The 5 people you need to meet when Global…

Since we launched finder.com globally, I’ve realised why networking is so important. It’s part of our launch journey and sets the foundation to success.

Our global journey began two years ago when we launched finder.com in the USA. We now operate in 10 countries: Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Hong Kong, UK, USA, Mexico, Canada, Spain and Chile. We’re also launching in more countries next year.

It’s the connections you make that will set you apart and allow you to launch more successfully in a new market.

When my co-founder, Frank Restuccia, and I first started finder about 10 years ago, we networked at free business events for the food because we had no money. We ate so much food that we didn’t need dinner.

But we also got to meet people in the same industry, learnt about the different skills you need to run a business and met some amazingly talented people. These events can be so inspiring. The best part is that your brand becomes known in the industry.

These events are even more important when you’re launching in unfamiliar territory. In fact there are five types of people you need to meet when hitting a new market.

1. Media

The media can give you an audience and customer base, and leverage your brand and credibility.

Find out the top media publications for that market (a quick Google search can do the trick), and look for  journalists who write about the issues and industry you work in.

For us, we’re interested in meeting business journalists so when we launch in a new market we know who to talk to. We are also interested in meeting consumer finance press to help them with comment and research around banking and other industries.

For example, in the early days of our US launch, we planned a trip to our LA office around a Business Chicks event, where Arianna Huffington was the keynote speaker (founder of the Huffington Post and one of the most powerful women in the world). We hustled our way through the crowd and pitched a blog idea – and it worked! It was my first blog in the US and was about some of the challenges we faced with that fragmented market. Check out the blog here.

2. Talent

Finding people to work with is equally the hardest and most important thing to do as a startup. Networking can be a big help in getting in front of the brightest people in your industry.

We invest heavily into professional development and send our crew to conferences to not only learn from experts in the industry, but also to find talented people to join our team. We’ve hired many people from meeting them at events.

So don’t be scared to speak to the speakers and delegates.

3. Experts

Experts can also be found at in accelerator and entrepreneurial programs, and startup bootcamps, which are becoming more prolific in every market. They specialise in growth and launching in new markets.

The experts who run these groups will often know what you need to do to set up – and who to talk to. They will also know what grants are available to apply for and tax incentives too.

I was introduced to an accelerator program when I visited Singapore in mid-2017 and visited a startup bootcamp. These guys really know their stuff and hooked me up with consultants and advisors to help with legal and tax requirements when launching. It was an invaluable experience.

4. Business Leaders

I like to look up my LinkedIn connections, friends and associates who live in or will be in that market when I’m in town and ask them if they want to meet up before I head over. They will give you insight into the challenges they faced when they launched and share their experiences with you. They might also introduce you to their network.

When we were in Singapore, we met with my mate Nick Hungerford, who is the founder of Nutmeg. He just moved to Singapore with his family so it was perfect timing catch up with him and find out what he’s doing there and who can he introduce me to.

5. Clients

Getting our clients on board can be a long and heavy process, and almost every one is the result of 1:1 meetings. When we launch in a new market, we need to connect with our clients and slowly get the products onto our site, one at a time.

Sometimes we have connections to these clients from other providers, and some are through affiliate deals. But very often it’s a matter of searching for people on their company website and Linkedin and meeting them for a coffee.

When you launch your business in a new market, make sure you launch your hustle too.


The most fascinating question I heard from my 2…

When we saw the Pelicans, penguins and dolphins the first question was:

“Are those real?”
I heard it from other kids too!
Kids are so used to robots and computers and technology that they think they are just human made.
I stopped for a moment when they first said it and I could literally see them being not real. Animations are getting closer and closer to reality and virtual reality is very real. My first reaction was disbelief that they said that, but then I turned my head just slightly sideways and saw it. “Yep! They are robots. Penguins died out thousands of years ago.” Other parents were almost annoyed at explaining that they were real to their kids. Annoyed? I was stunned at their reactions.
Enjoy the penguins while they are here!

Vancouver Quick Travel Guide for Cool Eats, Drinks and…


  • Run – English bay and Stanley park. I ran around the bay at like 9:30pm at night and it was incredible. The view of the lights and the buildings and the bridges is incredible. I saw a full moon over the main buildings when I ran back the other way. The natural beauty is great around there, it feels a bit like you are running through a forrest and the shoreline is on the other side. Its a great spot to have a picnic or even a first or second date!

Places to Drink

  • Peckinpah – Carolina style BBQ food. Ribs look and smell amazing. Very cool vibe – Corner of Carrall St
  • Lamplighter – Cool pinball machines and nice big open space for having some drinks.
  • Chill Winston – Cool bar

Notes on drinking in Canada:

  • A bloody Mary is called a Bloody Caesar. They call it that because they have Clamato which actually has clam juice in it aswell as Tomato juice. Some people are turned off that but I personally couldnt tell the difference.

Places to eat

  • Peaceful Chinese – Northern Style chinese – Dumplings and all the good and proper chinese food. Not American / Canadian style chinese that has lost its chinese authenticity. I love chinese food personally! (map)
  • The twisted fork – French style comfort food. The French toast stuffed with banana is awesome. The bloody Caesars look good too.
  • The Templeton – Diner – Super cheap – Good for breakfast but the lunch menu is terrible.
  • Joe’s Diner – American style diner. Cheap and good food. Open only till 4pm and they are ruthless with the time.
  • Dunns Famous Sandwiches – Big Deli style sandwiches – These things look incredible!

Things that will change in the future in the…

Things that will happen in the future:

  • You will get an electronic script as opposed to a hard copy one and you will just be able to walk into a pharmacy and buy it.
  • You will stop driving cars, robots will do it.
  • You will stop owning a computer, phone, tablet etc.. and instead just always be connected with 1 device.
  • Banks will stop paying interest to you for holding your money. Instead they will charge you to hold your money.
  • You will stop purchasing services like uber, deliveroo, home shopping delivery etc.. and instead purchase activities with an app that talks to those other apps. e.g. you will buy a party and it will talk with all the other apps to organise your friends, food, transport, reservations, payments etc.
  • Clear Pure Water will become the most expensive drink on earth.
  • Instead of getting plastic surgery on yourself you will get it on your robot avatar that represents you.
  • Virtual Reality tourism will become a bigger industry that real life tourism.
  • People will stop flying in aeroplanes and instead take high speed tubes and trains through the earth’s crust direct to where they want to go.
  • Natural beauty places will become the most rare and expensive destinations to live in.
  • Instagram will die because everyone has taken all of the photos that are worthy of being taken, it will become an archive to the internet of things. Instead people will watch videos of live events that are happening right now.
  • eSports will become the new military training ground for military recruitment.
  • People will stop getting married and instead form a new legal agreement outside of the government.
  • Schools will become custom education facilities that fast track train you in talents that are spotted at an early age.
  • Hospitals will mainly be run by robots and software engineers.
  • Children will be grown in a laboratory as a normal way to have a child.
  • Most humans will have a large portion of robotics inside them.
  • Packaging will become infinitely minimalist and biodegradable.
  • Fresh food that is not genetically modified will become the highest delicacy.
  • There will be a sea in the middle of Australia.
  • Solar power will be the normal  standard of energy production.
  • There will be no country borders, only the country of earth. In juxtaposition to the country of Mars.
  • Most children will have been to space by the age of 7.

Sharpen the Saw Round Up: Interesting articles and videos

Here are some interesting articles that I am reading or have read:


On Innovation

These are a collection of really powerful pieces and reads that I think a solid innovator needs to consume:

  • Jeff Bezos about how he keeps Amazon innovating: http://www.geekwire.com/2011/amazons-bezos-innovation/
  • In a way, that is like the nicest compliment I’ve ever gotten. First of all, I think we have gotten pretty lucky recently. You should anticipate a certain amount of failure. Our two big initiatives, AWS and Kindle — two big, clean-sheet initiatives — have worked out very well. Ninety-plus percent of the innovation at Amazon is incremental and critical and much less risky. We know how to open new product categories. We know how to open new geographies. That doesn’t mean that these things are guaranteed to work, but we have a lot of expertise and a lot of knowledge. We know how to open new fulfillment centers, whether to open one, where to locate it, how big to make it. All of these things based on our operating history are things that we can analyze quantitatively rather than to have to make intuitive judgments.

    When you look at something like, go back in time when we started working on Kindle almost seven years ago….  There you just have to place a bet. If you place enough of those bets, and if you place them early enough, none of them are ever betting the company. By the time you are betting the company, it means you haven’t invented for too long.

    If you invent frequently and are willing to fail, then you never get to that point where you really need to bet the whole company. AWS also started about six or seven years ago. We are planting more seeds right now, and it is too early to talk about them, but we are going to continue to plant seeds. And I can guarantee you that everything we do will not work. And, I am never concerned about that…. We are stubborn on vision. We are flexible on details…. We don’t give up on things easily. Our third-party seller business is an example of that. It took us three tries to get the third-party seller business to work. We didn’t give up.

    But. if you get to a point where you look at it and you say look, we are continuing invest a lot of money in this, and it’s not working and we have a bunch of other good businesses, and this is a hypothetical scenario, and we are going to give up on this. On the day you decide to give up on it, what happens? Your operating margins go up because you stopped investing in something that wasn’t working. Is that really such a bad day?

    So, my mind never lets me get in a place where I think we can’t afford to take these bets, because the bad case never seems that bad to me. And, I think to have that point of view, requires a corporate culture that does a few things. I don’t think every company can do that, can take that point of view. A big piece of the story we tell ourselves about who we are, is that we are willing to invent. We are willing to think long-term. We start with the customer and work backwards. And, very importantly, we are willing to be misunderstood for long periods of time.

    I believe if you don’t have that set of things in your corporate culture, then you can’t do large-scale invention. You can do incremental invention, which is critically important for any company. But it is very difficult — if you are not willing to be misunderstood. People will misunderstand you.

    Any time you do something big, that’s disruptive — Kindle, AWS — there will be critics. And there will be at least two kinds of critics. There will be well-meaning critics who genuinely misunderstand what you are doing or genuinely have a different opinion. And there will be the self-interested critics that have a vested interest in not liking what you are doing and they will have reason to misunderstand. And you have to be willing to ignore both types of critics. You listen to them, because you want to see, always testing, is it possible they are right?

    But if you hold back and you say, ‘No, we believe in this vision,’ then you just stay heads down, stay focused and you build out your vision.

  • David at 37 Signals on Adblocking https://signalvnoise.com/posts/3944-disruption-is-better-when-its-other-peoples-jobs

The trick to being truly creative

“The trick to being truly creative, I’ve always maintained, is to be completely unselfconscious. To resist the urge to self-censor. To not-give-a-shit what anybody thinks. That’s why children are so good at it. And why people with Volkswagens, and mortgages, Personal Equity Plans and matching Louis Vuitton luggage are not.”

Stop giving a shit what other people think and you will actually start to actualise your dreams.

hat tip to Linds.