It was the late 90s when I jumped straight in to my first start-up role. Fresh out of university, I joined a small tech start-up that was revolutionising high-speed networks. I had no idea what I was doing but I distinctly remember the mantra of that fledgling business: disrupt, innovate and bring something new to the marketplace. Today, I still believe those are words to live by, even when you are a company the size of Optus.
Entrepreneurs and start-ups are passionate about what they do and they’re willing to challenge the status quo and move with great speed, agility and momentum to get things done. This attitude means they take risks when necessary, always stay one step ahead of the game and if they fail, they quickly learn from their mistakes. At Optus, we’ve been cultivating this mentality recently. It’s why we’re branching out into new markets, like entertainment and sports to bring you more than just a telecommunication service. In the first half of this year alone, we’ve already launched Optus Sport (home to the Premier League), our music-streaming service and innovation hub Yes Labs. These ventures are our way of proving our commitment to investing in new ideas to benefit our customers.
Thinking like a start-up also means we are obsessed with finding the next big thing in technology that could make a big difference to our business and to you. I attended this year’s Mobile World Congress and found it so interesting to see that smartphones were essentially ‘old’ news and this year’s focus was demonstrably on virtual reality (VR), artificial intelligence (AI) and the Internet of Things (IoT).
These huge transformations in the digital sphere mean we must be able to act fast when it comes to delivering you the latest technological innovations as soon as they take off. As an example, that’s why we’re transforming our retail stores to make them more immersive. Stores don’t need to be purely places to buy any more; walking into an Optus shop should be an experience and give you an opportunity to explore new things. That’s also why we asked children to design our ‘kids’ section of the newly renovated store in Warringah Mall, so we could make it much more engaging for the local community.
Businesses should always be open to trying new things and challenging the norm, no matter how large or small they are. Of course, it can be difficult for a company of our size to do this sometimes but just thinking like a start-up, in terms of disrupting, innovating and bringing something new to the marketplace, will hopefully allow us to give you the service you deserve, if not more.
If you have any questions, I'd love to hear them - just ask them in the comments section below.