Feedback loop has recently expanded to England, which is great. However, it means that I had to leave my colleagues in Sydney to head up our new London office.
Note: This post was originally written for Feedback Loop blog and can be found here.
Before leaving, I put together a list of 10 best highlights of my time at Feedback Loop in Australia. Read more to find out why Canberra is not as bad as people think, how a printing mistake can help your business and why wearing a moustache can actually be a good idea.
The best decision I have ever made was to go to study Australian law for a year as an exchange student.
This decision has allowed me to see the world from a different angle (literally) and to experience things like bungee jumping in New Zealand or jumping out of a helicopter while wearing a Santa costume on my 22nd birthday.
More importantly, it has allowed me to immerse myself into Australian start-up scene.
At first I spent 9 months working with Kevin Lippy on Brokepacker – a start-up rewarding backpackers for recommending tours and accommodation to their peers. Kevin is a great guy and I learnt a lot about start-ups and business in general from him. However, since the industry was super-challenging and our market was really tight, the Brokepacker didn’t work. Kevin recommended me to Sam who was building a software that helped businesses build trust online using socially verified testimonials. I loved the Feedback Loop idea as well as Sam’s enthusiasm and decided to join him.
That was when my journey as the first employee at Feedback Loop started.
Four months later I’m bringing Feedback Loop to Europe. Before that, I put together a list of 10 best highlights showing why working at Feedback Loop in Australia was epic.
Here we go:
10. Meeting with Michael from ZDnet on my second day of work.
It was my first media meeting as a Feedback Loop employee. Few days later Michael published an awesome article on how Feedback Loop joined the battle against fake reviews that was trending on Linkedin.
9. Being selected among Top 10 start-ups to pitch at Echelon Ignite 2013.
I helped Sam to apply for a pitching competition and we were lucky to be selected.
Few lessons learnt as illustrated by the Sydney Morning Herald article that mentioned us:
- Make sure your pitch explains the product easily
- Keep control of the slides when you pitch instead of letting anyone else do that for you
8. Nathan joining Feedback Loop.
This incredibly unphotogenic Kiwi guy is extremely fun to work with and has clicked into the team since day 1.
Watch out for his killer blog posts here.
7. Running the City2Surf 14km race while wearing a Feedback Loop t-shirt.
Oh, did I tell you how Sam & me drank unlimited free beers in one of the commercial tents after the run?
We downed over 15 before they realised we’re not real employees of the company. Guess it’s a common Lithuanian feature to exploit things that are free.
6. Sam coming to Fishburners with a cheeky-used-car-salesman-type moustache.
Sam was preparing for the Innovation Bay angel investor dinner which took place the day after. Note that it wasn’t a lost bet. Sam did it voluntarily.
He got this idea in the morning whilst shaving and just did it. It’s a perfect everyday life illustration of Nike’s slogan “Just do it”.
Some decisions will simply suck, some won’t. However, having the courage to take them is crucial in business.
5. Some people relax by listening to music. Some sleep more. Meanwhile, Sam “Feedback” Johnson dresses as a kangaroo and drinks beer.
Why so many Feedback Loop logos on our CeBIT 2013 stall, you may ask?
Well, instead of printing 4 examples, this kangaroo-guy accidentally printed 40. We don’t like wasting resources so we decided to use all of them.. It proved to be a great conversation starter at the conference helping us to get more leads.
- Take the most out of every situation
- Don’t waste resources and
- Be creative.
4. Meeting the technical evangelist, author and blogger Robert Scoble (@Scobleizer).
Subsequently I write about his time in Australia on Quora. “Great writeup of my thoughts. I have nothing to add!” Robert commented.
Networking is essential in business and I love meeting new people. You never know where that next connection may take you. Be it a cute girl you see in a bar or a technical evangelist like Scobleizer, just go and do it.
3. …Because wearing a suit in a business conference is too mainstream.
As a law student in England I have always been taught to be professional in order to succeed in a legal market. But what if one likes to stand out from the crowd and have some fun?
Nathan (#8 highlight) who at the time didn’t even work for Feedback Loop wore this fantastic onesie as well. So what? He brought over 20 business cards in 30 minutes.
Lessons learnt – be creative & be yourself.
2. Road trip to Canberra to pitch for the ACT Government funding.
Barely anyone likes Canberra.
However, less than 20 hours with Sam and all the expenses on his business card meant that Sydney-Canberra trip has been one of my favourite day trips in Australia.
Not only did we explore the best nightclubs (not that good) and took this awesome picture in front of Australian National University (ANU) Law building (Sam’s former school), but also met the government people and packed a $50,000 grant as a recognition for Feedback Loop’s innovative way to raise the level of trust online.
As a musical entrepreneur Brett Fox would say: Happy days!
1. Pitching Feedback Loop together with Sam for the showcase of Fishburners Fast-Track program. Our valued customer Bianca from Magicdust picked up a fight with a judge.
Sam called it one of the best Feedback Loop pitches so far. I call it a great practice before hundreds of upcoming pitches back in Europe.
It was an honour to pitch together with Sam and it also marked 4 months since I started working at Feedback Loop.
I love my work and I look forward to seeing where will we bring Feedback Loop.
I’d like to hear from you if you love your job or if you had a similar groundbreaking exchange experience in another country. What do you like the most about your job and what would your highlights be?
Where did you do your exchange as a student and what did you like the most about it?
As for now, watch out England, Feedback Loop is coming!
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