25 THINGS

Idealog - - OPINION -

Clau­dia Batten i s an en­tre­pre­neur who l i ves i n the United States where she’s built sev­eral tech­nol­ogy com­pa­nies: Mas­sive In­cor­po­rated, which sold to Mi­crosoft, and Vic­tor & Spoils, which sold to global ad­ver­tis­ing com­pany Havas World­wide. She’s pas­sion­ate about tech­nol­ogy and cre­at­ing busi­nesses of the fu­ture, work­ing ti re­lessly with count­less New Zealand tech com­pa­nies as ad­vi­sor and men­tor. She’s spent the l ast three years work­ing with New Zealand Trade and En­ter­prise as i ts North Amer­i­can re­gional di­rec­tor and i s cur­rently a di­rec­tor of Serko (an on­line travel book­ing tool) and dig­i­tal ad­vi­sor to the board of West­pac New Zealand. Here, Batten knows things, pre­dicts things, wor­ries about things and i mprove things.

Five things that worry me about so­cial me­dia

1 Af­ter early be­ing on, I now a huge wor­ried pro­po­nent we are of too so­cial ab­sorbed me­dia by the medium. 2 I worry that we care more about tak­ing a good photo for In­sta­gram than we do about be­ing in the mo­ment. 3 I worry we care more about what other peo­ple think about how our life looks than we care about how our life feels. 4 I worry our views on beauty are be­ing warped be­yond all recog­ni­tion. 5 And I worry we are get­ting too po­larised by peo­ple stat­ing opin­ion and ‘facts’ on so­cial me­dia and in the process that we are los­ing the art of open­ness, in­quiry and dis­course.

Five things I pre­dict for 2038

6 Every­thing we know about health and well­ness will have changed, and we will be ob­sess­ing much more over our gut bac­te­ria than our blood pres­sure. 7 In­ter­rup­tive ad­ver­tis­ing will be a thing of the dis­tant past (please, it MUST have hap­pened by now) and mar­ket­ing will be a much more sub­tle and trans­par­ent art form. 8 Every­thing will be au­to­mated and in­tel­li­gent, we will all have an AI as­sis­tant who or­ders our gro­ceries, man­ages our mail, op­ti­mises our fi­nances, helps us with le­gal mat­ters and man­ages our bills and ac­count­ing. We will not spend a minute think­ing about these things. 9 No one will go to univer­sity as we know it now. I’m still not sure about tra­di­tional school­ing. Par­ents still need some­where for the kids to go while they are at work, so let’s stick with Univer­sity. Mirac­u­lously, I will still be 27.

Five things you wish you knew be­fore you started a ca­reer in tech

11 To start sooner. 12 To be more out­ra­geous and ag­gres­sive about what is pos­si­ble. 13 That every­thing will take about five years longer to hap­pen than I think it will. 14 To raise more cap­i­tal for less eq­uity, al­ways. 15 How to code.

Five things you wish New Zealand would do to sup­port the tech sec­tor

I don’t have five things, I have one thing. While I do think there is money in the sys­tem to fund start-ups and I do see a lot of good busi­nesses get fund­ing, I think as a na­tion we are very con­ser­va­tive in­vestors. Many of the riskier and big idea start-ups need to head off­shore for their later stage rounds. On one level, this can be ben­e­fi­cial as off­shore money typ­i­cally also comes with in­ter­na­tional scale ex­per­tise and deep net­works – both which are cru­cial to scale. My con­cern is that as a na­tion, this also means we lose a lot of the ben­e­fit when that com­pany ex­its as the money stays off­shore. So I would love to see more later stage fund­ing of com­pa­nies, es­pe­cially those with un­con­ven­tional ideas – ‘moon­shots’ as we like to call them in the US.

Five things that can be done to sup­port tech en­trepreneurs

21 Make 22 the planes faster. Make 23 the days longer. Make the caf­feine stronger. 24 Make the money go fur­ther. 25 Make the cus­tomers say yes quicker.

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