are yet to consolidate onto a common unified communications (UC) platform. That said, even if every organisation did manage to consolidate, they are not all going to be using the same UC vendor! That still makes inter-organisational collaboration a challenge.

VidyoRemember that feeling of panic as you wait for five minutes for the conferencing application to download and install on your PC before you can join the meeting? I still haven’t gotten around to uninstalling the Vidyo app that fires up every time I reboot my PC – an app I had to download for a couple of meetings I had two years ago, but haven’t needed since.

The good news is that things seem to have got a lot easier. Now, most of the conferencing providers I use have developed a mobile app that by and large works beautifully. Click on the link from your calendar invitation, the app launches and generally automatically connects you to the meeting by voice, video, chat and screen sharing. And if you don’t have the app yet, it’s a pretty quick and simple process to install it. Sure, if you are on a smart phone, it’s not a great screen to view a shared PowerPoint deck, but in most cases it does the job perfectly. And you can still use the PC version of the application if you need the larger screen.

Features, functions and performance are obviously important, but ultimately it’s the UC vendors that focus on the end user experience that will be successful in the long run.

 

 

 

 

Keeping up the innovation

March 11, 2019

flowhive6After the incredible initial success of the Flow Hive, it’s great to see further, more subtle innovation has been taking place to give the product ongoing commercial viability.

When it was released on Indiegogo around this time four years ago, Flow Hive became one of the most successful crowdfunding campaigns in history – but the Flow Hive team struggled to cope with the unexpected flood in demand.

Last week I put together my first Flow Hive 2 and, while the core invention – the Flow Frame – has remained unchanged, the updates are a really good illustration of what innovators need to do to keep ahead and be responsive to customer feedback.

Since getting one of the original crowdfunded hives, even the unboxing experience and packaging has been refined. A lot of thought has been put into minimising the overall box size to keep storage and shipping costs down, despite the Flow Hive 2 having a more complex design than the original hive. And they have used environmentally-friendly materials and incorporated information onto the packaging, as well as in the instruction manual.

flowhive2.jpg

Also, since the launch of the original product Flow Hive has switched to a local manufacturer for the timber components, and you can really see this in the quality of the parts and precision of the laser cuts. They have also thought through the customer’s flat pack build experience, not just with the detailed steps in the manual, but also in marking each of the pieces of timber very clearly, so you don’t use a wrong part during construction (which happened to me on one of my earlier hives!).

flowhive5

Finally, all the functional improvements made to the hive design are more than just cosmetic. They address usability issues on the original design: including an additional viewing panel, better and more durable base and fittings, adjustable legs and a harvesting shelf.

The thing is, that despite the time that the Flow Hive has been in the market and the amount of attention it has received, there is still a lot of work to do to promote beekeeping and sell the product. There was intense interest in the Flow Hive at last weekend’s Canberra Region Beekeepers Field Day, but hobby and small-scale beekeepers currently still represent a tiny proportion of the world’s population.

Hopefully, the team at Flow Hive continues to innovate, continues to respond to customer feedback and ultimately continues to encourage more people to take up beekeeping.

Broken digital: the frustrating, the costly and the funny

November 13, 2018

old_broken_chainAlready before lunchtime today, I’d experienced three examples of broken digital processes in banking, insurance and retail – one frustrating, one costly and one funny – and in that order too! Digital transformation is great, but it only takes one broken link in the process and it all comes undone.

First up, I was trying to complete a credit card transaction over the phone, and my payment was declined. I followed up with a call to the bank, who let me know that a block had been placed on my card owing to suspicious activity (a very small amount paid to a US-based charity – called credit card testing).

Well done to the bank for having automated systems in place to pick up on the fraud and stop it before it caused any serious damage! However, when I asked why I hadn’t been notified about the blockage, the bank’s security guy told me that a message had been sent to my mobile number – which turned out to be a number I had changed a few years ago.

I was sure I had updated my number with the bank at the time. My online banking contact details showed that I had, so I called the bank to find out why this old number was still floating around in their systems. After some time searching for it, they couldn’t find any trace of it and could only assure me that they have ‘put a note on my file’ so that it wouldn’t happen again. There is obviously some sort of broken link in the chain where the change I made to my online record isn’t flowing through the entire system. The sum effect? Frustration and an hour of wasted time, first in trying to process a transaction that wouldn’t go through, then on the phone twice to the bank to sort out the issue.

Second and somewhat connected, as it was in relation to the credit card payment I was trying to make, I found out that I would have been paying too much to renew my car insurance. Why? Because a premium costs more when you have a car with finance attached to it. However, I had finished paying off the car early in 2018 and, even though I was insuring the car through the same finance company, the price of the policy renewal wasn’t automatically updated to reflect that change in status. I only discovered this because I was on the phone with the company trying to make the unsuccessful credit card payment to renew the policy.

While this could be an inadvertent error from the finance company in its automated processes, the cynic in me thinks otherwise. The end result? A difference of $200 on my premium. If you calculate that across all the companies and people with car insurance where the finance has ended during the previous 12 months, that’s a lot of money.

The final broken digital process came in a “Because you purchased … we also recommend these” email I received from an online retailer. I purchased some Tiles – finder devices – the day before, but I think the retailer’s keyword-matching AI algorithms might need a little bit of fine tuning.

The recommended product? A steam mop.

(Pictured top: “Old Broken Chain” by Jaysin Trevino via Flickr, used under a Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0) licence.)

 

 

A win for IP rights and innovation

November 8, 2018

HivesWith our weather warming up, the flowers  blooming and Explore’s own Flow Hives (pictured this morning) ramping up honey production, there was great news today with the hive’s inventors winning their fight against a ‘copycat’ manufacturer.

The global reach that businesses now have with the Internet is both a blessing and a curse – especially for innovators like Flow Hive. It would have been next to impossible for them to have raised so much money so quickly, together with global market awareness they generated for their product, without the help of the crowdfunding platform they used.

At the same time, it’s been just as easy for scammers and copycats to take a short cut and make a quick buck on the back of Flow Hive’s hard work and experimentation over ten years – and this is despite the attempts Flow Hive has made to legally protect its intellectual property rights globally.

Part of the problem is that the so-called ‘tech disruptors’ like Google, Amazon, Facebook and eBay are facilitating these IP contraventions, while claiming to bear no responsibility for the actions of their users. The issue with this is that they are deriving direct benefit from the contravention – which seems to have little bearing on their complicity. I’m not sure why they aren’t forced by the regulators to take a more active role in policing and enforcing the IP rights of the legitimate holders. And this isn’t something new. It’s been at least 20 years since I first complained to Google about a competitor using one of our trademarks as a paid keyword search term.

Surely, technology is now at the stage where we can have APIs into the various IP administrative systems globally, so that companies like Google and Amazon can connect to the data sources and automate a large part of this IP enforcement process?

Cedar Anderson from Flow Hive says they have had to spend a huge amount of money and time trying just to shut down copycats. “In some cases it makes it hard for people like us with a legitimate product. For example. Amazon and eBay even advertise counterfeit products on keywords, which really shouldn’t be allowed to happen. It’s bad enough that they are allowed to list counterfeits, let alone advertise them.” – Flow Hive pest free after parasite brand folds

Let’s keep up the good fight!

More local recognition and support needed?

October 26, 2018

In terms of recognising Australian technical innovation, we tend to focus our attention on the eastern seaboard, so it’s great to have the opportunity to highlight a significant piece of industry achievement from South Australia.

You probably hadn’t heard the news, but a collaboration software product from SA was presented with an Engineering Emmy this week in Hollywood: cineSync, developed by Adelaide firm Cospective.

You can read more about cineSync  and the Emmy win on fxguide.

eng-2018-cospective-p-900x600

Rory McGregor, CEO of Cospective, from left, Neil Wilson, Robert Bartlett, and Roland Empson accept the Engineering Emmy Award for Cospective at the 2018 Engineering Emmy Awards (Phil McCarten/Invision/AP Images) – https://www.emmys.com/photo/484806?galleryid=484771

 

One of the creators of the software was recently recognised locally for his achievements – with Tony Clark from Rising Sun Pictures (RSP) presented with the 2018 SA Pearcey Entrepreneur Award last month in Adelaide. Tony is pictured below, receiving his award from Professor Mike Miller.

Professor Mike Miller and Tony ClarkAccepting his award, Tony was pretty outspoken about the lack of technology industry and government support and recognition for homegrown innovation in his speech:

“At a really fundamental level we need to support our entrepreneurs and insist that our government helps to build local businesses that are here because they love and are committed to this place, not because they are coming for subsidies.”

Tony‘s career achievements to date have been remarkable.

First up, RSP established its own high-speed broadband network in 2004 called “Cinenet” that’s since become part of Superloop (https://www.superloop.com/cinenet/) which helped RSP to win the contract for the special effects on Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (see an old ABC news story on this here: http://www.abc.net.au/technology/articles/2011/09/13/3316672.htm).

Then, it was during the production of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire that RSP first developed the cineSync software  so that people could easily collaborate on the film across different locations (https://cospective.com/cinesync/). cineSync has since become the default industry tool around the world and won the creators a technical Oscar back in 2011 (some news on that at the time here: https://www.smh.com.au/technology/aussie-geeks-win-big-at-oscars-20110214-1at5e.html). It has also led to a web-based version of the software called Frankie, all achieved out of the company’s Adelaide base.

The list of movies that RSP has worked on are incredible – it’s worth checking out their demo reel on their home page – https://rsp.com.au/home/. And cineSync is now pretty much in use by every major production studio, to the point that it “has become almost a new verb, replacing ‘review session’ in much the same way ‘Googling’ something has replaced ‘searching’.” (https://www.provideocoalition.com/frankie-makes-content-sharing-and-client-review-simple-and-easy/)

Maybe we need a little more local recognition and support for technical achievements like this?