Start Up Blog

Innovation is an attitude

Posted in entrepreneurship by Steve Sammartino on November 6, 2013

Last night we announced at Tomcar Australia that we’d be accepting bitcoin as a payment method when selling our vehicles. Not surprisingly we got a lot of coverage globally in news and technology circles.

The reason I came up with this idea was multi-layered. Firstly, as a new car startup (the first in over 30 years in Australia) our budgets are skinny and our brand awareness is low. It was a damn cheap way (a few dollars on coding in bitcoin payments to our e-commerce platform) to get many millions dollars worth of PR. But there is more to it than that. And this is the key reason:

Innovation is just not about what we make. It is an attitude.

mini Tomcar

At Tomcar Australia we are hell bent on disrupting the auto manufacturing industry because the model is broken and it needs fixing. It needs not only new cars better suited to their environments, but new go to market methodologies. While we know our cars are best in class, we want to be best in class in our approach to everything. To push the boundaries of commerce. Ideas and methods that seem flunky today, become the norm tomorrow. I’m old enough to remember when credit cards seemed like a crazy and risky way to take payment from customers. One of our favourite questions is this: What would the legacy auto industry never do? It’s very cool to be involved in an organisation that embraces and considers the possibilities of every suggestion, and finds a way to make it work.

A key question for start up entrepreneurs is this: where can we innovate outside of what we actually sell?

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3 Responses

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  1. John W Webb said, on November 6, 2013 at 7:51 pm

    Steve, I have been a professional participant in the world of money movement and its parking.
    Please assure me that you know that the golden rule ‘The Rate always reflects the Risk’?
    BitCoin may appear to be a smart move while it is in business. If it disappears then there will be huge problems. and many red faces which will only serve to enhance the position of the banks (at least Dick had the decency to wear a mask when he robbed people ).
    Settlement risk is a huge part of where businesses decide to do business.
    cheers John Webb – http://www.HedgeHogFX.com

    • Steve Sammartino said, on November 12, 2013 at 12:07 pm

      I agree with you John – If you accept bitcoin it doesn’t mean you have to ‘hold it’ – It can – and should be transferred into currency of choice at the time of transaction at the fixed or hedged rate – which we have through coinjar. So in this sense, the risk is minimised. Mind you, unless you business ‘is’ bitcoin my advice to all entrepreneurs is to use it to ‘trade’ and get into fiat currency immediately – not as something to keep a balance of.
      Steve.


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