Posing the question ‘where next?’ to a team like Dawson Andrews is a dangerous game to play. We each seem to have our own cultural interests with the adventure destination list getting more eclectic every year. Our interest in global markets and the boarder-less nature of our service makes it a tempting question we seem to ask regularly.
When Cam came to us in 2016 with an idea to move to Sydney we were sceptical to say the least. We work on a remote autonomous setup but this was a whole other ballgame. Regardless of the doubts we listened, and now we find ourselves one man down in Belfast and with a new office on George St in Sydney.
1. The digital gap
Sydney, while it plays on the global business stage, is largely behind in the digital arena in the majority of sectors bar a few exceptions, notably digital banking. A few deny it, those that don’t are the potential client we’re built to help. We were very careful with this brazen opinion until Cam made it to Sydney and heard it first hand from digital product leaders crying out for technical talent. We have been deeply involved in the Europe’s digital product scene over the past decade and we believe we have perspectives and insights that Australian companies could benefit from.
Will we be able to manage contracts on the ground through Cam, while servicing the build on the other side of the world? We’ve met an awesome company already rocking it. Will we be able to ace the 24/7 timezone advantage we now have? Will clients see the advantage we see?
Or, do we double down investing in building on the ground resources in Australia and do we consider relocating some of our current team (those who are willing)? A hybrid model is to do a rotation model where we give our current team members the opportunity to spend 8-16 weeks in Sydney. This wouldn’t be unrealistic for us as we have regularly facilitated moving people to different parts of the world (including their family) to cater to client requirements where we feel a presence on the ground is a better result for everyone.
These are all questions we’re still in the early stages of answering.
2. Amazon was built for Generation Y
The tiring narrative of Amazon’s arrival can easily become old news but having witnessed industries flipped by its model we aren’t underestimating the change it will bring about in Australia. Amazon’s most fundamental customer benefit is its one click ordering. This is multifaceted and complex but what it facilitates is simplicity and convenience - a key driver for the Millennial market. The companies that have battled on price in Europe have famously lost. Those who have turned to innovative digital experiences have and still are fighting hard, we’re privileged to work with a few of them. We’re excited to support companies in Australia willing to take on the giant that is Amazon and whoever no. 2 becomes.
3. Shenzhen, Shanghai, Singapore, Tokyo, Seoul, Bangalore, Hong Kong, Kuala Lumpur and of course Taipai.
The tidal wave has been a long way off for a while now but we’re only truly starting to see the quantitative effects of Asian culture as the sheer mass of wealth is driven around the globe by the Chinese today. The way Asians use technology is soon going to be just as important as how the West use digital - and trust us, it’s different. There are sub cultures in Asia moving so fast it’s months before the West truly picks up on it. We feel it would be a huge advantage for us to be in and amongst these communities. We’ll barely scratch the surface of this innovation behemoth but we’ve started anyway with relationships in Hong Kong, Singapore and Shenzhen already.
4. Why not Melbourne?
Melbourne has a lot to offer, Patricia’s cold brew is reason alone to set up shop there and maybe some day we will. In the mean time we’re visiting regularly and starting to build a network. It takes Cam three hours from his door to Melbourne CBD - one would argue that’s closer than London. For now though, one city is proving enough to chew on.
Cameron Stewart is leading our research into the strategy and lives of the world’s digital leaders. His work has appeared in The Irish Times, The Independent, BBC and TechCrunch. He is heading up our move into APAC. via our office in Sydney.