About Episode One

David Lindsay joins us to talk about Kiwi tech export growth strategies: both for small and large organisations. In this episode, David shares insights from his 25-year stint in the NZ tech industry. Learn how David and the team at Jade Logistics shared knowledge with their competitors to grow overseas and what David thinks every business needs to consider and implement pre and post export.

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Episode Transcript

In this episode of Growing Tech with Greg Williamson and Owen Scott, Greg and Owen sit down with David Lindsay, Director and CEO, Jade Logistics to discuss all things Kiwi tech export. Jade Logistics are based in Christchurch, New Zealand. They're the provider of the Master Terminal TOS for mixed cargo terminals used by over 100 facilities globally to manage the transport of mixed cargo such as steel, timber, containers, cars and many other materials.

OS: Welcome to Growing Tech with Greg Williamson and Owen Scott. Today, our guest is David Lindsay. David's an experienced technology company leader with over 25 years of experience in the industry. He started in finance doing management, and now he's largely focused on governance roles. What we're going to cover and explore with David is why he got into tech. It's a common question for all of us. And then what are some of the key challenges he sees for exporting tech companies? And then we're going to sort of talk about the constraints and issues that Jade has had on that growth journey.

GW: Welcome along, Dave. Good to have you here. The first question really is about your background, and you're not a technologist by trade you're an accountant. So just tell us a little bit about that, sort of those early days of getting into accounting and then transitioning over to tech. And maybe, what you've learned from that, that's benefited your career as you've gone through?

DL: So you're right. I mean, I started out as an accountant, I knew very little about tech, in fact, I was completely computer illiterate. We didn't have laptops when I started work. So, again, I knew you absolutely nothing, but I spent four years as an auditor. So probably about as far away from tech and software as you could get, but what it did teach me is a lot about companies. I went out and visited a lot of companies, understood what made them tick and understood the sort of risks that they faced, from a financial view, and often a business aspect as well.

GW: So one of the really interesting parts of your career as an accountant is that you did a stint in Poland?

DL: Yeah. I lived in Warsaw for almost four years. So went from being an accountant in Christchurch traveled over there and not many people spoke English. But again, I guess some of the things that I learned over there was, you know, a bit of a love of language, which was great, but more importantly, just the difference of culture that existed between New Zealand and Poland and Europe, in fact. I did quite a lot of traveling around Europe, and also how big the world is. And I think that's something that a lot of New Zealanders don't really click to, is that when you're selling around the world, it's a lot bigger place than New Zealand.

OS: And was that sort of your first sort of experience of working overseas from New Zealand?

DL: No, I did do a ski season up in Aspen in Colorado. But I stayed in a small ski town at that point. So, this was my first sort of long working experience overseas.

OS: So we're starting at the start of the journey, but I'm going to lead right to the end. What did you, you know, looking back on that Poland experience, are there things that you learned then that you think sort of still use today?

DL: Um, yeah, I do. I mean, the business that I'm currently in is selling software all around the world. So, getting that appreciation of different cultures and selling into different cultures is really important. And I think that's something that I did gain in Poland, you know, particularly with different languages, and distinctly different customs. I mean, it was pretty much a communist country at that point. Right. So that's definitely one of those things that offered a different perspective as well. The people that you're dealing with and selling to have a completely different perspective on, you know, the life, the business, the country then than we do.

GW: And so, you know, the next step was that you got into tech, was that a conscious thing or really just the opportunity? Like most of us opportunities present themselves and we jump on it and then you get into that industry. How did it work?

DL: To be honest, I just fell into it. I was offered two jobs in tech when I was over in Poland one with Dell computers, I'd never heard of them - so I turned it down. So when I got home, um, I was looking to continue my finance career. Um, but the only opportunity was to move to Auckland. So a great job came up at what was Aoraki Corporation at that point and again in the finance team. Um, so it was really nothing about tech. I knew nothing about the industry still, but once I got inside it, um, I guess that's what really kept me there because I worked out, it was one of the truly scalable industries in the world and the potential to be one of the most profitable and valuable industries in the world. And I think that had sort of, you know, back from 1997 when I joined the industry, um, it was a little less obvious at that point. But when you look at the industry today, I mean it's what drives everything. So, you know, a bit of luck and good fortune, but it's certainly what's kept me there. It's a fantastic industry.

OS: The Aoraki Corporation, they changed their name to Jade Software. And obviously Jade they've had a long life in the industry, when did Gill Simpson found it?

DL: 1978, I think.

OS: So in your experience, because you've been there for quite a long time, what did you see as the sort of, I suppose the journey and, the big milestones or insights on the way?

DL: Well, I mean, the thing I really appreciated from Jade software corporation was the level of innovation that they had in an incredibly small business really in terms of well, you know, the world. They were one of the first in the world to use cloud computing. So they were doing that in the eighties and nineties. They uh, invented two distinct programming languages both of them predated Java, and they were, you know, really leading-edge and innovative in the products that they were developing. So that level of innovation really taught me that you don't have to be based in Silicon Valley. You don't have to be sort of where everyone else is. You can innovate from your kitchen or your garage. So that was one of the first things. Um, one of the other things was that you really need capital to succeed.

DL: So again, it's a big world and taking your product to the world is not cheap. Um, and a lack of capital really holds you back and also, trying to do it all yourself. So, their first success was with a product called Link. They took it through a partner called Genesis and incredibly successful product. The next time, they had a product called Jade and they did it themselves. And it was that complete difference of not being able to scale quickly, the challenges of getting your product to market. So partnering up with the right people, the right organisations is really important and was certainly a key learning.

GW: And when did you, because you were obviously in finance there for a while and then moved into general management. Why was that? Was it just the opportunities that came about or were it something you'd wanted to do because you wanted to use a broader skillset?

DL: Well, I definitely wanted to progress through the organisation and probably get out of finance because in most organisations it's still pretty narrow. Um, and the business side of it really did interest me, you know, the, the things that you can do to your business to scale it. We've been through a lot of acquisitions and also a number of divestments as well. So that was pretty interesting. And those opportunities just allowed me to sort of move up the executive ladder to the point where I became chief executive.

GW: And do you think it's a maturity thing for a tech company sometimes because they have to be built around, like you say, the innovation and creativity of technical people. And then that's the sort of core of it. But at some point, they need that sort of maturity around the financial business discipline and, access to capital and all those kinds of things to really succeed.

DL: Yeah. I think, it's a, if you look at any business that sort of goes in steps. So, you develop a product, you take it to market, you get sort of one to $3 million in revenue, and then you've got another jump in your maturity, you've got to bring on a proper finance team. You might need access to capital, you need better governance within your business. Um, if you want to accelerate your business, you've really got to focus on the sales and marketing aspect because, you know, at the end of the day building the product is easy, but the hardest thing is taking it to market. And especially for Kiwis, because, you know, we're in a country of 5 million. You go to the states and you know, most of the states are bigger than 5 million people. Yeah. You got to Australia, and you know, their states are bigger than 5 million people. So we've got a real, um, not problem, but it's, it's a barrier in New Zealand that we're in a small market. The good thing is we're a really good test market, because there are a lot of early adopters in New Zealand. Um, but you can only get so far. I mean, it's easy enough to build a company sort of between three and $10 million, but beyond that, you've got to go offshore. And that's, I think, where the challenges really are.

OS: Do you have some examples where or an example of Jade where, you're sort of particularly proud or were very successful in the selling and sort of maybe how you went about it or what happened there? I mean, was there a particular product or market that you did really well in?

DL: I think probably the thing at Jade software that I was particularly proud about was the journey that we went through to focus the business. So, we had probably six products or eight products across four different geographies, so effectively selling to 32 different markets. And for a company of that size, it was just too much, too much to handle, too much investment into products. Um, you know, too many salespeople, it was too expensive. So, what we went on is a journey of picking the right ones to focus on and getting rid of the rest of them, either supporting the existing customers and not seeking to grow them, divesting them, selling them to other businesses. I think we sold to about four different businesses. We went through a process of listing one. Um, and through that, we got down to focusing on one product, one line of business and then our underlying technology. And I think that was the best thing that we did within the business to be successful in terms of growing it. It was just that focus.

OS: Yeah. I think, you know, there's a lot of other Kiwi tech companies where they've built a platform and they struggle with that same thing, that they've built sort of bespoke systems for their customers using that platform. And then they don't know how much to push their platform into markets versus their customer solutions into markets. It becomes quite a sort of a bind actually. I don't think they know whether they're a technology company or an application company.

DL: Well, that's right. And, you know, for our next business, which was Jade logistics, we went on exactly that journey. We had a product that hadn't been that successful. Um, and we really didn't know enough about our product. We didn't know what it should be used, well we knew what it should be used for, but didn't know how it should be pitched. Um, we didn't know what our proper market was. We didn't understand our value proposition. And so you can have these products within your business and you can be selling them, but you really don't know what you're selling or who you should be selling it too, often. And I think, again, that's why a lot of companies fail, and we certainly did. And it wasn't until we started asking the right marketing questions, and truly understanding our product and our market and our potential customers and doing work around what markets we should enter. At that point, we could actually work out what our value proposition was and, you know, then we had an incredibly rapid growth.

GW: Because it was really interesting, wasn’t it? I mean, that product was in the Jade software business for a long time. And it didn't fundamentally change in a technical sense, but in terms of sales, it grew. You know, quite rapidly once you had separated out and started to focus.

DL: And that's exactly right when you have one product to focus on. And when you seek to understand the benefit of that product for your customers, and you understand where you should be selling and where you can get the biggest bang for your buck. So, we sort of went through an ability to execute and market attractiveness exercise. And we've looked for, um, the biggest accumulation of ports in our particular market, which was mixed cargo. And once we identified that market and understood our value proposition, understood what our customers were using our product for. It was just a complete turnaround in terms of our success. We went from 22 ports to having over 130 around the world.

OS: And I understand you had a lot of success in Indonesia. Like that is just, uh, like all the tech companies we talk to Indonesia, I don't think it's ever come up like in 17 years. We've been going strong, never heard a tech company even selling there and you've had a great experience there. So tell us a little bit more about that. Like, what was it like doing business in Indonesia?

DL: For 20 years we shied away from it. In fact, shied away from doing business in Asia, which is strange for a Kiwi company. Um, but then we were approached by someone in Indonesia, interestingly, um, through a person who, was also working in Indonesia with a Jade product. Um, and they really introduced us to the right sort of people to know. So it's very much a government run country in terms of commerce. But the things we didn't understand is that it's the fourth largest nation in the world by population. It's the biggest land mass in terms of coastline in the world for any country. Um, massive archipelago. So it's got lots of islands as well. So when you look at the number of government island ports in Indonesia, there are over a hundred, and that's just government ports. And then you look at the other ports as well and there's probably another one hundred as well.

DL: And the thing that was interesting for us, they are mixed cargo nation. So, there aren't many products in the world that can actually cater for that. So we thought it was great, reason to enter the market, but it took time. I mean, it took us five years before we sold our first product in Indonesia, and it was a large government sale. But the thing that we learned was that you had to go through the right channels. You had to get everything signed off by the government first and then you had to get it signed off by the underlying companies that were state owned enterprises. And then you really had to work hard at tuning your product for the Indonesian market, because it's a completely different market than anywhere else in the world.

GW: And to get back to, I mean, I know it wasn't all about you. It was a big team that took it there, but your experience in the early career in Poland and a really foreign culture and the mentality of being, because you need the patients to work your way through a market like that and stick to it and be patient and communicate and communicate. And so, was that a factor in it?

DL: Well, it's definitely a learning, I mean, things in Poland didn't move quickly, it often took a large, amount of time because of language barriers and culture barriers, and Indonesia is absolutely no different. You know, probably more complicated in terms of the market, but it's, it's one of those things if you were, um, if you truly believe that the strategy is the right strategy, and if you're making progress, you've just got to stick at it. And that's where capital that we mentioned before is really important. You've got to have the capital to be able to invest in markets like that. And for us, it's been, you know, fantastically worthwhile. Um, you know, it's, uh, a very good market once they start using the product, they're incredibly loyal as customers. Um, and that's going to help us move into the rest of the market as well.

OS: And you were involved in that personally as well. Like it's not a south, it was a senior level relationship you needed in Indonesia, as well as your sales team.

DL: Absolutely. So we had myself who was directly involved in, in the sale, and the sales director. Um, we had a European who had lived in Indonesia for 35 years and that was really important to have him in there as well. He was a businessman. Um, and then we also had an Indonesian reseller. So having all of those connections in their market was really important. And again, that's going back to, you can't do all of this stuff by yourself. You know, if you're going to enter a market, that's completely different culture, different languages, and particularly one that's government lead, then you need to do that with other people.

OS: Do you think other Kiwi tech companies are good at partnering with?

DL: No, no, I don't. I think we've got a mentality, which is a bit of you know, the classic number 8 wire. You know, where you do things yourself and you try to get by with as little help as possible. Um, yeah, I, I'm not really sure, but I don't think we tend to partner that well, but I don't think that's just New Zealanders. I mean, I've talked to a lot of people. In fact, the, uh, people that we sold our last business to, we wanted to partner with them, they're an American company and they just came out and said we don't partner very well. So I don't think it's unique to us. I think, you know, partnering is a tough thing. Um, there's got to be a lot in it for each party and finding those synergies where it's really beneficial, um, you know, as is really difficult.

GW: But potentially for Kiwi type companies to try to scale you'd think, because you can imagine sometimes bigger companies trying to partner and get into smaller markets and that is very difficult. Yeah. But to achieve scale in a large markets, sometimes, you know, a reseller arrangement seems to make sense for a lot of B2B type.

DL: I think if, if you want to scale that's incredibly important, but again, the trick is finding the right reseller or the right partner to actually take your products to market.

GW: And then you need, you need well defined products that are well documented, well-supported and you know, that can be taken by a channel.

DL: Yeah, absolutely. Yeah.

OS: What would be the, you know, some of the top attributes would be looking for in a partner from a Kiwi point of view?

DL: Well, I guess from my experience, it would be knowledge of the market. So that's, uh, knowledge of the country as well as knowledge of the market that you're selling into. So for us, it was about ports that was important, um, and connections to government. Um, so, you know, if you were selling, um, uh, banking products, you'd want someone who had knowledge of the banking industry as well as connections into the industry, as well as, you know, obviously a sales record as well and are the right size. So you don't want to be using a Microsoft necessarily as your reseller because they're too big and what's in it for them? You want to find someone where it's going to be of great benefit to them to sell your product.

GW: That's obviously the channel side, you had direct sales people in the states say for, for the logistics business and you invested, you're quite early in investing in the content marketing, digital marketing piece where traditionally some Kiwi exporters don't always, you know, invest heavily in that. Why did you decide to go that route?

DL: I mean, that was really helpful for us because we were selling into a global market. We had, um, I think our product in about 16 countries on most continents and for us to be able to perform presales in all of those areas was just going to be too expensive and time consuming and costly for us. So, the only route that we really could go down conceivably was this digital marketing route. Uh, we used HubSpot, um, fantastic to, uh, enable that pre-sales process to really take place under the covers. Um, and it was all pretty automated. Um, and it just allowed all of our potential customers to do their homework before they actually had those conversations with us. So we found that we were far more advanced in the sales process, um, as a result of that. And it's really the only way that we could have got that global cover.

GW: Hm. And it's become, I mean, we, we see it now with COVID. It has become more important, that digital part of the early part of the sales cycle because you can't send people into the market. You can't go to trade shows so easily, so it's only going to become more important, well it has become more important and it's only going to become more so.

DL: I mean, what we found when we talked to the customers that bought off us was that they had done so much research in the market before they'd even had a conversation with us or one of our competitors. So, unless you've got that content, then I don't think you're going to be successful if you're waiting for your trade shows, if you're waiting for someone to ring you up and ask you to come and visit them, um, I think it's too late.

OS: So you still need capital, obviously the scale of these businesses, but maybe what you spend it on is the mix is slightly different from when you started in the industry. We have seen a bit more people sending people overseas, you know, but more orientated on that, meeting people, shaking their hands versus trying to do a bit of that pre-sale, you know, a little bit more efficiently in a digital way.

DL: Yeah. Well, I mean, for me, capital, the most efficient use of capital is for growth, and the most effective way to get that growth is to get your name and your product out there to as many people as possible. And doing that in the digital form is obviously really, really effective. Um, but investing in sales and marketing, I think fundamentally New Zealand companies do not invest enough in sales marketing.

GW: And why do you think that is? Is it, uh, is it a cultural thing? A historical thing.

DL: Yeah. Yeah. I think we're cheap. I don't think historically we've understood it. You know, if you go to America, it's a sales market everyone's getting sold to, if you are in New Zealand, it's not that type of culture. You're never getting sold to, you know, it's very sort of laid back and understated.

OS: You know, we're all related as well, so you just ring people op

DL: Pretty much, but I think it's that. So I don't think we understand it. I don't think we value marketing as much as we should. I don't think we, um, understand the benefit of it. Um, and certainly marketing has changed so much in the 20 years that I've been in the industry for 25 years. Um, and it's moving so quickly. You've really got to invest in it.

GW: We'll talk about more about that. So, it's changed a lot from the, so from your early days at Jade you know, through to now, how would you sort of characterise the change?

DL: In the early days of Jade we would be traveling around the world with bits of paper in our briefcases, knocking on doors. Um, you know, now so much of that marketing process is automated and so slick and so curated to the right people. So, you can get to the, you know, if you sort of understand your market and understand the, the decision-makers, you can curate content for the CFO, for the CEO, for the ops manager, for the right person. And the ability to do that, in an automated fashion and enables you to just reach so many people with the right message.

OS: Some of the sort of issues around that as well is that we start in the New Zealand market, and we can behave in a certain way, but to compete in the USA market, we need a different model and a different approach. And we, we haven't sort of got that as our background. And it's sort of like, you know, like you're saying, we've got to go full noise over there.

DL: No, and that's right. And it's a big, big world. And, you know, I go back to the Jade days where we had eight products across four markets and it was too much. So I guess if I was going to give some advice, it would be pick a market. Um, you know, what's the most attractive market with your ability to execute and go hard into that market and understand that market. Because as you say, it's completely different to New Zealand, Australia is completely different to New Zealand.

GW: Yeah and I mean, that's a key probably piece of growth advice, isn't it that, um, focus getting that intensity because it's almost, counter-intuitive I think for people, sometimes they want to go as wide as they can. They want to get to a global market, but you have to actually start with an attractive addressable market.

DL: Well, that's right. And I, you know, some people are lucky and, you know, they develop the right product, and it does go global, but it's not that often that that happens. There's usually a bloody hard slog over 10 or 15 years. Um, and then, you know, you hit a bit of a growth streak, but, uh, I would pick one market if you can, find good partners in that market that you can work with, um, and be in that market, don't just sit back in New Zealand, um, and expect it all to happen. You've actually got to be in that market, talking to people, understanding it yourself.

OS: Because you, to sort of summarise up your focus, you said you went from a portfolio down to sort of, you sold some and ended up with one of the main ones was logistics or ports. Yes. And then you actually went even deeper into ports and said, well actually it's only certain types of ports that mixed cargo ports.

DL: Correct, yeah.

OS: And that was your focus.

DL: Yeah. And we didn't grow until we actually had that light bulb moment, that that is what our products for. And then suddenly we were growing at 30 to 50% per year.

OS: So I suppose the other part of this Jade logistics story is that you didn't exit in the end to Navis who was that with a giant competitor of the industry. So how did that all happen? Like because at the start, you were a small company and as there's this massive giant, you know, that was, you couldn't speak their name because they were so big and competitive and then the next minute you sort of sold to them and is a, you know, successful exit. So how did it, what all sort of happened there?

DL: Well, I'm not sure who told me this, but someone said to me that you've really got to know your competitors and they don't, you don't need to treat competitors like competitors. It's as good to sit down with them and have a conversation about the industry and what's happening and get to know them. So that's what we did. Um, but what enabled us to do that was, you know, we started to be successful and therefor were on their radar. And as we started to become a bigger player in the market, so we were basically becoming the second largest in the market. Um, we started having these conversations about what the market looked like, where their product was good, where our product was good. And I guess you start to try and create some, um, idea of value in their minds through those conversations.

OS: So at a senior level, you're sort of you know, starting to collaborate at an information sort of understanding of the market sort of sense.

DL: Yeah, I think people sometimes get a little bit precious about, um, the, uh, knowledge that sits within their company and not wanting to share it. But again, it's about, you know, if you talk to enough people and you have enough conversations, you're going to get a deeper understanding of everything, um, in terms of what you do. And in my view, as long as you're not giving away trade secrets, you know, those conversations are really helpful and largely they lead to really good outcomes.

GW: Hmm. That's a really good insight because I think people are both, you know sometimes there's a fear of an unknown with the competitor. They are, they're almost, you know, fearful of that engagement otherwise. And sometimes the secret of this is a lot of things, but I don't think many people would think of engaging with their competitors like that and trying to learn.

DL: I mean, it was an insight for me as well. I mean, I was very surprised that they were so willing to sit down with us and discuss things and, you know, they were freely sharing information as well, which was good.

OS: So is there a particular moment that you sort of came away thinking, oh, this might be shifting from the conversation to an opportunity?

DL: Well, in fact, they were the, they were the party that we were having conversations with about a partnership model and whether that would work and they bluntly and quite honestly, um, said to us, you know, we don't partner that well. And to be fair, I don't think we would have partnered that well either. But what we saw was an opportunity. And I guess in having those conversations around that opportunity, um, to build a bigger something that covered the market, you know, those conversations evolved to acquisition.

GW: And so now you're, um, you're obviously part of the logistics business that stayed and is operating in Indonesia. So you're doing that part of the business, but you're also moving into sort of governance type roles and trying to share your experience more broadly.

DL: Yeah. I guess what I'm trying to do is to work with, um, smaller companies, um, that are also trying to, grow, whether or not it's within New Zealand or internationally, um, and, and helping them, um, through that process. I'm also doing a little bit of consulting as well, but I'm really enjoying sort of, you know, discussions with different types of businesses and everyone's got different challenges, but a lot of them have similarities as well.

GW: Does it leave you a reasonably optimistic for the Kiwi tech sector? Are you seeing some pretty cool companies?

DL: I think so. I mean, there are, there are lots of companies out there not only in Christchurch, but around New Zealand that have great growth aspirations. And, you know, as a country, we've had a fantastic record of bringing fantastic products and services to the market. Um, and I think sometimes we just underestimate how good we can actually be. And it's being able to share some of those success stories with these guys that give people a bit of, um, I don't know, they get a bit of faith in themselves that they can actually grow their businesses far more than they thought. And, you know, I guess from my perspective, it's two things grow, but at the same time as you grow, you really want to be thinking about creating value. Because at the end of the day, you know, if you're an entrepreneur or a founder of a business there will be a time that you want to exit. Um, and unless you start thinking about those things sort of 3, 5, 10 years out, you may not have necessarily created the right sort of value in the business to allow you to get the most out of it.

GW: Be cause sometimes with the founder and the owner, that's sometimes a hard thing to, you know, step away and look back and understand that that's were a governance perspective does help doesn't it sometimes? To actually say, you've gone great guns on the growth everything's gone well, but let's think about further ahead, this bigger picture.

DL: Absolutely and it's not about these people not being clever because they're incredibly clever people who have done fantastic things, but it's abou that ability to step back and I guess, um, have a look from an independent point of view at the business. Um, and also, you know, having independent people come into the business is important because it does give you a different perspective, but they've also seen a lot of different businesses around and they can, you know, bring that knowledge and those learnings into the, the business as well.

OS: So do you think exiting, you know, the way I suppose that Jade Logistics did, sort of, you know, they sold to a competitive company in the United States? Is it a, is it a good thing to do for the tech industry? You know, because some people have mixed views on this, as sort of, you know, we, we should be growing a whole country full of Xeros, you know, where all the money is coming back to New Zealand.

DL: Well the money does stay in New Zealand when you sell it? You know, you obviously get money and that money generally stays in New Zealand. So, I don't think it's a New Zealand thing. For me, the importance is really about what happens to the business once it's been sold. So, in most of the ones that we've been involved in the business itself has actually remained in New Zealand. So, the RnD continues, the innovation continues, the tech jobs continue. And I think, you know, as a nation, it's about having more tech companies, it doesn't really matter who's owning them. So, if it's owned by the Japanese or the Chinese or Americans, it shouldn't really matter. As long as we're doing tech in New Zealand. And I think the more that we have, then you start to build this groundswell of sharing of information, sharing of innovation and cooperation that we don't really have at the moment, that could actually make New Zealand quite a powerful nation when it comes to tech.

OS: That sort of ties back to your opening statements around, you know, to scale we need capital, and we need partnerships and in market knowledge and they're those companies overseas, that are coming to get our tech, they've got the massive capital massive. They've got the massive reach.

DL: Yeah. And look, there's been, you've only got to look at one example in Christchurch where the company grew from $10 million to, well over a hundred million in recurring revenue in, and it was sold for one point something billion dollars.

GW: Hey, well David, that's been fantastic. Thank you, I really enjoyed it. Lots of good insights there, particularly the one about the competitors and engaging with them, was a really good one, but lots of other things about investing in that sort of marketing and pre-sales activity, you know, being focused on that is really good. Um, I suppose for people that are listening here, they can contact you on LinkedIn or something if they want to, because obviously we've only just touched the surface on some of the, some of the insights you have, uh, but they could reach out to you on there and connect?

DL: Absolutely. I'd love to have a chat with anyone in the industry. Awesome. Thanks very much. Thank you.

GW: Okay. Thanks everybody for paying attention to that interview, I thought it was a really good chat with David Lindsay, what do you think Owen? What did you get out of it?

OS: Well, I actually got so many themes out of that, but I mean, there's a couple of really big ones for me. Really the concept of focus, like we all talk about focus and it's a good thing, but the way David expressed it was, you know, they started with that wide portfolio and they're quite a mature company and have been around a long time and have quite a lot of resources compared to a lot of companies, but it wasn't until they actually got down and found their little place in the world that then it took off. I just, yeah, I just think that's great. Great. Great insight.

GW: I think the thing you need to get out of that for anybody small or large, is that, I mean, he didn't really say this, but it takes a lot of courage to do that as a company because it's not necessarily the intuitive thing to do, but you really have to make some choices and make some sort of sacrifices about what you're not going to focus on as well. Don't yeah. So, yeah.

GW: There's lots of good insights there. I thought, um, I mean, it's really interesting how much they learned and realised that they need to invest in that, the sort of demand generation and lead generation part of the business. They were extremely solid technical people, you know, the high-quality product, good salespeople, but they still realised the need to generate that demand and take the pressure off the early part of the sales process by having a digital play going on there.

OS: I thought they were really mature in this sort of friend vs fou sort of thing. You know, like competitors versus partners, it's just not a straight line. There's a lot of great companies out there. Some of them competitors, some of them are partners, at least let's get to know them all and see what opportunities unfold. I thought well, that's quite an achievement.

GW: That was great. We really enjoyed that chat with David Lindsay, who has had a long career in the tech industry, with Jade Software then Jade Logistics and now primarily in governance roles. Her's just one of many great guests we've got lined up, so we'll look forward to catching you on a podcast pretty soon. Thank you.

Interested in learning more about growing your tech business? Make sure you check out our blog which covers all things New Zealand tech. You can also subscribe to our podcast channel on YouTube, Spotify or Google Podcasts.

See you next time,

Greg and Owen.

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