Technology

The tech year that was: A million thanks and Happy Christmas to you all

Fi Bendall /

This will be my last post for 2014, as I go into hospital and return in 2015.

Usually at this time of year I get many requests asking me what’s the next big thing for the coming year. In fact, I get many questions throughout every year asking me to peer into a crystal ball: “What’s going to replace Facebook?”

That question used to be about MySpace!

And no I didn’t call it then and can’t now! “What’s the next Twitter?” “Will Snapchat replace SMS?” Blah, blah, blah.

This is from a girl that started in consumer electronics in the late 80s and didn’t think DVDs would take off! Why ask me? I wouldn’t be so arrogant to state nor call it.

Reality is there is neither futurist nor crystal ball. It means going with the flow and understanding the market. Even Silicon Valley is awash and celebrating failure to find the next one thing. The Americans embrace that and should be applauded.

I asked a seasoned sharemarket chap to speak to my son, who has ambitions in hedge trading. He wisely told him, it wasn’t what he learnt at university nor a taught thing – it was understanding and listening to the market.

Ears to the ground, listen and watch: the best market makers are the bookies at Randwick, eyes and ears everywhere. That’s how you pick a market. It’s old fashioned and it’s not changed, even for the geeks. Ears and eyes everywhere, watch failure, because that is where success will emerge.

So no “digital/social media” predictions from this old girl in tech. But what I will tell you, from a very non-digital point of view, are my personal learnings as a business owner for this year:

  • Always demand and know you are deserving of respect, you are a business owner, regardless of size, turnover or any societal quantum.
  • Look out for and meet the most unlikely people; despite first appearances, they are often the ones that can help you most
  • Be yourself. Maybe now I am getting older, the “I don’t worry too much what you think about me, it’s what I think about you” serves me very well; maybe it’s time it becomes cross-generational.
  • Celebrate our youth and help them come forward. This year, I have loved helping and have been inspired by the passion I have gained from those coming through, including people such as Chris Gilbert and Jonny Wilkinson (Equitise), Jack Delosa (The Entourage) Martin Thomas (Very Young Successful Entrepreneur)
  • Always be open to mentors, whatever your age. David Sherbon – I thank you Sir and continue to work with you and your team at Ascienta, it is a privilege and pleasure. Rod Walker for your fairness and spirit, your input is beyond your corporate experience and has taken me into a place of self-discovery. Bernard Salt, because you are just awesome.
  • Always recognise those that support and believe in you and are open to you being yourself and collaborating. I have had amazing connects and certainly not limited to people like: Annalie Killian, John Karagounis, John Abrahamian, Gary Bunker, Anthony Mansour. Some very high profile people that may not care to be mentioned here, and so many high achieving SMEs I couldn’t list the amazing network and respect I have for those guys. You know who you are!

I think this is the year I realised how many people are around me and I am around them in the most positive way.

It is certainly a digital age. I think if I was going to make a prediction it would be to turn my attention to a more human connection age that technology facilitates not dominates.

To Private Media and Smart Company, through my outreach via your channel I have met some amazing people this year and I thank you sincerely for the role you play in my community and bringing like-minded people together. Many thanks to everyone I have come across and that have connected with me through this channel, I have appreciated, most of your feedback, sometimes not all of it! But I wish everyone the best Christmas and New Year and hopefully if St Peter doesn’t grab me on Friday, I will be back In Jan.

See you then,

Fi

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Fi Bendall

Fi Bendall is chief executive of The Female Social Network and a Westpac/AFR 2015 100 Women of Influence, who was described by CEO Magazine as 'The CEO's Secret Weapon'. An expert and pioneer in digital strategy, she has over 23 years’ experience in the digital and tech sectors.

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