Startup Advice

The one thing startup founders shouldn’t delegate, according to the founder of Blue Sky Mark Sowerby

Dinushi Dias /

“Storytelling” is the one task startup founders shouldn’t delegate, according to Queensland’s chief entrepreneur and founder of Blue Sky Alternative Investments Mark Sowerby.

As a founder you’ve got to be the storyteller and it’s got to be your story,” Sowerby tells StartupSmart.

“You’ve got to have the conviction and belief in it, and know it’s true.”

Articulating the story of your startup as a founder is a powerful mechanism for bringing other people on the journey you envision, he believes.

“It’s not about being a bullshit artist , it’s about being a storyteller [so] that people can look at you and go ‘even if I don’t think that you’re right I can see you do’,” says Sowerby.

Reflecting on the journey of building Blue Sky Alternative Investments into a publicly listed fund on the Australian Securities Exchange, which manages more than $2 billion in assets, Sowerby says maintaining “laser focus” on his venture’s story has played a critical role in its success to date.

“[It’s] making sure we didn’t deviate from the story then also having awareness to back-test the story a lot,” he says.

As founders build their ventures into successful companies, he says, they should always ask themselves, “are we still focused on what we should be doing?” and, “are we still on track [or] are we just chasing the next shiny thing?”

“There’s a balance between having people understand all the possibilities but only chasing the ones that matter … that’s a judgment call,” he says. 

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Dinushi Dias

Dinushi Dias is a freelance journalist and a former StartupSmart reporter and multimedia content producer. She is the co-founder of Melbourne-based production house Dinushi & Power.

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