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The Artful Trader | Series 3 | Episode 8
Confidence in a new perspective - Part 2
Join us as Michael McCarthy sits down with three CEOs who each turned ideas into empires, disrupting the industries they work within along the way. In this episode, we talk to Tim Fung - CEO of Airtasker on creating an outsourced service marketplace, Drew Bilbe - CEO of Nexba and his battle against the Coca-Cola giants with healthy beverage options and Oleg Vornik - CEO of DroneSheild on combining world-class engineering and physics to re-invent drone security intelligence.
Join us for the part 2 round table discussion, where we chat with our three CEOs Tim Fung (CEO of Airtasker), Oleg Vornik (CEO of DroneShield) and Drew Bilbe (CEO of Nexba). We walk through their start up journeys, company fundamentals, company culture, missions and how resilience, determination and an unshakeable sense of purpose contributed to their global business success.
Tim Fung is the Co-founder & CEO of start-up Airtasker, a services marketplace allowing people to outsource chores and errands to people in their local neighbourhood community.
Drew Bilbe is the Co-Founder and CEO of Nexba. Nexba is one of Australia's fastest growing drinks companies selling their low-calorie products at more than 3,000 outlets, including Coles supermarkets and Virgin Airlines.
Oleg Vornik is the CEO of DroneShield (ASX:DRO) a worldwide leader in drone security technology. DroneShields' leadership brings world-class expertise in engineering and physics, combined with deep experience in defence, intelligence, and aerospace.
Drew: You're not alone, going through these hard times by yourself. You've got someone to talk to, you've got an ear, you've got a sounding board, you've got a shoulder to cry, you've got all those things if you need them.
Oleg: I find there are two types of confidence you have to kind of sugary high confidence, the facade, and then you have the real confidence.
Tim: Being really transparent with your team and getting them, you know, really aligned about that.
Michael: From CMC markets. This is The Artful Trader. Hello and welcome to The Artful Trader. I'm Michael McCarthy, Chief Market Strategist at CMC Markets Asia Pacific. In our third season, we talk to the experts in their own fields to uncover what gives them the confidence to succeed. We uncover confidence, unlocking the secrets behind resilience, preparation and growth and how it can make you a better trader. Tim Fung is the founder and CEO of Airtasker. A now global business that has disrupted apathy by creating a new economy, the gig marketplace. Oleg Vornik is the founder and CEO of DroneShield. Listed on the ASX Oleg has disrupted the world of drone security to serve and protect this ever-changing global landscape. Drew Bilbe is the co-founder and CEO of Nexba. Drew is one of two Aussie boys that has disrupted the beverage industry by creating a naturally sugar-free solution, putting beverage juggernauts like Coca Cola on notice. In this second part of our disruptor special, we've got our three CEOs in conversation, unpacking their own confidence and how it's changed over the years. We'll talk about how successfully disrupting an industry requires resilience and hear what they wish they knew back at the beginning of their startup journey. Gentlemen, thank you very much for joining us today. What we're particularly looking at uncovering is all three of you are trying something very new. In business terms, you're brave. And what our listeners would like to know is what are the qualities that got you into this spice and what does disrupting an industry, an action or disruptors require? What do you think Drew?
Drew: Look, I think, you know, when you're embarking on something new, there are different attributes you need at different points in time. And I'll use my example as an example. Going into this I was very naive in the FMCG space. I had no idea what it took to put a beverage company together or go in and sell a product. You know, with my background is civil engineering. So you know, some would call that confidence, others would call that foolishness. But there are parts of, you know, each of those attributes that you need to make a successful company.
Oleg: Look I think I agree with that. There is really no such concept as there are all-knowing experts out there and you know you're new and you get in and you know there's no way you can beat those guys. At the end of the day, a new idea is a project, and it just comes down to how well you just get organised and go about executing it.
Michael: Tim, for you.
Tim: Yeah. I think it's about knowing like the fundamentals of what you're building and being excited about the value that you're creating. And I think if you, if you have that then you can kind of get out of bed every morning because you're really excited about that. And you go through a lot of tough times when you want to push through and get to where you want to go to. And that probably looks like bravery on the outside.
Michael: Okay. Because I have heard, you know, the journey into the sort of ventures that you're all involved in described, a lot of people outside this style of working think of it as that planned process. Everything's laid out and you start hearing, you know, in 10 years time you'll be here. But somebody else described it to me as like getting on a sailing ship, heading away from land, knowing you might not see land for many days and dealing with the problems that come up. How much confidence do you have in the vision that you've created?
Tim: So I think that's a really good way of thinking of it, is it actually is kind of like getting on a ship and sailing west and looking for a new country. Because you got to know that, hey, there's probably something over there and that's probably awesome, but you don't really know what it is and you don't really know how to get there. And I think one of the things that people think is that like, yeah, there's this planned process and we know exactly where we want to get to and we're just going to do this. And I think the whole point of it is that you're getting out there and you're exploring. And you're actually kind of thinking of it from a ground level and just building it up step by step by step.
Michael: Was it the same for you Oleg?
Oleg: Sure. I think if you continue to draw on the analogy, you are not going on a little dinghy. You're going on a ship, so you have a team with you and you draw off the other people and they draw off you. It's not necessarily just going through an open ocean. You see little islands along the way. So you arrive and that basically is a little milestone of what you achieved, and then you move on, and then you just continue.
Michael: Drew, what do you do when the storms start?
Drew: I think, you know, we're all disruptor brands, we're all challenger brands. And as a result of that we're creating new things. So there's going to be so much uncertainty. There's going to be so many big storms. And its part of I guess, you know, the process you're going through about having the confidence to get to that next Island or you know, in the storm and take shelter until you know, you know, build the strategy even better, and you know where you're going a little bit more clearly.
Michael: And how do you stop the crew from mutiny?
Drew: Culture is the number one thing. You've got to create a culture of people that have the same passion that you have for the brand. Values are crucial. You actually want to recruit your team based on your values and then look at skillset as incredibly important. But if the values aren't there, you know, they're not going to be right for the business. So if you have a crew which is as passionate and very similar values, you're more unlikely to get mutiny.
Michael: Well, thank goodness for that. Tim, is that the same at Airtasker?
Tim: Yeah, I think it's very much about culture and values and being able to get everyone aligned on the vision of what you're building. One of the things that's fortunate in our business is that we have a very tangible value creation, which is like creating jobs for people. So our team really rallies behind that vision. I think definitely people bring their own flavour to the culture. So it's not all about everyone thinking exactly the same way. And in fact, you know, you don't want to have everyone thinking exactly the same way. But certainly there needs to be a common thread that everyone's driving towards.
Michael: They have to be believers?
Tim: Yeah. You've got to get all the, your vectors lined up towards, we want to go over there and everyone's charging in the same direction. But definitely you want different styles of people and different kinds of culture coming into the company.
Michael: So both of you are working in industries where there's a very clear human good, your challenge is different Oleg, in that you're disrupting evil influences in this world. How do you keep the team together in that sort of scenario?
Oleg: I think a lot of people have this excitement about being on a mission in the defence space. So defence on its own is a bit of an unusual industry. There is a bit of a cloak over it where people from the outside don't really understand that well as to how the industry works. What do people do? So I think what happens, a lot of people who are inside get driven by this mission to basically stop the bad guy. And the other thing is unlike a lot of defence companies who make things that kill people and create violence. We have this feel-good element where our products don't kill anybody. They don't create damage, but they basically take down drones, which are used for nefarious purposes. So there's this very strong feel-good element. One thing I find is different people are driven by different priorities in life. And you want to find people who are driven by similar priorities as basically you are in order to create that cohesion. So for some people, it's perfectly fine, for example, to have a balanced life as your priority. But that's not necessarily a person you want in your new venture because there's only 24 hours in a day. And despite best management, if you want to look after all the other things you've got going, you probably will not have enough focus and time to spend on the business. So, you want to pick people who basically meet your mission requirements.
Michael: Well, you all have established businesses and brands now, but I'd like to take you back to when you were first starting out. What was it that gave you the confidence you'd succeed?
Drew: You know, when I started Nexba I was 22, turning 23. My business partner was basically the same age, even a little bit younger. You know, you do as a young person have an incredible amount of passion. You believe that you are bulletproof and you can do anything which is a really important attribute to have when you are trying to take on a Goliath in our industry as we did with the multinationals of the Cokes and the Pepsis. So I think, you know, that passion was there. The belief in, you know, wanting to make a difference in people's lives and having an impact on diabetes and obesity, you know, really believing in health and wellbeing. It really drove us to develop this range of naturally sugar-free products. So I think that absolutely those things were crucial in the early stages when we first started the business of wanting to make it work and give it a crack.
Michael: The belief in your cause.
Drew: Yeah. Belief in the cause and you know, that unwavering passion that you have when you're 22.
Michael: Absolutely, and what gave you confidence Tim?
Tim: Well, I'd kind of made way down the chain in terms of like started working in a place like Macquarie, which was, you know, obviously a big organisation. Then working in an established small business. Then starting up a small business, but not being the founder of that company, and then starting Airtasker. So I guess it was good to kind of see how things are done at all those different levels, and you know, you can build belief based on seeing it being done before. I think it was also that combined with the fact that we'd actually tried to start another business before we started Airtasker. And we'd had arguments in that business around the business model, and what we kind of learned is that it was like incredibly important to be able to understand like the fundamentals of the value that you're creating. Because if you have that, then as I said before, I think you can just kind of like push through walls to make it happen.
Michael: And Oleg, what made you sure that drones weren't just a fad that was going to fade?
Oleg: Okay. At the end of the day you don't really know. I think there's a survivorship bias where people you are seeing around the table today are people who have at least to now succeeded. And I'm sure there are plenty of ventures and we all know that who failed. I think at the end of the day you don't really know and you just try and you put your best foot forward and see what happens. I was fortunate enough to be raised in a very supportive family where I think for a lot of people you're a bit less fortunate because they may not instil a sense of self-worth in their children. And I was quite fortunate as I was a child growing up and maybe the other guys can relate to that as well. The parents were saying, you know, you can basically do anything you want with your life. And then to Tim's comment, the thing about working in places like big investment banks is that they are actually quite good at catering to your ego. Where they're basically saying, look, the reason you're here is because you are the best of the best. Now that may not be true, but it's very much a message that is being reinforced there. So you know, with it comes a lot of arrogance when it's channelled in the wrong way. So we all know of the banker stereotypes. But when channelled the right way, I think it gives you that sense of confidence that yes, you can have a go at everything. And then of course there is the general Australian kind of approach culturally, well let's just have a go.
Michael: Still thinking about those early days, with what you know now, what's the one thing that you would have told yourself then?
Oleg: Look, my path was different, but that said the company was quite small at the time, I remember for the first six months or so when I was working, I was paid, I think about a hundred bucks a day because the company really had no money. So, it is very much a startup, even though, you know, technically speaking it was, you know, and my job situation rather than you are, you know, the very first employee. Look, a lot of it is just keep going you're going. I think a lot of these things come to the people who you are with and if you have trust in the people with whom you are working. I was fortunate in that one of the cornerstone investors in DroneShield I had a great relationship with. I had faith that if they believe that the business can succeed, then they can potentially see more than what I was seeing as well. So that kind of gives you an additional sense of confidence. So it's basically just bouncing off people around you and just kind of having faith in the mission that way.
Michael: Right, a good team is a big part of it. Tim, what would you tell your founding self?
Tim: Yeah, I would definitely say the same comment about investing into the people on the team. I think one of the things is that when you start out, you hear a lot of like you know, CEOs of other companies and they go, oh, work on like motivation and culture. And when you're starting out you're like, oh, all I care about is sales, like just get something happening. You know, we're just going to build something and then, you know, get it going. But I think in doing that, we probably didn't invest early enough into like how we thought about people operations, how we thought about the team. And, you know, I've got a list as long as my arm of, you know, hilarious stuff-ups, which are hilarious seven years later, but were absolutely harrowing at the time. But I would definitely have said, you know, invest into that, take it slow and invest in that because the payoff that you get on people is 10 X if you get it right.
Michael: And what would you tell your founding self?
Drew: I'd echo similar things, the only thing I would sort of add as well is just you know, team is incredibly important. Your business partners are incredibly important and supportive. Those things are, you have to get those right, they're critical to the success of the business. One thing that we were really fortunate enough to have early on is a really good mentorship as well. So our very first investor actually by the name of Peter Barron, he was an inventor. He invented the sipping straws. So the straws that you put into milk, and there are beads of chocolate and strawberry and you suck it out as a little milkshake, kid's product, hugely successful. But by tapping into him as a mentor, he was able to kind of give us some real directional and anecdotal stories about what not to do. Things like in the early stage, particularly how to run the business on a bit of an oily rag, which you have to do. Bits and pieces around who to focus on your first employees when you're hiring. So those pieces of advice that mentors can provide was absolutely crucial. And I think one of the reasons why we're still operating today is just getting that advice from people that have been there and done that, and just really experienced people.
Michael: What's been more important in your journey, confidence or resilience?
Drew: I reckon resilience, to be honest. Confidence is a facade sometimes. You know, you can wear thin and you can lose it. It's not something which is always going to be there. Resilience is actually a thing that you need in the tough times. So if you have resilience and you can get through anything, that's going to give you the confidence. So, you know, in a way resilience probably creates confidence. But yeah, we've, if we were going through all these tough times that we've been through and all we had was confidence, we wouldn't be here today. So resilience is crucial.
Oleg: Oh yeah. We've been through lots of times where confidence, you know, at least on a day to day basis has taken a knock. You know, like there are, you know, a lot of days, even weeks and months periods where you're not feeling great about how things are going. But I think one of the things is like being really transparent with your team and getting them, you know, really aligned about that. Well that's how we've done it at Airtasker. And it's not necessarily the only way to do it, but yeah, generally we don't want to be putting up a facade and being like, yeah, no, it's all good. We want to be explaining to them how we've gone through thought processes and you know, get them to the bottom of the story so that they can get really aligned.
Michael: Oleg, you had a magnificent tailwind, and congratulations to you in catching it, that the Australian Government was looking to develop the export defence industry at the time that you were, I think two years old. What sort of a difference did that make to your view of the business?
Oleg: I think having government support in the defence industry is critical. One of the, for example, most common things that people ask and we're fundamentally an export business, we do sell in Australia, but it's a relatively small part of what we do. Is, well, what kind of success have you achieved locally? You know, who is buying your products here? And if they're not, well, why should we buy it overseas if you can make sales locally. So, having that kind of support, both in terms of purchasing our products but promoting us, supporting us overseas has been critical. The other thing on the confidence and resilience maybe is I find there are two types of confidence. You have to kind of sugary high confidence, the facade, and then you have the real confidence. And I find what happens is over time, as you get more experience the confidence or the resilience morphs into confidence because your confidence is due to the experience you have. So, you start as resilient and then you eventually become confident, and it kind of becomes one, because you are confident because you've been resilient in the past and you've kind of seen it all and you understand that, you know, path forward can be made a number of ways.
Michael: So gentlemen, can anyone build a startup?
Drew: I think we're all going to say yes, because we're the type of people that believe in achieving.
Michael: But that implies there are a type of people who can't?
Drew: Well, that's true. That's true. I think you know, it probably comes down to your mentality, and your appetite for risk and your appetite for a challenge, and your belief in the cause. If you've got those things aligned, then I think that you're a really good candidate to be, I don't like the word entrepreneur, but you're a really good candidate to be an entrepreneur and start a business. That's the start. And then all of the things we've spoken about resilience and confidence and the right people, mentorship. You have to get all of those things and build that slowly. We've sort of looked at our business from the outside. It looks like a 10 year overnight success type thing. But for the people that have been on the journey, it's been a roller coaster ride, and incredibly hard sometimes, and sometimes you get a break. But I think you've got to be the right person and have the right mindset to want to start a business.
Michael: What's your view Tim?
Tim: Everyone can start a startup, it is possible. I don't think everyone should start a startup.
Michael: What sort of attributes should they work on?
Tim: Well, I wasn't actually talking about necessarily attributes, it's more kind of like what that person wants to experience. I mean, starting a startup probably drains eight years, eight good years of your life, you're going to be dedicated to that thing. And there are a lot of other, a lot of people who'd be, you know, probably getting more pleasure out of life, experiencing more things, doing things an, other way. I think there's also really great people who can like join companies and contribute even more so in that way. For example, you know at Airtasker at the beginning we weren't focused on like people management and you know managing a large organization. Now we do need those people to come in and people who have the skills to be able to do that. I think it would be a waste for those people to be off, you know starting their own startup when they contribute more to us.
Oleg: You know, I really hate how in today's world we have this culture that worships entrepreneurship in a sense that it's believed that that's something that everybody should aspire to. And it's something that is way better than working for a large company or a small business. I think entrepreneurship and building your own business is certainly not for everybody. A bit like Tim said, I think for a lot of people, probably most people out there, they'll get more happiness just working in a normal job. There's nothing wrong with a normal job. Having other passions in life, raising children, having hobbies, travelling and living their life that way. I think saying to people that a balanced life is wrong and everybody should be focusing on entrepreneurship is simply wrong. So we've decided to make the sacrifice. It's neither good or bad, it's just the path that we've all taken. But that's not the recipe for happiness for everybody.
Michael: So that sort of leads into my next question for you Oleg. Does intuition serve you in building your business, or is it something you need to put to one side?
Oleg: I think intuition is the result of experience that you've achieved to now. I think intuition again is a bit of a bad word often, because there are a lot of organisational psychologists who would tell you just brush away intuition, replace everything with processes. Whether it's interviewing candidates, whether it's making business decisions, and there's the rigid or prescribed path instead of intuition every time. I think there's certainly a lot of room for having decision making processes that you cannot quantify on a piece of paper that link back to the experience that you've had before. And drawing parallels on things you've had before. I mean a lot of it is just trying a whole lot of stuff when you kind of refine processes as things get better.
Tim: Yeah. I think intuition probably you want to be using less and less over time, like as the company builds. Yeah, there are certainly times where there isn't an element of experience that you've had before that can kind of lead you to make a decision. And there are definitely a lot of like captains calls that I think have to be made from time to time, not necessarily just the CEO, but different people in the organization need to make bold decisions. But generally I think that a lot of early startup founders are probably using their intuition a little bit too much and you know, it would probably be really useful for them to just stop, just even if it's five minutes, stop, write it down and just kind of assess is this a good idea or not? And it's not over the top. But we've definitely got a really strong writing culture at Airtasker now, because we want people to actually stop thinking about it and not just like PowerPoint presentation with three bullet points and a picture of the cat. We're actually like, can you actually explain what you really mean. Because a lot of the things, especially in technology companies, a lot of the decisions you make are really highly leveraged. And if you make one decision and it goes and affects a million people, like that tiny little decision, it was actually a really big decision. And you probably should have put some effort into it.
Michael: Did intuition play a big role in your early days?
Drew: I think like Tim just said you know, gut feel or intuition, there's a time and a place for that. Particularly when you are starting a business, you don't have necessarily access to all the data points, all the pieces of information you need. So you're forced into a situation of sometimes making quick calls, intuition, gut feel calls. For our business, we are now in a position where we have much more data access. We have scan data results, switching data, so we can paint a really factual and intelligent story about which way we think the trends are going to go, or which way the trends are going. Rather than which way we think the trends are going to go. So it's probably a function of experience and availability of the right data sets and different things. But I agree. As you get bigger and there's more people relying on the decisions you're making, you've got to use data and you know, processes more than [inaudible and in intuition.
Michael: Okay. You've all spoken about the importance of having a good team around you, but in your two cases there is actually strong partnerships at the heart of your businesses. How important is that personal support out of a relationship that's both work and friendship based?
Drew: Yeah, I've been clear. I think a business partnership is probably as hard as a marriage, because you are not getting any benefit. You're spending maybe more time with each other, you're making more under-pressure decisions. But you know, the really, I guess big benefit of having a strong partnership is, if you choose the right person, you've got skillsets that are contrasting to yours and complimentary to yours. And it's really, really important to have a really varied opinion and skillset in the business at that upper level at the highest level of the business. But also the support, you're not alone going through these hard times by yourself, you've got someone to talk to, you've got an ear, you've got a sounding board, you got a shoulder to cry on, you've got all those things if you need them. Whereas I know that my business would not be as successful without my business partner.
Tim: Yeah, for me, so Johno was part of the first few years of Airtasker, the first half, and you know, due to personal circumstances had to move overseas and you know, went on a new journey for that and has been, you know, part of the story in the early days. For me it was, yeah, really, really good to have a co-founder, someone that you could just talk to and shares the same problems with you. I think it's very much an emotional thing as much as anything. At the same time you know, we've survived when Johno decided to go and move on and do other things, we definitely survived. But there have been times where you do feel quite alone as the, you know, the sole founder of the company and you've got even the executives that you have on the team, we've kind of, we've even [inaudible be really transparent about it. The incentives are different, right. Like if you're an executive and you come in and you've got options in a company, you're going for 10 X, you know? Whereas if you're a founder and you've built something, you're on the other side kind of going, well, I kind of don't want to blow up the thing that I've built, so maybe I'm happy with 6 X, but you know, with a higher chance of survival of not going to zero. So you know, it's different and I guess as the company evolves, you've got to go with whatever you get served.
Michael: Oleg, have mentors played a large role in your journey?
Oleg: Mentors certainly played a huge role in my journey, so I didn't have a partner in the way the other guys did, which worked out really well for them. But I have certainly known a lot of cases where the partners were the biggest issue in the business and they were fighting with each other and it actually was hindering the business. So in my case, I was quite fortunate to have, [inaudible fund in New York who used to be our largest shareholder for a long time. They no longer are. To be effectively my mentor and guiding me through a lot of things as well. So that certainly helps. And then eventually you tend to outgrow your mentors, if I would say that. And, you know, you're closer to the coalface of the business and the issues you are seeing are potential issues that they may not have experienced themselves, and then you just kind of continue to grow. I think in life over time you go and find other mentors. But there's always somebody. I think what you'll find is if it's just you, you kind of often go into that infinite loop, which just spins faster and faster. So other people, it can often be circuit breakers.
Michael: Did mentors play a role for you?
Drew: Yeah, as mentioned before, Peter Barron was one of our original mentors. But we also put an advisory board in place. And they were filled with some really, really inspirational people. Paul Zahra, ex CEO of David Jones, Phil Baldock was the CEO of Jim Beam Australasia. John Bacon's in there as well. So some people from some slightly different industries as well, but they've sat in the positions we're sitting in, they've been CEOs. They've had to make these hard decisions we're talking about. And they're really intelligent. They can, you know, once again as kind of a co-founder does, they can also be used as a sounding board and a really big support. They're helping you make these decisions at a board level as well.
Michael: How does an advisory board work, do you pick up the phone when you need to? Is there a formal meeting once every so often?
Drew: So in our situation we have a monthly advisory board meeting and we treat it as seriously as a board. So there's a board pack sent out every month. It's a formal process, which is minuted. It's, you know, if you really want the most value out of it, you've got to give it the respect to treat it for what it is. And, you know, it's up to Troy and I as founders of the company to extract the right information from these really, really intelligent brains that are in the room. But yeah, we certainly treat it pretty seriously.
Michael: Tim, was your father your first mentor?
Tim: Yeah, so my dad was definitely a big influence on me. Certainly in terms of like thinking big, and I guess the resilience factor, I think he contributed to that. In terms of my mentorship journey. So I mentioned I started out working like in a modelling, fashion modelling agency. And so the owner of that business, a guy named Peter O'Connell was you know, one of the founding directors of Optus in Australia and things like that. So that was great to, I guess, get that business experience. And then at Airtasker we've had great people like James Spenceley who was one of the founders of Vocus Telecommunications, which is, you know, a multi-billion dollar startup. And then more recently we've brought on board Mina Radhakrishnan, who was the first product manager at Uber. So I sort of saw that go from 0 to 6,000 employees and hundreds and hundreds of millions of dollars of revenue. So yeah, definitely learning as we go and picking up bits of experience from different people.
Michael: So what does disruption mean to you?
Oleg: It's doing things which have by definition not been done before in usually a way that people have not even imagined until recently. Maybe that's kind of a textbook way to explain it. So we're a bit unique in that, as you said, we're disrupting the disruptors. So you think of drones haven't even really existed 10 years ago, just started five years ago, now they're an amazing technology. I think what we're seeing now is the very start of it. So we're going to be seeing, already are, drones that swim underwater, drones that crawl on the ground, drones which are controlled in swarms by cellular technology. So we're very much at the dawn of it. So we're on the other side of the process, basic looking at that and saying, well, you have all the negative applications of that and that is doing the disruption. So how do we disrupt that being used for negative purposes. So often we look at technologies that have been originally developed for something else and adopt them for being used against drones. The thing about DroneShield, and this is the hard thing for every one of our engineers, is we cut across a whole lot of different sciences. So most companies, you find people who deal with radars or different people who deal radio frequency, the jammers, the acoustics, the cameras. We basically have to sweep through the whole range of disciplines to basically achieve that outcome. So it's being, what does disruption mean, is it's being open-minded, is being broadly skilled. Yes, we have some deep experts, but fundamentally each of our engineers is pretty broad in terms of what they can do. And kind of think about life in a broad sense and just kind of rolling with the punches as new things come.
Drew: Yeah, I think, definitely I think Oleg is, I couldn't agree more. Disruption is about doing things differently. When we look at our industry, if we take a look at the definition of madness, it's doing the same thing and expecting a different outcome. You know, as Aussies and globally we've been drinking high sugar drinks and artificially sweetened drinks for a very long time. And for me that's absolute madness. So we had to do something different. We had to disrupt to really, you know, get rid of the, or have an impact on the diabetes and obesity, which for us was the result of being, it was the madness. So you know, absolutely being a disruptor is about doing things differently. Having an impact, thinking differently and doing things in my view in the right way.
Tim: Yeah, I think disruption is breaking the inertia, you know, the way things are being done now. And one of the hard things about doing disruption is that there's probably a reason why that inertia has formed, and so in order to disrupt and get people to do things a different way, you kind of got to be 10 X better than what's existing already out there. And so for us, that means constantly iterating on the product and constantly iterating on the experience to stay, you know, 10 X better than the alternative.
Michael: Last question gentlemen, and I'll come to each of you in turn, but we'll start with you, Tim. At some stage in the future, and that will be a different time for each of you. One of your children comes to you and she says, dad, I've got this great idea and I want to start up my own business. What would you say to her?
Tim: Don't do it. And I think that I actually would probably say something along those lines initially. We talked a little bit about resilience. One of the things about starting a business and why I think not everyone should just go in and start a business is because you do have to really want to go and do it. You do have to be able to like push through walls. And so you don't want to make it that easy for people to go and do this. If it was just, you know, put on a plate, yeah start a business and go, you're probably not going to make it too far. So I think I'm putting up a couple of walls and making it kind of tough would probably be the way to go.
Michael: Help her find that resilience before she gets too far. Oleg?
Oleg: I agree with Tim. I think to a lot of people entrepreneurship is getting a desk at WeWork and kind of, you know, pottering around on Instagram all day. Which is not really what we're talking about here. So, I think so long as the person understands what it's for, so long as they have a team around them or at least a partner. And, their idea sounds half credible, possibly. I think there's a lot to be said for at least having potentially some kind of background if you can. Like for example, one of the things that some of us have here is that sort of large institutional background, so you kind of understand how business works too. I think a lot of it is just starting young with low opportunity cost. I think when you are getting on in life, it's just much harder. I mean, yes it's possible to be a serial entrepreneur, but you know, if you've been an office worker and you are now in your 50s and you've never done anything outside of your cubicle and you're saying, right, I want to be an entrepreneur. Unless you have some particular advantages, be it funders, partners, unique angles into the market, just kind of going for it and becoming a social media influencer and growing from there I think is a tough way to go.
Michael: Thank you. Wrap it up for us.
Drew: This is something I have faced, not with my daughter, but with family and friends, and I think we probably all have at certain points in time. The result of what I did say was, you know, outlaid how difficult it is, and really understand this is not a walk in the park. This is 10 years of putting your life on absolute halt and putting everything into it. The result of that each time has been probably me self-consciously saying don't do it. But you know, I think that there's a lot to go by that. Because when they do come back a second time or third time and they do go after that idea, they're much more likely to be successful than if they think it's just an easy thing to do because they've seen someone in their life do it and to date be successful. So I think if my daughter came to me, I would probably outlay the challenges and basically say don't do it.
Michael: So survivor bias is as important in disruption and startups as it is in markets.
Drew: Yeah, I think so, yeah.
Michael: Thank you very much for your inspiration today. That was Tim Fung, Oleg Vornik, and Drew Bilbe, speaking to us in Sydney for the last episode of season three of The Artful Trader, Confidence Uncovered.