5 things you need to know in Australian tech today


Today’s 5 things you need to know are brought to you by Tower One, International Towers Sydney. As the availability of modern, sustainable office space in the Sydney CBD continues to fall, discover why astute and visionary business leaders are looking to Barangaroo to future-proof their enterprises.

GoCatch’s new CEO David Holmes is bringing the taxi and ride-sharing app to Brisbane. Photo: Supplied

It’s Monday. Usain Bolt is the fastest man in the world. Again. Let’s get out of the blocks for the week.

1. The Optus EPL app launch has a few own goals. The English Premier League kicked off on the weekend, along with the app Optus built to back up its $180 million three-year rights deal, but if the vortex of disaffection that is Twitter is anything to go by, things didn’t got well, with live coverage borking, leaving footy fans furious and rival Foxtel perhaps trying to contain any schadenfreude.

Read all about it here and here’s a sample of the “feedback”:

Our advice to frustrated customers is to flick over to YouTube and turn up this classic from an era when George Best was scoring (including goals):

2. Ride-sharing is coming to Queensland. And so is GoGatch. The Australian-owned Uber rival announced it’s moving into Brisbane on September 5, the day ride-sharing is legalised in the state. The app, which works with taxis – you even get Qantas points – and also launched as GoCar in February in Sydney, is making its first cross-border expansion since new CEO David Holmes took over from co-founder Ned Moorfield.

Meanwhile, the Queensland government is spending $100 million on the taxi industry to let in competitors, including $60 million in compensation at $20,000 a plate for taxi licence holders and $10,000 a plate for hire cars. All the details are here.

3. What’s it like to work at Netflix? Apparently the streaming behemoth does not tolerate either failing employees or brilliant jerks and the culture is like no other. We’re got a great little roundup by a someone who says they’re a Netflix employee from a Reddit AMA. More importantly, the legendary 2009 slide deck by CEO Reed Hastings – all 126 frames – is right here too.

4. Are you a Millennial would-be startup entrepreneur? Then you need JobHack, an NFP organisation tackling global youth unemployment that wants to give one million young people with the practical skills of entrepreneurship.. They’re running a series of seven short online challenges over a week, November 14-20 – that’s a little under 94 days away – for people aged 18 to 30, for budding entrepreneurs. Best of all it’s free. For details and to register, click here.

5. Knowing the problem you’re trying to solve is a vital startup question. Josh Nicholas continues his great series talking to the sharpest minds Australia’s tech sector, this time talking to the likes of Craig Blair of AirTree Ventures, Muru-D co-founder Annie Parker and Seek CEO Andrew Bassat about the thought processes for startups.

As Bassat says when implementing new technology, the first question on his list is: “What is the problem that we are trying to solve?”

Have a great week. I’m on Twitter at @simonthomsen

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