Subscription business are booming, the ability to easily subscribe using your credit card to a online service is an incredible opportunity. This is my research into the what makes a successful Subscription service.
Content and global platform (SaaS)
Payment Options or Freemium
User Experience (easy to register, login and enter card details.)
–Federal Government’s incentive for early stage investment. 20% tax offset and modified capital gains if you sell shares before 10 years. Investments are capped at $50k and $200k per year for sophisticated and non-sophisticated investors respectively. I believe this tax incentive is under utilised by startups. Qualifying shares held for 12 months or more but less than ten years You can disregard a capital gain that you make from a CGT event happening to qualifying shares if you have held them continuously for 12 months or more but less than ten years.
ESIC incentives have been the additional sweetener for our investors (ensuring the company you invest in is formally an ESIC in ATO’s eyes).
Early Stage Venture Capital Limited Partnerships (ESVCLPs)
-Immediate deduction for certain capital expenditure such as professional/legal fees incurred in setting up a start up, ordinarily these would need to be added to the cost base of an asset or amortised over 5 years
– There is a startup concession in respect to employees being able to reduce the taxable income to their employee share scheme interest to nil. ESS interests must be in a startup company which is an Australian resident for tax purposes. Additionally If the ESS interest is a share the discount must be no more than 15% of its market value when provided, and generally the scheme is operated so the employee must hold the ESS interests for a minimum of 3 years or until they cease employment.
– There is a tax incentive for investors in early stage innovation companies (which is defined) which provides a 20% non-refundable carry forward tax offset. This is capped at $200k per income year. Another tax incentive for an early stage investor includes ability to disregard CGT gain on qualifying shares if held more than 12 months (but less than 10 years). For both of these the investor needs to satisfy the sophistaced investor test (corporations act). Failing this, tax incentives only available for total investments <$50k.
-R&D tax incentives: for companies with turnover over < $20mil a refundable tax offset of 43.5%. If > $20 mil non-refundable. Requirements at a minimum; need to be an incorporated company, conducting elgiable core R&D activities, having incurred eligible R&D expenditure or notional dedication of $20k unless using a research service provider.
– there are certain QLD government grants available where they will match private investment dollar for dollar (e.g business development fund) between 125k and 2.5m
– Other grants are available to startups by the QLD government usually up to a few hundred thousand such as ignite
1) Employee Share Schemes – potentially tax free ‘discounts’ on issue of share / option plans in certain circumstances and tax free capital gains.
2)R & D Tax Incentive – a 43.5% ‘refundable tax incentive’ for every $1 spent on R & D (subject to minimum spend of $20,000.
3)20% tax offset for investments in Early Stage Innovation Companies plus tax free capital gains on sale of the shares
4)10% tax offset for investments in To investments in Early Stage Venture Capital Limited Partnerships
5) Various State and Federal Government Grants to assist start-ups with their business
If you dont have time to read or watch this in full, here is the skinny; Companiessell Products/or Services NOT Salespeople.. So why do Salespeople always end up running the show in Product or Service companies, then decline happens. If you can’t handle the truth, listen to Steve Jobs.
Steve Jobs :- “I have my own theory about why the decline happens at companies like IBM or Microsoft. The company does a great job, innovates and becomes a monopoly or close to it in some field, and then the quality of the product becomes less important.
The company starts valuing the great salesmen, because they’re the ones who can move the needle on revenues, not the product engineers and designers. So the salespeople end up running the company.”
My passion has been to build an enduring company where people were motivated to make great products. Everything else was secondary. Sure, it was great to make a profit, because that was what allowed you to make great products. But the products, not the profits, were the motivation.
Sculley flipped these priorities to where the goal was to make money.
It’s a subtle difference, but it ends up meaning everything: the people you hire, who gets promoted, what you discuss in meetings. Some people say, “Give the customers what they want.” But that’s not my approach.
Our job is to figure out what they’re going to want before they do. I think Henry Ford once said, “If I’d asked customers what they wanted, they would have told me, ‘A faster horse!’” People don’t know what they want until you show it to them.
That’s why I never rely on market research.
Our task is to read things that are not yet on the page. Edwin Land of Polaroid talked about the intersection of the humanities and science. I like that intersection. There’s something magical about that place. There are a lot of people innovating, and that’s not the main distinction of my career.
The reason Apple resonates with people is that there’s a deep current of humanity in our innovation. I think great artists and great engineers are similar, in that they both have a desire to express themselves. In fact some of the best people working on the original Mac were poets and musicians on the side.
In the seventies computers became a way for people to express their creativity. Great artists like Leonardo da Vinci and Michelangelo were also great at science. Michelangelo knew a lot about how to quarry stone, not just how to be a sculptor.
People pay us to integrate things for them, because they don’t have the time to think about this stuff 24/7. If you have an extreme passion for producing great products, it pushes you to be integrated, to connect your hardware and your software and content management. You want to break new ground, so you have to do it yourself. If you want to allow your products to be open to other hardware or software, you have to give up some of your vision.
At different times in the past, there were companies that exemplified Silicon Valley. It was Hewlett-Packard for a long time. Then, in the semiconductor era, it was Fairchild and Intel. I think that it was Apple for a while, and then that faded. And then
I hate it when people call themselves “entrepreneurs” when what they’re really trying to do is launch a startup and then sell or go public, so they can cash in and move on.
They’re unwilling to do the work it takes to build a real company, which is the hardest work in business. That’s how you really make a contribution and add to the legacy of those who went before. You build a company that will still stand for something a generation or two from now. That’s what Walt Disney did, and Hewlett and Packard, and the people who built Intel. They created a company to last, not just to make money. That’s what I want Apple to be.
I don’t think I run roughshod over people, but if something sucks, I tell people to their face. It’s my job to be honest. I know what I’m talking about, and I usually turn out to be right. That’s the culture I tried to create. We are brutally honest with each other, and anyone can tell me they think I am full of shit and I can tell them the same. And we’ve had some rip-roaring arguments, where we are yelling at each other, and it’s some of the best times I’ve ever had. I feel totally comfortable saying “Ron, that store looks like shit” in front of everyone else. Or I might say “God, we really fucked up the engineering on this” in front of the person that’s responsible. That’s the ante for being in the room:
You’ve got to be able to be super honest.
Maybe there’s a better way, a gentlemen’s club where we all wear ties and speak in this Brahmin language and velvet code-words, but I don’t know that way, because I am middle class from California.
I was hard on people sometimes, probably harder than I needed to be. I remember the time when Reed was six years old, coming home, and I had just fired somebody that day, and I imagined what it was like for that person to tell his family and his young son that he had lost his job. It was hard. But somebody’s got to do it. I figured that it was always my job to make sure that the team was excellent, and if I didn’t do it, nobody was going to do it.
You always have to keep pushing to innovate. Dylan could have sung protest songs forever and probably made a lot of money, but he didn’t. He had to move on, and when he did, by going electric in 1965, he alienated a lot of people. His 1966 Europe tour was his greatest. He would come on and do a set of acoustic guitar, and the audiences loved him. Then he brought out what became The Band, and they would all do an electric set, and the audience sometimes booed. There was one point where he was about to sing “Like a Rolling Stone” and someone from the audience yells “Judas!” And Dylan then says, “Play it fucking loud!” And they did. The Beatles were the same way. They kept evolving, moving, refining their art. That’s what I’ve always tried to do—keep moving. Otherwise, as Dylan says, if you’re not busy being born, you’re busy dying.
What drove me? I think most creative people want to express appreciation for being able to take advantage of the work that’s been done by others before us. I didn’t invent the language or mathematics I use. I make little of my own food, none of my own clothes. Everything I do depends on other members of our species and the shoulders that we stand on. And a lot of us want to contribute something back to our species and to add something to the flow. It’s about trying to express something in the only way that most of us know how—because we can’t write Bob Dylan songs or Tom Stoppard plays. We try to use the talents we do have to express our deep feelings, to show our appreciation of all the contributions that came before us, and to add something to that flow. That’s what has driven me.
This article is very much focused on Technology and technology product selling and strategy.
I have been working in technical selling / pre-sales for around 5+ years and absolutely love my job, but I have experienced times where the company either failed or team failed. I always wanted to analyse why either the business was highly profitable then started to declines in profits.
Few of my personal experiences/frustrations have led me to write this article.
Frankly, if you are a pure salesman or person. You will not like this article, just like you don’t want to hear what you don’t want to hear.
Let me ask you something, who built the biggest empires in history. Who are these creators?
Lets look at a few examples of the current 4 largest technology companies in the world.
Two inventors and creators, Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak. Both are Product Engineers. Company was built from the ground up by Product Engineers.
Larry Page and Sergey Brin. Both Phd level scientist. Both Product Engineers.
Bill Gates. Software Programer and a Product Engineer.
Jeff Bezo. Software developer and Product Engineer.
I do engineering and manufacturing thats 80% of or more of time, hardcore engineering, designing things, structural, mechanical, electrical, software, user interface, aerospace engineering.
When was the last time a Sales person created a great global company. So why do then end up running great Product companies and stifles innovation and strategy.
Lets be clear , Sales people don’t have any technical skills of any kinda, Finance, marketing, software engineering, etc. Sales is allot about selling them self, Frankly I dont think most salespeople actually sell, they just represent the business. Most leading technology companies the product will sell it self.
These are the biggest companies in the world, invented by product engineers with technical capability.
Now let me ask you, are they, Lawyers, Accountants, Marketers. So, why do successful technology companies put Layers, Accountants, and Sales People in C- level leadership positions. Why do these people get promoted into C level roles, after a technology company becomes successful. These people cant innovate anything nor have any technical skills.
Essentially what I am say is , big companies like IBM fail because Political and Authority figures take over roles, because technical people are too busy solving all the problems.
Once a company reaches a certain size due its product success, it will be taken over my non-product engineers. People who are merely interested in the numbers.. Once the product has reached a level of success, the company needs to become sales focused and turn into regional sales businesses and eventually sales will run company and then decline will happen because the lack of product engineers in leadership roles.
Yes you can watch it. When you stop streaming, YouTube will automatically upload an archive of your live stream to your channel. You can find it in Creator Studio > Video Manager. YouTube will automatically archive your live stream if it’s less than 12 hours and it’s applies to all types of live streams.
International Unicorn Club: 106 Private Companies Outside The US Valued At $1B+
In 2013, over 70% of companies that achieved unicorn status were US-based. Each year since 2013 – 2016, that share of unicorns has gone down, and last year, less than half of the unicorns added to the club (42%) were based in the US.
This year to date, the most highly valued non-US based companies to reach unicorn status include China-based companies Toutiao (most recently valued at $11B), Mobike ($3B), NIO ($2.9B), and e-shang Redwood ($2B), Germany-based Otto Bock healthcare ($3.5B), and the first ever Maltese unicorn, VistaJet ($2.5B).
Starting a start-up is the new black right, almost everyone is trying to start a start-up or you know someone that is making money from an online business. It’s becoming the new trend to be cool. Everyone seems to have an idea on a crowdfunding site. Well some of them are making good money. I been doing allot of research into Venture Capital funding and for some strange reason, I can not find a single Pitch deck template that is compressive yet simple. We all heard the story of people getting funding based on a 3-minute conversation, yeah right. Most start-ups are making a loss and if you really are serious about investing your life into building something sustainable, I think the following material is a good starting point. I am trying to keep it comprehensive yet simple to use. If you have any feedback on ideas, please get in touch.