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25 things with Ben Kepes: Five New Zealand companies' journeys that inspire me

Ben Kepes is a technology analyst, commentator and consultant. His commentary has been widely published in such outlets as Forbes, Wired and The Guardian, while he has also been an investor in a large number of early-stage technology start-ups across three continents and has had successful exits to listed and privately held companies in Canada, the US, and the UK. He currently sits on the boards of a number of non-profit, privately held and listed companies in New Zealand and the UK and has won a number of accolades, including being a recipient of the Sir Peter Blake Leadership Award in 2016. Here, he shares five New Zealand companies or journeys that inspire him. 

Five New Zealand company stories or journeys that inspire you
 

  1. South Canterbury Finance. Just being a good person and wanting to do well by your community doesn't mean you're not going to fail spectacularly.
  2. Xero. Because Rod was, from day one, the consummate showman and gave us all a lesson in articulating a big vision.
  3. Sir Stephen Tindall. Regardless of your views on The Warehouse, he's done more for business in New Zealand than any one person and is the perfect case study for philanthropy.
  4. Hadleigh Ford at SwipedOn. It shows that a good bugger can build a business that solves a problem he dealt with first hand, do so while still keeping down a real job and not get so greedy that he doesn't see the sense in accepting an early buy-out offer.
  5. JD Trask at Raygun. Despite doing a pretty good impression of Gordon Gecko, is still a good guy at heart.

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