Start Up Blog

Passion is not enough

Posted in entrepreneurship by Steve Sammartino on April 9, 2013

We are often told we need to be passionate about our work, our startup or the product we are selling. And while it is true, it is also a little bit ephemeral. Today I heard a better way to describe what we need to do to sell our ideas from Brian Tracy – whose an old school business coach, though his approach is still highly relevant today. Brain says we need to be able to do this:

Transfer our enthusiasm.

I love it, and I’m going to use it as a way to judge myself after I present an idea or project to people in the future.


Inspiring change – Superhumans

Posted in entrepreneurship by Steve Sammartino on August 4, 2012

Changing someones opinion is one of the hardest things to do in business. Our world views are very often entrenched and shaped over many years. A consistent improvement in products or service over many years can often get the job done. But this is a long game. Every now and again someone manages to do it a couple of minutes. I have recently had one such moment personally with an advertisement. Watch this below and then I’ll bare my soul to you…

It’s kind of embarrassing to admit this, but before I saw this advertisement I had zero interest in the Paralympics. I honestly felt as though I was compelled to respect them. As though it was evil not to like the event or even care about it. But I didn’t care at all.

Fast forward 1 minute 30 seconds and I not only want to watch them this year, but have a new found level of respect and interest. It’s another great example of how we no longer buy what people do, but why they do it.


Random things

Posted in entrepreneurship by Steve Sammartino on July 31, 2012

Here’s a non-exhaustive list of random things I have done during my life:

Take gymnastics classes

Play Australian rules football

BMX race

High board diving

Build multiple cubby houses

Swim in the local river

Learn basic code on a 16kb ram TRS-80 computer in 1981.

Waste all my pocket money on video arcade games (think Galaga)

Water skiing

Mountain Bike racing

Had 9 broken arms (well the same 2 nine times)

Stand up comedy


Learn CPR

Do Surf Life Saving (so I could get free beach accommodation)

Live on a farm

Live in 4 of Australia’s 7 capital cities

Collect first issues of magazines ( I have many, it was a weird long term investment strategy)

Poultry farming

Start and sell a clothing company

Build a raft that sank on it’s first outing

Learn to speak Italian

Learn to speak Mandarin

Be a Sales Representative

Be a shelf stacker

A valet parking attendant (still my fav’ job ever… could write a movie about it)

Write a movie script (it’s waiting to be made)

Perfect break dancing (all the while wishing I lived in the Bronx)

Work in advertising

Lecture at University

Eat only frozen food for 6 months (don’t ask)

Your list is just as long as this list. Your list is probably more interesting than this list. This list that we all have tells us a great deal about our desires, our passions, our successes and our failures. It shows how much we know and what we are capable of. If we write it and study it closely it often gives us clues on the things that really mattered, and might just tell us what to do next.


45 seconds

Posted in entrepreneurship by Steve Sammartino on July 4, 2011

I implore every entrepreneur to watch the first 45 seconds of this interview. Ben Lee is an average musician, but an incredible artist. Here he encapsulates the thing that matters the most when starting anything: Permission is not required.


The formula is love – Moby

Posted in entrepreneurship by Steve Sammartino on February 6, 2011

I happened upon an interview with the musician Moby at SXSW in 2008 and he had something valuable to say about love:

The question was: “How do you recommend balancing yourself?”

His Answer:

“My advice first and foremost would be to do what you love. Um… because that way, if you do what you love, it increases the chance that you’re gonna have success with it. And even if you don’t have success, at least you spent your time doing something you love.”


Solid advice

Posted in entrepreneurship by Steve Sammartino on September 21, 2010

Startup blog friend and movie maker Ryan Spanger has some kind of a secret project happening called – I’m not sure what it’s all about but here’s a video which is on the home page. I reckon this is one entrepreneurs should keep an eye on given the solid advice in this short video.


Who is the worlds greatest entrepreneur?

Posted in entrepreneurship by Steve Sammartino on November 21, 2009

Steve Jobs?

Bill Gates?

Richard Branson?

Not even close… it’s not a billionaire, not even a millionaire…

It’s William Kambkwamba. William personifies the meaning of the word ‘Entrepreneur’. He has done more with less than any of those above. In all probability William had as little a resource base available as any living person in the free world. This is no exageration.

Here’s why he is the worlds greatest entrepreneur:

- He had no financial resources

- He could not even afford to go to school, had no formal education

- He had to make it work with junk he found lying around

- He is self taught

- He created something incredibly complex

- He did it from a guide in what was then, a foreign language to him

- He built something for the good of others, to help his village

- He was not motivated by money

- He defied ridicule

- He is humble

William is the greatest entrepreneur in the world. William is one of the greatest inspirations I’ve ever had the fortune of being exposed to. Read up on William. Google him. Watch the Youtube videos on William. Absorb what William represents and re-consider what you beleive to be hardship next time you have a tough day. I do.


David Elsewhere – 20 years in the making

Posted in entrepreneurship by Steve Sammartino on August 26, 2009

You may have heard the name David Elsewhere, he’s an incredible dancer who has a style all his own. I wanted to feature him here on start up blog for a few reasons.

  1. There is nothing more niche than what he does (a dance style called liquiding)
  2. He’s been doing it for 20 years
  3. He didn’t stop when rap dancing went out of fashion
  4. He does it because he loves it. No other reason.
  5. He has now made a career out of it, and is an internet superstar. (Just youtube his name)

His major collaboration video has been viewed more than 200 million times. But the internet and youtube didn’t make him famous. His dancing did, it just so happens that the vehicles to promote his amazing stuff came along some 15 years after his preparation began. So here’s an interview to pay homage to staying the course, passion activities and the uber niche. Big ups from startup blog.

Patience pays.


Are you into it?

I’m sure there are examples of people who’ve been successful by simply being good at what they do. But there are more examples of world beaters who are ‘into’ what they do.

I’m into this blog. I love writing it. I did it with as much enthusiasm when 10 people read it each month as I do now when more than 20,000 do.

Some of my favourite entrepreneurs are really into what they do.

Branson loves music & flying.

Trump loves real estate & the deal

Steve Jobs is really into design & aesthetics

Lindsay Fox loves trucks and cars (he even has ‘truck driver’ as the title on his business card!)

Doug Warbrick loves surfing….

Doug and his surfing partner Brian started Ripcurl, the surfing company. They started making surfboards in the late 1960’s and shortly after made some the first surfing wetsuits the world has seen. In fact their first wetsuit was made from a rubber carpet underlay they pulled up from a floor with an old pre world war 2 sewing machine – great bootstrapping. He made the wetsuits so he could endure the harsh Victorian winter and enjoy the best waves of the year down there.

They just kept making really good surfing equipment. Which they also sold, 40 years on Ripcurl is now one of the three dominant companies in the Industry, valued at well over $500 million.

Ripcurl founders & store circa 1970, followed by curent retail outlet

Are you into your job, business or startup, or just passing the days?

The best innovations no less ‘ entrepreneurial success’ comes from people who are really into what they do.

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