Start Up Blog

Spears, Seeds & Spanners

Posted in entrepreneurship by Steve Sammartino on October 30, 2013

Tomorrow I’m pumped to be doing a lightening talk at co-working in the lane way. Which is an uber terrific event being organised by the Hub Melbourne co-working space.

I couldn’t think of a better time to go on an anthropological journey through living and working spaces. The story is surprising and interesting. If you’re in Melbourne tomorrow come along and have a listen – I’ll be on at 12.30pm. No power point, no data, just idea exchange and human knowledge. This is the outline of my talk to whet your appetite:

- Spears

- Seeds

- Spanners

- Cars

- Cables

- Chips

- Challenge

I’m really excited about this one.

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Startup Weekend – Melbourne

Posted in entrepreneurship by Steve Sammartino on November 5, 2011

As I write this around 200 hundred entrepreneurs are #GSD – that is  ‘Getting Shit Done’ at the Melbourne Startup Weekend. Which gets me pumped to just think that there is a thriving community of people who just want to build cool stuff and have an impact. It is being held in the York Butter Factory, which looks like the kinda place I want to hang out in.

It’s one of many awesome community entrepreneurial events – you can read more about it here.

In the interim here is a photo blog of some of the action last night. Giddy up.

Theatre at Transaction – Der Raum

Posted in entrepreneurship by Steve Sammartino on June 29, 2011

Recently I ended up at a bar late at night. It’s a revered place called De Raum. It’s been well covered on the web so I’m not going to give a review of it here. What I will do instead is tell you the story of the ‘Teachers Reserve’. And how this business justifies an ultra price premium.

I asked the bar tender for something sweet, to help take the edge off after a heavy day – something night cap-ish. He said;

“I know just the thing. The Teachers Reserve. For those moments when you’ve done all you can, when the days been hard, and it’s time to reflect, quietly and possibly have a conversation in your own head. It’s not exactly social, but poignant.”

He then made up the drink and presented it in a manner which will make sense when you see the photo essay below. He furtively passed me the book, while he looked in the other direction – as if to say: ‘let this be our little secret’.

Classic theatre at transaction. I was delighted, and I didn’t mind paying the $25 for it.

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The art of iteration – coffee

Posted in entrepreneurship by Steve Sammartino on August 17, 2010

Iterating in business is an art form. It’s how we grow and find a path to establish the features that matter. It’s not about more, it’s about finding what works, which means that as we morph and change, certain features must be sacrificed, left or or purposely cut off. Nature exemplifies this. Nature takes time to roll out new features, and is well prepared to sacrifice old ones which no longer pay their way. Nature takes years to develop the perfect mix, but is in a constant state of evolution.

The coffee market has been one of the most interesting category evolutions we’ve seen in the past decade or so. Especially given the drink has been around thousands of years. What’s most interesting is that it was a commodity market at brand and retail level for the largest part of the past 60 years. Granules in a tin which one mixes with boiling hot water. Large brands then competed on price with occasional soapie style advertising.

Enter coffee culture and in 15 short years everything has changed. Coffee isn’t coffee anymore. Coffee is latte, coffee is short machiato, coffee is espresso, coffee is arabica versus robusta. But it evolved slowly, and the latest trend in coffee drenched Melbourne is cold dripped coffee. The point for startups is simple: we can’t go from Nescafe blend 43 straight to cold drip coffee. We have to take people on a journey with us, chapter by chapter. Shown below is another photo essay of  a coffee haunt on little Collins Street Melbourne called Sensory Lab.

The question for entrepreneurs is what industry can we invent a journey to take people on?

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The non-web side of web businesses

Posted in entrepreneurship by Steve Sammartino on April 19, 2010

If you’re not doing much tomorrow night, and happen to be in Melbourne, I’m giving a little talk at the Hive.

I’ll be focusing on the non-web side of web businesses. It’s free to come and should be fun.

More details here.

Don’t be this person.

Posted in entrepreneurship by Steve Sammartino on October 19, 2009

I had this discussion yesterday. I walked past a hole in the wall cafe. (Tiny cafe which serves take away and stand up coffee in inner city area)

Friend: Wasn’t Joey going to open a business like that?

Me: Yeh, I remember him talking about it before I had even seen one of these in the city.

Friend: What happened to it?

Me: I don’t know, I guess he just didn’t get around to it in the end. Got distracted.

Friend: That’s a shame, looks like a good little business model. What’s he doing now?

Me: He’s in the same job.

Friend: Oh. Ok.

We keep walking …

hole in the wall cafe

Don’t be Joey. It at least try and fail. The old job will be waiting for you if you have to return.

Picture 117

How to be remarkable – Mr Price

Posted in entrepreneurship by Steve Sammartino on September 10, 2009

Do stuff that people just have to tell their friends about. This I am about to do.

On Monday I had the pleasure of being invited to a restaurant for lunch with colleagues. The place is called Mr Price. It is run by Mr Price himself.

Upon entering you know you are about to have a different experience. An experience which is extremely unlike any other restaurant meal. The decor and mixed demographic alone is evidence of this:

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As you can see from the photos above it could well be your favourite Aunties or Grandmas. But it’s Mr Price. And what Mr price does is open his restaurant (home?) in North Melbourne at lunch time only, 5 days a week. He only serves who ever gets the four tables he has – that’s it. Each table gets served once. He decides what to cook that morning which will include 1 entree and 2 main meals. if you don’t like it – too bad. (Believe me you’ll like it).

Mr Price comes out and greats your personally and provides you with the menu of what is available on the particular day. It will be given to you on a hand written piece of paper which he writes himself. He has very neat hand writing. He’ll have a nice old chat and is a very well spoken articulate man. Once you choose your meal, he retreats to the kitchen to cook it. Oh, he’s also the waiter.

At the end of the meal he comes around the tables and has a little chat. It was during this time that he told us that he likes to sleep in and after doing the dishes, he shuts the doors and goes home until the next day.

Mr Price is a nice guy. Mr Price provides an experience. Mr Price isn’t like other restaurants. Mr Price is remarkable.

What are you doing to make your startup remarkable?

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the vital ingredient

Posted in entrepreneurship by Steve Sammartino on May 25, 2009

Someone has made the effort to produce a street stencil just for us entrepreneurs. Given it is the vital ingredient, I thought I’d share it right here on startup blog.

optimism

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