Visit to Service Rocket

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We met Robert Castaneda the CEO and founder of ServiceRocket ($26m revenue) and this is his advice for entrepreneurs:

1. My journey started at IKEA when I was 14. Worked there for 5 years. The amount of innovation there was amazing, it was the best place to learn things. They kept changing the products. Their ability to furnish the world at the scale they have before technology is mind blowing.

Then went to do a computer science degree at UTS. I luckily knew someone that had connection with Borland and started as an intern but the role then became full time. The amazing thing about Borland was that they were a true SV company but they did engineering in Sydney too.

Heaven for me was downloading a PDF and reading it on the train. That’s how I taught myself to code.

I then landed a job with a small company at SV. My job was teaching 5 day courses. From then on I would do full time work in Silicon Valley and full time uni in Sydney. I would travel back and forth between Sydney and SV every three weeks and even then finished my degree on time.

2. The culture of any organisation is shaped by the worst behaviour the leader is willing to tolerate.

Our values:
– delight the customer
– Share the knowledge
– Think team
– Focus on the outcome
– Talk straight

We wanted to have phrases in our values that were action oriented and moving. And the values are the foundation based on which we built everything. No matter how great your product is, in 5 years no one gives a shit. What doesn’t change is your values, the feeling you give the customer.

3. Our journey of name change:
– Custom ware
– Custom ware Asia pacific
– Custom ware Asia pacific (USA) inc
– Training rocket
– Service rocket

4. Nothing happens until someone sells something. You don’t want the early adopters to just use it, you want the people in the middle to use it, the people that go to work 9-5 because they don’t like change. That’s when you earn a lot of money.

5. Consumption economics is a good book to read.

6. You need to be where your customers are. So my customers are here. We sell to software customers and we ran out of them in Sydney. I don’t subscribe to “let’s create a Silicon Valley in Sydney”. No, the ecosystem is here, and you need to understand it and have part in it. The biggest opportunity we have, is to think global, so I don’t see country boundaries.

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