Business planning, IT, Local, Sales and marketing, Website Strategy

Why being afraid of customers can hold tech start-ups back

Rose Powell /

Design marketplace 99designs is one of Australia’s major start-up success stories.


The international platform has grown to 240,000 registered designers, and pays almost $2 million to designers each month.


The 90-staff strong team is based in Melbourne, San Francisco, Berlin, Paris and London and has launched a new stand-alone service this week.


Chief operations officer Jason Sew Hoy spoke to StartupSmart about why their plans to hide behind a well-functioning tech platform held them back, and how they stopped being afraid of their customers.


Rose Powell

Rose is the current head of growth at Rampersand Ventures. She was formerly a reporter at StartupSmart.