Author Archives: Naomi Simson

The entrepreneurial journey is a long and personal one

I saw the movie ‘The Intern’ with Anne Hathaway and Robert De Niro in the cinema when it came out late in 2015. It brought tears to my eyes… Then my mother, returning on a Qantas flight, watched the same movie a few weeks ago and she called me to ask (tongue in cheek) if I had been ‘writing screen plays’ in my spare time because there was similarities to my own life in the film. Then a fellow female…

The power of crowds vs the power of many.

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The power of ‘crowds’ has taken hold over recent years. Crowdfunding, crowd reviews, crowd sourcing – though we are seeing a little less crowd ‘surfing’ than we used to. But rather than crowd – the real question is the power of many. When I look at businesses that come into Shark Tank  – or anybody that approaches me with a ‘great idea’ (and they look at me expectantly to determine if ‘I have the answer’ which I don’t) – the…

A gift for you or a gift for a loved one

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It is all hands on deck at RedBalloon now – Christmas is fast approaching and there are hundreds of thousands of red envelopes to make it  under the tree in the next few weeks. Christmas for me is always a time for reflection and review – before I get on with next year and run really hard again… 2015 was like no other for me… my world shifted. Clearly being on Network TEN’s Shark Tank is a wonderful new experience…

New ‘crop’ of great innovators

Here is a list of the teams that pitched. More information is available on the MAP website. ·         Hypetap is a platform that connects an invitation only network of agencies, brands and influencers to work on marketing campaigns together. A full suite of management tools allows brands and agencies to easily find influencers, negotiate, facilitate payments, track results, and project manage their campaigns. ·         Parkhound is an online community where members can easily exchange and lease parking spaces with other drivers….

Who to hire into your start up – is a big decision.

I recently spoke to The Start Society in it’s iCentral.co space for tech startups in Sydney, and one of the questions I was thrown was: “When you are looking to hire people in your business, how do you do it effectively?” My answer was very straightforward: “I hire adults. I hire people who share my values, my passion — and most importantly are aligned to my purpose — but I don’t want people just like me.” I need to know…

The opportunity of a life time – Shark Tank series 2

I sound like I am try to sell a used car… Actually I’m not trying to sell anything… if there is one thing I have learned it is people need to choose to buy  – and in this case need to choose to ‘play’. As I have been touring around for Small Business Victoria and at other recent events, when I encourage people to join us in the tank for the next series of Shark Tank… many times I would…

I got control by giving up control – peer to peer leadership

People often ask “Did you ever imagine RedBalloon would become what it is today?”  In all truthfulness, not really…. but I do remember that it is a long time since RedBalloon was a startup. Back in 2001 there was no such thing as social media; digital photography was rare; no smart phones; the tech industry looked vastly different than it does now… there was no TechCrunch (we had computer daily which would fax it’s daily roundup – but I digress)……

Where do you get your wisdom?

I get mine from the local shop… It’s fast and a few minutes walk from home… this is a far cry from what Nick Sherry predicted in 2011 that book stores would no longer exist in Australia by 2016. From where I sit as an author and reader, they appear to be thriving… in fact we are now well into 2015 and about to be celebrating another National Bookshop Day for very good reason. Maybe it is a case that…

What is the first step in the Entrepreneurial Journey?

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I heard Megan Quinn share her entrepreneurial journey at a City of Melbourne business lunch recently (raising money for SecondBite). The audience was deeply engaged with her story and felt really comfortable to ask questions. The first question came from a woman who said: “I have recovered from breast cancer and I find myself risk adverse – how do I find the courage to do what I really want to do?” Megan firstly thanked the woman for the courage it…

Kids’ gifts that really score!

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I was recently asked back to Studio 10 and as part of the many and varied topics we covered was the “what do you do when told what to give as a gift” question. I know personally I struggle when my friends are getting married, and they say “we just want cash to go to our honeymoon.” I want to give them something that is memorable and special. Something that represents our relationship and how I know them… Okay so…