I am involved in another company, Cracker Systems, which focuses on the sporting industry and they have signed up Swim Australia. It is providing data collection performance metrics and communication amongst coaches and the great number of members (about 100,000). My intention is that at some point I want to have the capital to invest in a number of these smaller IT start-ups, whether they are level one or state two with regards to their evolution — and that will take me on into the next few years.
What are your interests outside of work?
MB: I surf. I have a classic car that I'm very passionate about. A 1966 Mercedes Pergoda Convertible, which is something I drive, not something you race. I drive it when it is sunny, never in the rain. I race a Lexus ISF, which is a 50-litre, and I take it to Phillip Island to let off some steam. Family also takes up a lot of my time.
What are your lessons learned along the way?
MB: In business, contingency planning has been absolutely critical. Another thing is focus, which is absolutely key and fundamental. Both those things have put me in good stead. Having quality people around you is important. I have taken great pleasure in seeing a lot of people evolve over the years and have their own companies and do lots of other things, which is fantastic. And have fun and make money, and those two can go hand in hand.
What is your leadership style?
MB: I am more collaborative now than I used to be. Visionary and collaborative. I encourage people to give me ideas; I challenge them in regards to challenge me. I am far less of what I used to be, which was a directive person. That was immaturity on my part than anything else. I am approachable. Anyone can chat to me. I like people to challenge me. I don't like to surround myself with people that are 'yes' people. I have seen too many businesses go bust because of egos, where people sit at the top and think they know it all. You need people to challenge you.
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