Back at the beginning again Posted at 0:00, Sat, 23 November 2013 in Industry Insights

Thanks to a couple of awards nights recently this 12 year old is feeling a little bit like an over night success.

I recently caught up with a good friend who had just arrived back very pumped from their induction at a very large digital business based in Menlo Park. My comment over lunch was that with all the massive investments we have seen in digital customer channels, devices, data and insights over the last two decades it still feels like we are only 10% of the way through this wave of change. His response “they were talking one percent where I’ve just been”.

When Phaedon and I started MitchelLake in 2001 we had no idea that 12 years later we would still have the opportunity to feel like an overnight success. It has been equally challenging and rewarding to build a business out of the wreckage of the tech boom that occurred in the late 90’s. Over the past decade we have seen businesses in our ecosystem startup from nothing to become global mainstream brands. We continue to see devices invented that begin as curiosities transcend to become possessions you struggle to imagine life without only a few short years later. It seems every accessory will soon come with the option of being smart and connected. Light bulbs, toys, watches, glasses and ninja blocks (if you haven’t seen them look them up, they’re fun).

Our journey so far has provided us with an abundance of opportunities to meet and work with many incredibly clever, passionate, and motivated people many of whom we are now fortunate to regard as close friends, colleagues and collaborators. We have also been lucky to be woven into the narrative of some fantastically successful ventures and projects. Not all have been roaring triumphs but even those that have failed have generated lessons, focus and inspiration to build the foundations of significant progress.

Last Friday night we were genuinely excited and grateful to be awarded “best boutique agency” at the Thomson Reuters Recruitment Excellence Awards. This came a week after the BRW again included us as one of Australia’s 100 fastest growing companies. I just wanted to take the opportunity to thank our brilliant team (present and alumni) and all the outstanding individuals and organisations who have worked with us as candidates, clients, suppliers and partners over the past twelve years.

Things just keep getting faster, smarter and more connected. Here’s to riding out the rest of this wave. It may yet be bigger than we originally thought.

Jon Tanner on LinkedIn


Inspired by the internet boom, Jon Tanner co-founded the MitchelLake Group in 2001 and has been advising startup, scale-up and enterprise clients on leadership, executive search and talent acquisition for digital ventures and initiatives for the best part of two decades.

Whether the challenge is about inspiring change, driving growth or entering new markets, it is likely that Jon has a reference-able story, insight or introduction that can help shed light on a way forward.

As Group CEO and Managing Partner of our global search practice, Jon is based in Singapore and works across our international hubs in APAC, North America, and Europe. He directly supports global clients, collaborating with the broader MitchelLake team and continuing to build our collective ecosystem of exceptional talent and partner organisations.

Jon is an active early stage investor and passionate supporter of entrepreneurs, ventures and innovation in Asia Pacific and beyond, including interests in SocietyOne, Biteable, Blackbird VC and Genos International.