EVENT REVIEW // ABOVE ALL HUMAN Posted at 0:00, Tue, 16 December 2014 in Industry Insights

As someone who is fortunate enough to get paid to drink coffee (it’s not unusual for me to have 4-5 coffees a day) I have been lucky enough to spend time with budding & successful entrepreneurs, while also learning from those who have not been as successful.

In the Australian tech sector a really common thing to hear is; “it’s really hard to raise capital” or “our business will be better once we move to the US”. It is probably fair to say that there is a bit of a ‘big brother’ syndrome going on at the moment.

As such, it was perfect timing for this week’s Above All Human Conference, held in Melbourne on Tuesday 9th December. This is a conference for startup founders, makers and innovators who aim to be successful, be prepared to anticipate the future, build innovative products and be the most effective entrepreneurs they can be. The ethos of the conference was to learn from some of the best talent from Silicon Valley and Europe with the aim of applying it to our Australian industry, and building success here.

The line up of speakers provided a plethora of great advice, stories and tips that we all learnt from but the key takeaway was their simple theme: We Are All Human. This isn’t rocket science, but it sometimes gets forgotten. It’s important to take a second to reflect on this. Human nature in and of itself can hold us back. We can’t be analytical about everything and nor can we get things right all the time. So what am I saying? Let me sum it up with my top three takeaway from the day, from three inspiring speakers;

Steve Huffman, Cofounder of Reddit
Steve talked about all the things he screwed up on Reddit as well as the things he got right. Steve may not have intended this but he is such a humble and mellow guy that the key takeaway for me was; making mistakes is ok, we all do it, let’s just accept it as human nature.

Cameron Adams, Co-founder of Canva. Cameron talked about a startup he did being too design led and Google being too engineering led. The real takeaway was about having balance and harmony amongst your business functions. Founders are known for having strong personalities they need to be mindful they don’t railroad the contributions others can make because they are better at convincing others.

Justin Kan, Partner YC. “Doing a startup is like joining the army; it’s really hard, once you do your tour of duty no one really wants to do it again”. Startups are hard, it’s a journey and you need to be ready for it.
Well done to the conference Directors Susan Wu and Bronwen Clune. They put on an amazing conference and we look forward to seeing more from them!