64 – Disrupting an industry for good with Adam McCurdie, Co-Founder & Director of Humanitix

Adam McCurdie was an engineer and mathematician, consulting for an IT company creating solutions for other reasons and wanted find a way to disrupt the ticketing industry and create a social impact for good.

Founders, Adam McCurdie and Joshua Ross founded Humanitix in 2015 to transform the events ticketing industry into a force for good and make events accessible to everyone, particularly those with disabilities who are often marginalised from community participation.

Humanitix is the first not-for-profit ticketing platform in the world to redirect its share of the billions of dollars in event booking fees to solve social challenges including poverty, disadvantage and education gaps.

The platform is economic and unique in model, allowing Humanitix to invest grant funds wholly into charitable projects, yet still being able to scale its operations to support even more projects with sustainable revenue generated by ticketed events.

Humanitix is passionate about ensuring every child has the right to an education and the opportunity to reach their potential. With the support of your vote, Humanitix pledges to support over 1 Million disadvantaged children every year through tutoring, literacy programs, scholarships and meals.  Follow the journey #Humanitix1Million

Humanitix was recently announced as a Winner of the Google Impact Challenge and will share will receive a share of $5.5 million in grant funding as they continue to help create better futures for all Australians.

We talked all about the journey and so much more;

  • Creating a compelling way to give back at the same time as being commercial
  • The importance of nurturing relationships
  • Just try and learn along the way
  • Being comfortable with change
  • The value of surrounding yourself with good people
  • The power of persistence
  • Developing culture as you grow as a startup
  • You cannot rely on just being ethical
  • Dealing with issues with team members as they arise

https://www.humanitix.com/

https://www.atlassian.com/company/foundation

 

The book Adam mentioned was Homo Deus from Yuval Noah Harari

 

 

EPISODE TRANSCRIPT

 

0:03
I would love to welcome you to the podcast. Thank you so much for joining me today. Adam.

0:07
Thank you.

0:09
I’m so excited to get into this conversation and find a little bit more about everything that’s been happening with you, and Humanitix, Can you tell us a little bit about your background before you started Humanitix?

0:21
Yeah, sure. I was a registered as a mechanical engineer and a mathematician out of university. And I went into management consulting, so I was predominantly working in the communications media and technology space is equally as, as Big Data started to become a thing and was working on a lot of projects of that nature. And also in did a masters of agriculture and environmental economics just kind of found that to be particularly interesting. So I thought I’d I do a master’s in that. And that was it, I was a consultant for quite a number of years. And then Josh, my co founder, and I actually plan for, for humanitix. And then we just kind of threw everything at it and haven’t looked back since

1:11
That’s awesome. So what drew you to disrupting the ticketing platform? How did the idea get hatched?

1:22
Yeah, Josh and I, we were friends since high school. And we had always, I guess, found the idea of social business, social enterprise really interesting and compelling. So the idea of using business as a force for good that charities are burdened with solving the biggest problems in our society and their fundraising, the way that they offer it is not necessarily optimized. And that particularly transforming businesses to start to be focused on solving these bigger problems than charities and it’s a really, really compelling idea and something that we wanted to be involved with. And so we played around with a whole bunch of ideas, it was everything from social media platforms, that could be a social enterprise in some way, a whole bunch of ideas. But then the ticketing industry continued to stand out as, as really the perfect industry with the perfect ingredients to be disrupted in a, you know, social sense. And that’s what we set about doing we, we found that the industry was 10s of billions of dollars in size, it’s comprised these booking fees that everybody hates when they buy tickets to a show or something. And there’s no social value that’s provided by these ticketing companies. And there’s just essentially not much difference between many of the players out there. And we found that to be a huge issue and, and a huge opportunity to start to redirect that profit, presented profitable to alleviating global inequality.

2:57
Listen, it’s time I think, to like, now that it’s available. It’s like, Well, duh, why wasn’t this something that people didn’t think of before and each month at the Love What You Do Collective events when we talk about the feedback that we have, and the fact that your tickets that you’ve purchased to come to this event booking fees are actually going to this charity which we change it up each month. So depending on which one we choose,  it depends on the topic that we’re doing that month as well. So we do that and it’s lovely way that people actually look at and go Wow, that’s really cool. So it’s definitely something that people are wanting to be a part of. So it’s really cool.

3:34
I can tell you that the trick to that is that we give the organizer the credit for the social impact that we create with those booking fees so we very happily stand to the side and say to the event organizer thank you very much for using humanitix, congratulations you’ve now just deciding to use humanitix has now resulted in eight and a half thousand dollars of resented booking fees now being distributed to this particular indigenous education scholarship program, for example. And now you can go off and tell people about that on social media or email any way you want. Because Thank you, that was you’re doing that you decided to, to create that. And so that’s what we find is that it’s really compelling because now there’s a commercial incentive for organizers to semantics as well as the right thing to do.

4:24
Absolutely. So he came up with the idea and I’m sure it wasn’t just Okay, let’s do this and make it happen. What was the journey like, tell us a little bit about how that came about.

4:35
Yeah, so So, you know, as every new idea, you’ve got your day job in your spare time, on late nights and weekends, we were, you know, trying to get this idea off the ground trying to test to try to see if this had legs, particularly ticketing and, and then it got to the stage where we realized, okay, I really think we’re onto something here. And we really need to start to put our heads down but, you know, Josh was working in finance and fund management, I was working at a hedge management consultancy and, and there’s not much spare time. So we thought, right, we need to leave our jobs to focus on this full time. Otherwise, it’s just impossible to really get something properly going at the stage that we’re at. But we thought to ourselves, it’s silly for both of us to leave our jobs, we don’t have any investments. Humanitix acts as a not for profit. So we can’t even attract investors if we tried to, because there’s no equity value. And we had to self fund the thing. So we thought it’s best that one of us leave our jobs to go full time on humanitix, and the other one stay in their job. So with my engineering background, we decided that it was best for me to leave my job, give up my salary, and be exposed to and focus full time on trying to build humanitix for us. But Josh would stay in his job at the hedge fund so that we could continue to self fund the idea and share his salary to keep us both afloat. And so we shared a salary for roughly 18 months until we were simply we reached a point that we were just getting flooded with more and more event organizers and events. And the idea was really kind of starting to take off, the platform itself was starting to get really competitive. And Josh then had to leave his job to join me full time. And at that stage, we’ve were both volunteering full time getting this idea to continue to grow. And and then that was a few months after that, that the first philanthropists that were really excited by what we were  doing decided to join us into our system to help us fund this and to grow this really compelling software and, grow. And that was just what a Wow, what an experience to go through that with the with a best mate. Yeah, doing that is quite a thing.

6:58
And to know that the Friendship is still intact. Like that’s massive. Like, I can’t even imagine going, Hey, can you pay for the groceries? I’m just Yeah. Cool. Very cool. Very nice to see that that’s still a really strong part of, I guess your values of being really having that friendship same time as building businesses. Sure, was challenging along the way. So you mentioned that you then had the philanthropists come along, how did you know who was the right person to work with, and how did that all transpire?

7:32
from the philanthropists like which philanthropists would be interested?

7:36
Yeah, so we really just started, we reached the stage where  the pilot was obviously working incredibly well. And we were talking to corporates, to some more successful businessmen and women around the community. And, and that the individual, I guess, high net worth philanthropist was, was  the best fit. And there was somebody that was, would be excited by that humanitix that had a leverage on their philanthropic dollar, that, you know, if humanitix at this, we were saying, you know, if this works, this would mean that at scale, we will be redistributed millions of dollars in booking fees every single year towards ending global inequality, and the self sustainable company, a completely sustainable ourselves. And that is a completely in the concept that that you as a charity, you can be sustainable and be doing so much good and to provide leverage on the money that you’ve received from philanthropists. So that took quite a specific kind of philanthropists to really get to be interested in that and to be willing to take the risk because obviously, that’s obviously the risk is that you manage x doesn’t work and and then the money would have been best spent, you know, I guess just donating

8:48
donating to one of the charities that they support or regularly. So, and that was that was high high net worth businessmen and women we were Yeah, really,

8:59
really, really grateful to take us have their support and, and that they were backing us to succeed. And they thought that we could succeed,

9:09
but it was bloody tough to talk to. We talked to her before we got to Yes, we’ve talked a hell of a lot of nice.

9:17
How did you know? Like,

9:20
like, wasn’t that like, what’s what had to happen for you guys to go? Yeah, this is the right person, like, was there anything in particular that they would like? Yeah, so I mean,

9:29
yeah, definitely. It was that they said, yes, it will,

9:34
we will not be picky,

9:37
we are going to receive money from we were, we were kind of, I can’t tell you how grateful we were to have somebody believed in us. Few people believe that lots of people believe

9:52
it’s not a it’s not a

9:54
it’s a pretty unique concept.

10:00
Now Now it’s working and now it makes sense. And so you look back at the great but you know, when when when you just kind of have an idea that’s got a little bit of promise because of a pilot it’s a much more difficult sell.

10:11
And I think to like even though it’s only been you know, three years like a lots changed in just in society in the way that so many more people are wanting to give back like I don’t know if you’ve noticed that but I’ve definitely noticed that like there’s so many more businesses out there wanting to be aligned with charities they wanted to be aligned with that some form of give back and they constantly looking for opportunities to utilize their business for good so I think that’s also the whole landscapes changed as well

10:40
yeah I think there’s also been there’s almost an expectation now that your business does something

10:48
yes becoming it’s really promising to see that that trend

10:53
yeah i think that i think it also might be linked to

10:57
the motivation and engagement of employees around a particular company that you know if a company’s making a genuine effort to use their platform as a way to distribute good as well as you know making profits for their for their own survival then you know that’s some that’s a place you want to work for

11:12
absolutely So was there a moment early on that you kind of look back on and go yet that was a time where we were like yet this is going to work

11:27
interesting

11:29
to them said no I don’t think so we’ve just we’ve had our heads down and we’ve been you know you just keep I know we’ve just had a heads down so for so long and then eventually the head often and I guess what we’re doing quite well now and and that’s great that you know we’ve got a long way to go if we really want to achieve what what we want to which is totally revolutionizing the industry and we haven’t achieved revolutionising the industry yet so we don’t see ourselves as yet. Having done what we’ve set out to do. We’ve just we’ve got a lot of prior we’ve got a good start. And we’re doing a lot of good on the way because we’ve seen a redistributing 100% of the profits of all the fees. We’re getting our hands on the way and that’s really cool.

12:14
Yeah, I guess we will only feel like we’ve made it when the entire ticketing industry is expected to do what we’re doing.

12:21
Awesome. And what type of impact would you like to see saying this in the next say, five years?

12:28
Yeah, the next five years on air budgets where we’re looking to redistribute somewhere in the ballpark of eight to $9 million in fees

12:40
to our charitable projects. So that would be predominantly around in the third world literacy programs and life skills programs, particularly for girls in the developing world. We work very closely with the Atlassian foundation now. And they’ve really opened our eyes to the sustainable benefits of education as a focus for ending inequality, as well as the social return on invested capital in in investing in life school programs and misuse the programs particularly for girls in that region.

13:11
And as well, here in Australia, we focus heavily on indigenous scholarships and indigenous youth education as indigenous people are by far the most disadvantaged groups in the country.

13:21
And is there a reason why that is important to you?

13:26
Absolutely. I mean, our aim is to alleviate in, in global inequality. And so education is the most sustainable way to do that. Now, we are living in, in one of the most privileged countries in the world, I’ve been lucky to receive a fantastic education and to grow up in a family that, you know, valued education and, and did all those wonderful things. And

13:51
you can’t, you can’t sit in your visit in a position like this, and then not not try to afford that to other people that haven’t been so lucky. In my opinion,

14:01
you know, this history is marked with, with countless examples of when you’re in a position to do something, do it to make the world a better place, because otherwise, history will judge you for anything.

14:17
And I very much feel that I’m in that situation. And Josh is in that situation and everybody that that is, you know, working with us is very much of that mindset.

14:27
Awesome. So, what would you say one of the biggest challenges has been, since the

14:33
biggest challenge by far was initially raising money,

14:38
like I said, with a philanthropist and join us we were picky. That was that was very difficult. We, we decided from day one, that we wanted to be a charity meaning a not for profit organization that gives 100% of its profits to its charitable objects in its ambitions. And that, that that means that you’ve got no equity. So, you know, an investor comes students that are great, you’ve got this exciting startup, you’re taking on the ticketing industry, and now doing you know, a bunch of ticket sales sounds really interesting. Can I invest? And you say no, because there’s no there’s no equity to invest in. But I’ll but how about a donation, and then they look at you like, you’re absolutely mad, because, well, I’m not donating to us software platform that’s going to sell tickets that then who’s going to get their hands on booking fees to then redistribute to charity, you know, like that, that it makes sense now, because we’re just doing it, but, you know, that’s a really difficult sell, because the way people view philanthropy typically, you know, and that’s most charitable, philanthropic senses, it just doesn’t align with online ticketing, you know, being used as a force for good. So

15:51
that that was by far the biggest, the biggest

15:55
challenge that we’ve set face today. And, you know, we’ve been very lucky now, we’ve received funding from those individual philanthropists. But now also the Atlassian Foundation has come in and loves what we’re doing their ambition is to educate 10 million disadvantaged children over the next decade. And they’ve taken the view that we’re, we’re in great

16:15
asset to help them achieve that. And most recently, Google has announced us as a Google impact challenge winner. So we’ve just received a million dollars in funding from Google last week. And that was that was being part of that challenge. And they really like what we’re doing

16:33
so well. I mean, it’s surreal to actually explain that far to fund to fund this project.

16:42
Amazing. So what did you learn about yourself through the journey?

16:47
Yeah, I, I think I

16:53
could, no one’s really asked me that

16:58
would even anything change or you become aware of a certain strength that you’ve had, or any type of quality that you didn’t realize you had before?

17:08
Yeah, I think it’s many just the benefit of trusting maybe just trusting my intuition a bit,

17:15
typically somebody engineer science background, you know, I typically only do something if it if it really thought about it properly. And it makes sense and just kind of more and more learned the value of just trying something and just giving it a go and, and that and that, that, that’s, that’s what’s best. That’s what always works out best is this is if I just try something and that’s certainly what happened here with him analytics that we just, we just kind of tried it and then learn along the way and change things up as we went. And

17:49
it’s just impossible to try and map out and strategize you know, a journey from a starter and I’ve learned that in myself that that’s, that’s just something to that have to be comfortable in. And with that, that’s okay. That’s that’s exactly to be expected you to drive yourself insane. If you if you just try to

18:11
think about every single little thing that’s going to happen along your way, and try and give yourselves certainty as to what the park who exactly it’s going to look like. And I’ve certainly learned to be more comfortable with that.

18:23
Well, Sam, what do you think you’ve learned about friendship over these?

18:28
It matters,

18:32
friendship, friendship really matters. Well,

18:37
the value of value of surrounding yourself with good people that have good values that you can trust that want the best for you, and you want the best for them. That is that’s that’s process

18:52
angry.

18:54
What would you say is I wanted to ask you about your husband your proudest moment over the years, but seeing what’s just happened with Google, I’m thinking that that might be one of them. Is there another moment that you can think of that has been one of the proudest moments?

19:11
Yeah, honestly, the proudest moment was the day Josh left his job to join me full time. And then we we managed to, to, I guess it was the analogy would be that we both wanted to climb over this wall. And he gave me a leg up to climb over the wall. And then I turned around and I was able to extend my arm down and Yang came over the wall to to be on the other side of the world that we wanted to be on, you know, which was growing a really exciting charity doing really exciting cool things and, and the fact that we just pulled that off as a team that was that was really that was really awesome. And also I mean, at the beginning of this year, we were fortunate enough to interview Professor Muhammad Yunus he was the Nobel Peace Prize winner for invented micro finance has lifted millions of people out of poverty, starting in Bangladesh and moving around other parts of Asia and just a phenomenal

20:15
character and he came here as part of his visit with Grameen Australia and myself and Josh were asked to interview him as at the main event

20:27
and and really just get a moment to to meet him and to talk with him and I guess share some ideas and hear what he has to say and that was that was just surreal and that was just so so amazing to took that we have just come to that point the Crimean Australia looked at us and said we want you semantics to be for me in Australia’s first social business partner we love what you’re doing and we we think we think what you’re doing is so great that we we want you to interview Professor Eunice when he comes here to add our main event that means

21:02
that was that was really something special

21:05
incredible. Anything in particular that that resonated with you well, you took away from that

21:12
yeah the the I mean his personal story of how he how he created Grameen Bank was one of

21:19
role position persistence.

21:22
Yeah, just you hear him tell that story about about his his idea of financing

21:30
essentially, the ports of providing loans to people that the bank thought no way are we going to give loans to the poorest people in our country, and that he was laughed out of banks and that we and that he managed to, you know, get slowly get around that was just pure persistence could be because he knew what he was doing was right, the right thing to do

21:53
try to do, we’ve tried to take that into our journey as well. Incredible

21:57
and like, honestly, that’s probably the best thing to have when you try and be an entrepreneur is having that consistent assistants like just literally getting back up after you may not know back down and, you know, keep going, no matter what, whether anybody’s watching or anyone is listening. It’s something you just gotta keep doing, if you believe in it.

22:16
That’s right. That’s right. That’s where it helps to have a good good co founder or a good friend at least

22:23
bounce ideas off. Hey,

22:27
is there anything that you do to develop yourself in regards to like here in education, furthering on in regards to business?

22:35
Yeah, I tried to do as much reading as I can hold on trying to do more reading. And I currently am sometimes difficult,

22:44
but no, it’s mainly it’s mainly just exercise and I I really enjoy hiking. I find that’s the best thing of all, to just to just go hiking. I love the following National Park, particularly, it’s in the south coast, just just inland of Jarvis Bay, in theory, New South Wales. And you can just go there for four days and see nobody and and that’s Yeah, that’s, that’s, that’s a really great way to just

23:09
get rid of the clutter and, and come back with a bit of a clear mind.

23:13
Yeah, nice. Is there anything else that you do to set yourself up for success? Like, do you have a set morning routine or anything else that you do?

23:22
No,

23:23
I don’t actually,

23:25
I have tried

23:29
a few of the early morning routines. I mean, I’ll, I’ll I’ll do it. I’ll do exercise every morning. Which, which, I guess is a huge amount of their routine.

23:39
But yeah, it’s just been me waking up getting getting moving.

23:44
And then just kind of giving myself at least maybe 15 minutes to think about what I’m gonna do today, I find the day you know, the days when I just kind of go into it. And that was kind of every thought about it is not as good of a day trying to do that as much as I can.

24:00
So true, we go in on reaction mode, rather than actually being focused on what we’re doing. Hey,

24:07
that’s right.

24:08
So is there anything now that would you say that humanity is still technically in startup phase? Would you feel like, it’s kind of past that you now feeling like you’re more in the growth phase where you feel it’s out of the moment,

24:19
it will, probably on that borderline, to be honest, it’s quite difficult to tell where I mean, yeah, but we’re still we’re still very much a startup that and we want to maintain that startup culture which is,

24:31
you know, having that growth mindset and being having our eyes open to exploring ideas and solving problems that, you know, that come away that we feel we can solve it. But, um, yeah, I mean, we’re at a point now, where would grind quickly and a lot of partners are coming on board to help us grow, which is really exciting product is, is certainly it’s got to a stage where it just compete with with the best products out there, which is, which is awesome, because, you know, when we were starting, you know, you’ve got a very basic pilot, you go to very basic event organizers to ask if they would kindly switch to us as the ticketing platform to manage their registration. And, you know, we certainly we certainly past that point now, where we not we’re not just the most ethical ticketing company out there and can achieve the most social good, but the platform itself, you know, feature feature is just is just awesome. That was, there was actually something very core to us that that we felt if we ever rely on the organizers using our product, just because we’re the most ethical, we will fail, we cannot rely on that we have to be both both the best platform out there solving those core ticketing problems that event organizers are experiencing as well as being the most ethical where we donate 100% of the profits of those annoying booking fees and to their charity of choice and then on top of that, giving them the credit for it said that now the federal from a marketing perspective and CSR perspective. And then now on every single front price product, social procurement CSR, humanity is the total package and that’s we’ve we’ve always thought that that if we didn’t have that in mind, that we wouldn’t be successful. Yeah, that’s that’s really exciting to get to that

26:15
point. You can’t just rely on a being for good I know the world silly to Sony’s to be seen as being professional. So it’s, I guess it’s Yeah, I agree. Um, is there anything that you guys do like when you think about the way everything even if changed over the last three years? Thanks a startup and learning to be obviously successful in what you do? How did you go about strategy? Or how did you go about creating goals to figure out how to get to the next stage?

26:45
Yeah, it was, it was it was quite a loose we had Well, I guess the first thing is, we did we said, we said, very clear budgets of this is the budget that we want to do this year meeting. This is how much how many ticket sales, how much ticket sales, we want to sell this financial year,

27:02
thankfully, I’m on the last two budgets, we’ve beat that amount. But that was really important, because that gave us a very clear goal is to how we’re going to get to being 100% sustainable ourselves, and that what the path looks like to us becoming a multi million dollar fund every single year for charitable projects. And so we’ve just kind of been laser focused on hitting those,

27:24
those budgets for ticket sales. And, and that was really around, okay, well, what does that take for us to hit our budgets, okay, there’s these kinds of events that will be going after. And this is the kind of product that we need to have to be satisfying those events as far as features and functionality goes, Okay, so then we dedicate significant amount of resources to building out the product and building out the features and going after that, that areas, the market and then that kind of transitions and evolves as we continue to go, that was really the thing that we stayed laser laser focused on

27:59
goals wise, I guess, because that that hard number is, is where people will look to, at the end of the day, particular philanthropists as well as like, Well, you know, is this thing working? Well, how many tickets? Are you selling our clients using? You, you know, and there’s no hiding behind that. So maybe the knows exactly, exactly it specifically when you have a social impact model that’s completely driven around redistribution of booking fees, you know, it’s all just around Well, how many booking fees or redistributed

28:29
and so that, yeah, that was really important that strategy wise, is we, you know, we really had to learn as we go approach, you know, we, we talk with every single one of our clients, we understand what they like about their current solution, what they like about our solution, once they switch to us, asking them for feedback after their event during the ticket sales of their event, how can we improve What don’t you like, what do you like, what should we emphasize even further. And, you know, in that in that very agile product approach, we’ve been, you know, that’s been on number one aim is to how do we keep our event organizers happy, you know, organized as a as a lot on their plate. They’re incredibly time poor. And there’s a whole bunch of ways that we can make their lives a lot easier, as well as being able to redistribute these feeds to charitable causes.

29:23
side one lakh doing that market research, I think, is one of the key things that helps drive your business forward continuously. It’s one of the things where I have a client and new client come to me and their challenge what to do next. And they’re struggling with how to grow their business. My one of my first questions is always, when was the last time you did any research based on the clients you’ve worked with. And once you want to work with interesting that so many people can often be so scared to even do that research, but being so open to it, and constantly, like searching for that feedback, I think is key to growth.

29:55
It’s awesome there. So a trick that we found is that, you know, a really nice phone call to an organizer just to say thank you and see how things went. And us for any feedback is, it’s it’s a, it’s a business development call, it’s now turned into a product review, call the feedback on your product. And so you can achieve both in the same call. And that that really helps.

30:19
And it’s that because no one’s opening email surveys anymore.

30:23
Yeah, that’s right

30:26
times. So what would you say? How did you go about building your team out like being obviously a not for profit, and wanting to make sure that you’re making the biggest impact, you can obviously going to be really picky, but specific on who you hire. And when you Hi, um, how did you go about that?

30:44
Yeah, so the beginning of our journey, it was really all around

30:50
who was interested in joining us. And so actually, the first person that joined us was a was a guy by the name of James Harrison. And he joined us at the time that Josh had just left his job. We were both volunteering, we weren’t earning anything. And James said, Look, I just saw you, you know, present to the conference. And this was fantastic. I want to join you to which we told him that well, you know, by all means, but not even Josh and I are doing anything, you know, we want to be upfront with you. And he said, nevermind. I love this idea. I love where it’s going. And I see the opportunity, I’ll leave my job, I’ll get a bad job of the weekend and work a couple of other weeks. And I’ll join you to three days a week to help get humanities off the ground in Genesis. So that was, that was our first I guess, higher obviously, the few months later, when we got funding from philanthropists, that’s when this when we were able to pay James and pay Joshua myself a little bit just that we were going backwards. But yeah, that was, you know, that was our first hire, and, you know, very much, you know, you know,

31:53
no matter what,

31:55
that’s right, that’s right. It’s just awesome. But then after that, it became, it became a real focus on product, which was okay, we have to get our product to a point that there is no reason why you wouldn’t use him analytics, if anything, the product is better town for down and the other products on the market. And so that’s when we had that emphasis on, on the technology. So that’s when we went to hire our CTO, and then complement the CTO with with other developers and designers as well for the product was very much a product focus. And then as we’ve now kind of shifted more towards sales and marketing, that’s where that’s where we’ve kind of started to shift a little bit more to those kinds of skills. But it was really just the needs of of the business as we evolved, what we saw was our most pressing need and then just how that shifts over time and then and then how we how we evolve to fill that

32:50
beautiful and now that you’ve grown quite a little good little team is there anything that you guys do to develop the culture is there anything you do to when you do hire you highs is their philosophy you have around it or neither?

33:02
Yes, good question. We’ve actually got a little a supposedly bone in that regard now we were named a Westpac top 20 business of tomorrow, it’s not as much tech thing and that was really cool as a charity to be named a top 20 business of tomorrow was was it was just awesome. You know, that’s the world starting to blend that we’re that we’re trying to create, but I’m in that we got given a mentor, and we were lucky enough to get john eels as our mentor x Wallabies captain, and we’ve done quite a few culture sessions with john and he’s absolutely fantastic. I’ve learned so much from him as as Josh and as as everyone in the team when it comes to building culture when it comes to what matters when it comes to communicating wealth. And so that is certainly helped. But we’ve also I guess, just try to emulate some of the things that allowed

33:54
to analytics to work in the first place under stressful circumstances of sharing a salary, etc. We try to really uncover what what those things were. And one of the things that we we found that we did really well was that if something is bothering you, it’s all about me or something’s bothering me about you, it’s on me to raise that with you straightaway. If I let that fester for two weeks that something’s bothering me about you, then that’s that’s now my fault. I shouldn’t have let that fester. I should have raised that straightaway and nipped in the bud.

34:30
And you know, if you let that fester, it’s your own fault. And that’s that’s really something that that held us well. And that’s that’s something that, you know, we emulate in the team and just to not let those things so it’s boiled think that things are spoken in a really quickly and really efficiently, which, which really helps.

34:48
Yeah, yeah, that’s right. Yeah, I mean, the other interesting thing that Josh and I recognize that the beginning simply while sharing his salary was that, you know, depending on the demands of the business, things are never even at one point in time, in terms of how much are you giving to this, and how much am I giving to this and is that even that will never be even at any one point in time. Because it will fluctuate over time, it’ll actually be you know, even, but at any one point in time, it’s very uneven. And to recognize that from day one is really important. So that’s, that’s also something that we just, you know, there’s different demands on the business at different times. And that’s okay.

35:27
And that you know, if you’re, if you’re having an easier time right now then go and support somebody that’s having a tough time because you know, they’re they’re having a much harder time right now and they could really use your help and and in six months time she will be on the other foot and that’s really important.

35:44
Very good so has there been any major failure anything that didn’t work that you guys have lunch from and you look back on and kind of laugh at it now but it’s something that was huge and time

35:57
yeah pilot in the early days

36:02
we were ticketing an event and we we underestimated the volume and we and we crashed and

36:10
thankfully we got it up in you know thinking about half an hour or something like that but you know, it was we were so excited that we’ve come to stop this this night this big event and and they’re so happy to be using us we’re happy with them and we didn’t realize that they’d sent out an email to 10s of thousands of people and it all got them to to go and click on the vote on the register now link at the exact same second

36:35
also

36:37
yeah and we and that was on our pilot when we went away and started and and that is when we cry we were so excited to see the volumes come in and then we just flat line and crashed and then we quickly recovered and and then we did a whole bunch of marketing assets to recover you know, in turn cover any last sales that they were they were grateful for, but

37:01
really, really

37:02
hot Nestle fun. So what do you feel is next week, humanity now that you obviously with the impact challenges Google Where do you want to take it next

37:15
year, we want to

37:17
continue to grow strongly here in Australia. And as well, we’ll be going to New Zealand now calm, which is really exciting.

37:27
There is Yeah, there is so much potential and opportunity for us to scale up this, this product. And this idea. And it’s really just around continuing to put our heads down and scale. It’s all it’s all around scale. Now, there’s another interesting aspect to what we do, which is that we we recognize that people with disabilities are having a terrible time trying to attend live events. And so much so that many of them have just given up trying to go to live events, because it’s always typically a disaster. And so we’ve done a lot of quite a few design thinking workshops with a lot of people with ranging disabilities to discover what it is that would be most important for them to understand in order to give them confidence to attend. And what we’ve done is distill that into a tool for organizers. So it takes three minutes to fill out the most important information to help people with disabilities understand how they’re going to attend your event with confidence. And we guide the organizer very much on making it really quick and simple, even if you’re an organizer that doesn’t know much about accessibility or anything at all. And so that’s become an awesome focus of ours. And we’re really going to be doubling down on improving that accessibility tool, because there’s so much good that can be done there in allowing people with disabilities to be better included in in events, community events, etc, we found that the number one problem raised by people with disabilities is a lack of community participation and social inclusion. And events are at the heart of community participation. And we as the ticketing platform hold the key to an organizer having a more inclusive event.

39:03
And that’s why Vision Australia, in Australia network on disability are all super excited about what we’re doing, and trying to help us out to achieve it. And, and that’s very much a focus for us to to do to do good in that way, as well. So we now very much see ourselves as our social goals as being Jul. Focus. So one is on the accessibility front to transform event accessibility. And the other is around, you know, mining these billions of dollars in booking fees to use them to embed global inequality.

39:33
Listen, do you get to hear back from the charities that you do donate through the booking fees to hear to hear much about the impact from them?

39:41
Yes, absolutely. And so we will work closely with them to to focus on a specific project as well inside their charity so that we can make it as transparent as possible for an organizer to tell them exactly what their event achieved

39:55
all the sense

39:57
really, really powerful. We also do it so transparently that on the dashboard as the organizers selling tickets, we tell you exactly how much booking fees have been redistributed to the charity and what the charity does with that money.

40:11
Awesome. Any key and be take place takeaway. So you’ve had from that, that you look back on and go, Wow, that was huge impact.

40:19
I mean, all of our charities, a phenomenal

40:23
Yeah, the media literacy programs that we’re now supporting, through the, through the developing world, and just unbelievably inspiring and, and phenomenal as well as the other education projects we do here domestically in Australia, just it’s just the personal stories that come out of that. And to know that you’ve, you’ve kind of made that impact. And that’s what we find is most amazing when an organizer will use our products, and then we then report to them exactly what the impact was. And it will be something very big and tangible, like literacy programs for 125 pills in this part of the world. And then all of a sudden, you know, it just becomes that much more real and such a no brainer to use your analytics because it’s like, well, oh, wow, I just, I just ran my event like I normally would have. And now all of this good has come out of out of my event

41:18
that’s just amazing. Or it was a therapy dog suit for a child who suffered from muscular dystrophy. And now you know, this child can walk again, and it was just because of my event doing ticketing and it didn’t cost me anything. And but it was just this This is amazing. That’s where we find it’s really, really awesome to see people engage on that level and, and appreciate appreciate what we’re doing.

41:39
That’s the lesson because it’s not there’s often a disconnect there where you have when you give back to certain charities and you’re like, Oh, this is my donation. But then you never often hear the actual impact that it’s making. So that’s really cool that you can do that. Hmm. So is there anything that you’re listening to our reading at the moment that you find motivating?

41:59
Yeah, I just finished reading a homo Deus actually to is the Yuval Harari, his latest book found that yeah, it was is the one after Sapiens I’m not sure if you’ve if you’ve read it.

42:12
Yeah, it was, it was it was what he’s thinking is based on how humans behave, how we might navigate in the future and what we might gravitate towards

42:23
technologies and the way we apply them. That was,

42:26
that was particularly interesting. Yeah, I prefer nonfiction or fiction, although I didn’t, I gotta start reading more fiction. It’s getting to nonfiction. a

42:38
while since I’ve read a fiction book too long.

42:40
Yeah. Okay. So the last couple of questions, I would love to know is there anything in particular that you do to celebrate your wins within the team? Like when you hit a certain target or a goal what do you do to celebrate,

42:55
we’re pretty we’re pretty simple. We we have a nice barbecue might go to a park and just kind of hang out and eat some nice food and and you know, drink some beers and have a swim or, or go to the beach and much of a morning beach session now, particularly that the summer is coming around. So we’ll do a nice morning session or a morning team walk as a lot of national parks around where our offices base so we might do a morning push work.

43:28
Yeah, we just, we just find that that’s nice. gives people an opportunity to, to connect and just have a good time and relax and cool I like to think too fancy.

43:38
Yes, it still is still good to hear you actually do celebrate. sometimes not. We just go What’s next? What’s the next big thing going to target?

43:47
We’ve been very guilty of that. I’ll be honest,

43:52
what are you looking forward to? In 2019?

43:57
Yeah, the thing I’m looking forward most to is us really getting into a whole new groove with Yeah, just with the, with the, with the way the products come along with the volume of events that are coming onto onto the platform, really going to the next level for our clients and making them feel like they’re well taken care of in their events are going to be smooth because of us. And then and then and then really doing a much better job to work closer without, without charity, charity partners to understand what impact is being done, how we can optimize that, how we can make it better how we can communicate that back to our organizers.

44:37
Yeah, getting getting much more involved on the impact side as well, to ensure that that impact is meaningful and tangible.

44:45
Yeah, that’s, that’s, that’s really going to be a big focus in 2019

44:49
Boston. And last question, if you have, is there any key advice that you’ve been given over the years? Or if they Is there any advice you would like to impart on someone who possibly has an idea they want to take to become successful,

45:04
just try,

45:07
just give it a go,

45:10
Yeah, when you when you when you create something, and then all of a sudden, people are using it, and then they, you know, they taking it for granted only, you know, the day you know, years ago when it was just some idea that you had thinking about doing and I could never do something like that, that’s, you know, that’s where every idea starts from and, and is, you know, just just give it a try and learn and be open and surround yourselves with good people. Because if you try to do everything yourself, that is a very difficult, unnecessary,

45:44
you know, resistance that you’re placing on yourself. So just give it a go surround yourself with people that mean that that believe in what you’re trying to achieve and have similar values

45:56
and

45:58
and want to see what’s the worst that can happen.

46:02
Great, thank you so much. It’s really beautiful. I just want to acknowledge you for all the work that you’re doing in the world, the impact that you’re making and the way that you are disrupt disrupting the ticketing platform. I think it’s incredible. And I want to thank you so much for your time today and all your insights.

46:16
Thank you was a pleasure to be on the podcast.

46:19
Thank you. Thanks again.

46:40
Thank you. It’s a pleasure to be on the podcast.

46:43
Thank you. Thanks again.