An Evening with Scott Farquhar - ask me anything
An Evening with Scott Farquhar - ask me anything
Wow I was really excited when an advert popped up on one of the many collated news feeds that I get on our own kokm site.
There was an opportunity to listen to Scott Farquhar the cofounder of Atlassian. Even more intriguing was the headline - Ask me anything!
Spark Festival organised the event and it was great, lovely finger food and drinks served throughout the evening. About 180 people networking and chatting in a really friendly and easy atmosphere that set the scene for an informative, intimate and fun chat with Scott Farquhar. I do have to be honest, I am a bit of a fan of Scott and Mike and as such was absolutely determined to get a pic with him to send to our people. Unfortunately no one else could attend as we work virtually and everyone else was in different countries.... my great luck, I am here at the same time :)
What blew me away about the chat was how, despite international success and repute how humble and open Scott was. Scott was very refreshing, what we got was an up close and personal feel for a humble man who showed lots of humour and intellectual thought as he took us through the Atlassian journey from the beginning of coding all night with Mike in a cold unheated building freezing their fingers off on the keyboard and running hot water to thaw out and keep going!
Scott gave insights on to what it was like starting up, what they achieved and how they did it. Always with the ethos to give back. As Scott said - we decided right at the beginning to donate 1% of our product licenses to charity, 1% of employee time and 1% of equity back to the community. The fact they had no money, no equity and no employees was irrelevant - this is what they wanted to do when they did have those resources. When you look around, how many other companies do you know start with that ethos? Interesting how companies do give back, we choose to use the apprenticeship approach to give young people who had not worked since leaving school a chance at learning a new skill and gaining employment and using kokm as their springboard into the wider world.
Scott was asked some good and interesting questions and I have summarised some of his answers / thoughts:
- You have a choice as you build a business, you can either grind it out or try something different.
- Something needs to change in the business place, you need to know what that change is and be on it.
- They did not take a big salary for many years (from the sounds of it, it was a real struggle until they were really viable).
- You create a sustainable business by who you attract.
- The service desk is now collecting data so they can build that data and understand their customers better to give them what they need.
I think the final insight was the most telling and important and it was on the back of a question that asked 'what would you recommend the youth/children of today learn for their future' - something like that.
Scott opened his comments by remarking that any job that can be done just by one individual, will or could be automated. The jobs of the future will be where people with different skills work together in teams. Some key points:
- Learn, a lot of learning and don't stop.
- Understand, to be able to discern relevant information.
- A strong sense of self and self worth.
- Learn how to build relationships and interact with people.
- Understand logic / algorithms.
- Team work and collaboration, multiple skills pulled together.
There were other insights and I have missed a few as I was trying to listen and learn. So much of what Scott was saying resonated with me and what we do at kokm albeit on a smaller scale at the moment, but we are growing!!
We built kokm from the ground up listening to what people wanted for ease of use, simplicity, cost reduction and productivity and engagement improvement. We saw and heard that collaboration and sharing across different user journeys would speed up the organisation and reduce costs whilst providing one source of the truth. We continue to listen and adapt and grow around learning, helping people use technology to build their relationships and improve their flow of work. Above all making it easy and fast for people to pull their disparate skills together effectively.
Our backgrounds are change and working with teams of people within organisations to deliver change to improve performance and reduce cost.
Change is always about harnessing and embedding the collaborative internal and external customer handoff and workflows. You work together to get the best result.
kokm built its architecture and workflows on that ethos. It was great as a young growing organisation to hear the guidance and experineces from Scott and be able to map and learn from his insight to help us continue to grow.
We believe that work, learning and collaboration/sharing go hand in hand and kokm enables and supports that capability that a company needs, putting the tools that support and help the individual and within the teams do their job on one platform that works on any device.
Atlassian offers great products and many are complimentary to what kokm delivers and offer integration possibilities although some pieces are competitive!
Despite any competitive overlap when an organisation has the same ethos and value set as you, and openly shares its success and heart ache on the way; it is a great chance to see the values at work and to listen and learn.
The world is a better place when you can share, collaborate and give back! Thanks for a great insight and fun evening Scott and Spark Festival.
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