In 2005, Therese Tucker’s company was down to its last three staff when a customer suggested a new line of business. Today BlackLine is valued at over $400 million and due to list on the stock market.
During a visit to Sydney two weeks ago, Therese described her journey from a struggling software startup to a hundred million dollar business on the Decoding the New Economy YouTube channel.
BlackLine’s business automates financial processes, as Tucker explains, “We have the interesting job of providing software that helps companies automate all the things around accounting and the financial close that they currently do on spreadsheets.”
At the time of Tucker’s pivot, the business was supplying a wealth management system when that prescient customer asked her to develop an application to manage the ten thousand spreadsheets they were struggling with for accounts reconciliation.
BlackLine wasn’t Tucker’s first business having been involved in a series of ventures after working as an electrical engineer designing automation systems before moving into the IT industry.
“There’s a reason for the term ‘serial entrepreneur’,” says Tucker.
“It’s a bug that once you catch it you really don’t want to rest until you’ve been successful at it.”
For aspiring entrepreneurs Tucker’s advice is blunt: “The best advice is ‘don’t do it’. Because if you listen to that advice you’ll never make it.”
“It’s the people that are crazy and are determined to work themselves to death and to fail and fail and fail until they don’t fail. It takes that kind of grit and determination.”
“If I tell you not to do it, then that’s great advice for you.”