Inspired by technology
I’ve been into technology almost as long as I can remember.
It was Mum and Dad’s shiny new 386 PC: sporting a 20Mb hard drive and 4Mb of RAM that got me started, and by the time I’d blown it up (twice – rebuilding it was strangely just as much fun), I was hooked. In no time flat I was running a technology business on the Gold Coast, building and repairing PC’s. Before too long, I found myself providing a variety of support services for small businesses in the area, and soon began to realise the power of networks and the “connected world”.
Time to learn, and then learn some more…
Education, education – that’s what my parents drummed into me!
Not long after establishing my business, I decided this might be something I could see myself doing for the next 20yrs. So I chose to go back to full-time study undertaking a Cert IV in Information Technology, Diploma in Programming and and Advanced Diploma in Network Administration. Not long before finishing my certification (about a year before the “Millenium Bug” was signalling the end of the world as we know it), I managed to snag a full time gig as a systems admin for a well known Australian clothing brand: Driza-Bone Australia.
Finally, the web was here
Experience is the key to success
I think it was around about that time that the Internet had begun to creep into the social consciousness. In fact I still remember buying my first 28.8K modem (costing more than 200!), and using Netscape Navigator to browse the DMOZ directory to try (and fail) to find the product or service I needed.
My time at Driza-Bone was productive, challenging and extremely rewarding. Promoted from my role as a systems administrator to IT Manager, I spent 11 years there, eventually becoming responsible logistics & operations for this global, multi-million dollar company.
I had many successes, as well as a few failures from which I learned a great deal. I rate my experiences there very highly, as it taught me how to relate to workers on the factory floor, and CEO’s at the board room table.
I continued studying throughout my time there, getting started on my certification path towards database administration through Oracle™ University, while dealing with the day-to-day logistics of numerous warehouses Australia-wide, their interconnected networks and security.
Time for another change
It’s always been the allure of building something from the ground up.
It wasn’t long before my creative flair and a natural curiosity for all things technical had me captivated with this new craze called ‘the Internet’. At the time it was simply a means to an end – business communications, but I spent my days thinking of ways we could leverage this new commercial landscape.
When the time finally came to get a new website for the company, it seemed crazy to spend money on a marketing agency who didn’t understand the technology let alone it’s potential application. After all, I was a programmer and I understood the business, so why not have a crack at it myself? By the time I’d punched out my first website, I had confirmed my worst fears – another change in career was needed!
With a formal education in science, post-graduate qualifications in programming, networking and database administration, significant exposure to high level business decision making, and an ability to relate to people of all walks of life, I was now afforded a unique perspective on this advertising and communications platform we call the Internet.
Pursuing a passion, not a career
If you don’t enjoy what you do for a living, it’s a pretty dull life
And so it is, that for the last 12 years, I’ve been refining my skills working in an industry that’s perfectly suited for someone who loves to learn. Working for and with a variety of agencies and design firms, running teams of developers, designers and marketers, both as a company man and as a sole trader, my path has found me here. Owner operator of 21 Designs Australia, leading a great team of staff, and having possibly more fun in the most gratifying job I could ever imagine.
So in a funny kind of way, it’s still that shiny new 386 computer – something that nobody’s ever seen before, the thrill of the challenge and the unexpected, that sees me where I am today. I guess the only difference now is that there’s a reward – seeing others succeed from the hard work, which is what drives myself, and the team @ 21 Designs today.