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Fail to win: Why the overnight success story is the biggest myth out of them all

Opinion

Fail to win: Why the overnight success story is the biggest myth out of them all

There are some big myths out there in start-up land, Vend and OMGTech! founder Vaughan Fergusson says. The overnight success story is the biggest myth out of them all, as it comes with an invisible trail of failures behind it. Here, he takes on New Zealand’s attitude to failure, its ugly sibling, tall poppy syndrome, and explains why all founders should embrace the fear of failure and not shame those who have given it a go.

Future thinking

Vend and OMGTech! Founder Vaughan Fergusson (formerly Rowsell) has gone and done something a little bit like the plot of the 2011 film and novel, We Bought a Zoo. In a new venture, Fergusson and his partner Zoe Timbrell have bought a 100-acre block of land in Raglan that houses the Karioi Lodge, a former outdoor education centre, that the pair will remake into an envirotech and innovation centre. The goal is to help the next generation of problem solvers tackle the world’s big, complex issues, while prove that creativity can spark anywhere – not just in New Zealand’s biggest cities. Here, Fergusson explains how the The Institute of Awesome was born from the thought, “how hard can it be?”

Opinion

The foundation for good design work starts with designers being able to trust each other for an honest critique of their work, while still feeling secure and comfortable in their role to share their ideas. Outgoing director of product design at Vend Jade Tan Swea Phin shares the weekly habits of her team, as well as her top three tips for cultivating this level of trust.

Future thinking

Vend founder Vaughan Rowsell put his hat in the ring to be New Zealand's first CTO in the initial call for applicants and got as far as being reference checked, before hearing the government was going back to the drawing board. Now, after appointing Derek Handley as CTO, the government has rescinded Handley's appointment and is back to square one. Where to from here? Rowsell says the answer is not 'do nothing', as the future of New Zealand's tech industry is far too important. Here, he shares what he thinks went wrong, and what the government – as well as the technology industry – can do to move forward, following the botched process. 

Equality pays

A new MYOB report says New Zealand’s tech sector lacks gender diversity – and may even get less diverse. What can be done – and what is being done – to address the issue? Plus: a roundtable discussion with OMGTech! co-founder and general manager Zoe Timbrell, AUT lecturer and She# founder Dr Mahsa Mohaghegh and MYOB general manager Carolyn Luey on what can be done to increase gender diversity and inclusivity in New Zealand’s tech sector, what individuals and organisations can do, where things can go from here, and more.