re: Australia

At first my comments below were driven largely by the offence taken (as an Australian) at Daniel Freeman’s post titled Australia. Check out the article, it refers to working in different countries and the opportunity that brings (or not as the case may be).

Now I find over generalising isn’t a great way to make a point.

“I tried to convey the potential of what I was doing. But Australia just didn’t understand technology, and there is no real strategy”

Bollocks. I live in the UK now and I can safely say that the internet infrastructure available to most UK homes is inferior to that available in most of Australia (not withstanding the huge geographic divide). I use the example of the UK as he mentions living in England in his post. Now this doesn’t imply an advanced knowledge of the technology, but surely the fact that it’s there is because of the demand for it to be so. You don’t build incredibly expensive IT infrastructure unless there’s a fundamental requirement do so.

Further to this, what about being specific to the city you lived in. Last time I checked Australia is a fairly big place, so saying that Australia doesn’t understand technology is a pretty big call. Maybe the clients you encountered didn’t understand technology. I know that most of mine do and are more than happy for me to use it when it’s justified.

As for there being no real strategy, I’d suggest this again is a generalisation. There are various Government sites (one of which is http://www.dbcde.gov.au/) that go into great detail regarding future plans and current legislation.

What I will agree on you with is the inability for things to get done in Australia. Finding a consensus on issues can be difficult (involving many points of view guarantees this) but in Australia we’ve made it into a bit of an art. From Federal to local government all facets of the decision making engine are stymied by an inability to act on what (to us mere mortals) just seems like common sense. Have at look at the news items on Whirlpool (the place to go for Australian Broadband news and information) to get an idea of this in action.

And it’s this inability to act that is one of the main reasons I’m writing this post from London, and not little old Adelaide, South Australia. I wanted to see how things get done in a city that seemingly doesn’t stop for anyone or anything.

And although at first I was offended (hey, I’m Australian! ;-) I do agree that there are more opportunities available beyond her fair shores. Though I suspect that has something to do with the sparseness of the population… which is just common sense.

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2 comments on “re: Australia
  1. It was Brisbane. Perhaps I expected too much from the “Smart State”.

    I’ve tightened up my generalisation just a little. I should have said “was”, not “is”. I did say that things are looking different under the new government. I even say that Melbourne is (technologically) vibrant.

    I lived in Australia during Howard Government, Vanstone’s immigration short-sightedness, and luddite communications senator Richard Alston.

    I always use a metaphor that technology is like a rice pudding. A hard crust on top. The tangible part you can see. Products and services. Underneath is the molten, fluid, hot crucible of ideas, development, and potential. And this is the aspect of technology that most interests me. Not the stuff you can buy at the shops.

    It’s a small consolation that I was right about the up-and-rising areas of technology (RIAs, Flex, and the application of these). And now I’m able to charge an arm and a leg for my time and expertise. But just think what I might have been able to do in Australia had my foresight been matched with some investment, talented and motivated people to collaborate with, or more time to reside in Australia (visa) while my (international) market matured.

  2. Thanks for dropping by Daniel and clarifying a few of my queries.

    If you thought Fatty Vanstone’s policies were no good, you should’ve been around for Philip Ruddock (the minister preceding her)!

    I don’t think the technology “strategy” will be any better under a labour government, but then I didn’t really think there was anything wrong with it under the Liberal government.

    And I suspect that if 5 years ago you were trying to push the idea of RIA’s then I can see why you weren’t having much luck. Talking to clients about things that don’t exist yet tends to be a bit of a hard sell I find ;-)

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