An Atlassian co-founder explains why innovation still matters for Australia's economic future in just 3 sentences

One of Google’s self-driving car prototypes. Picture: Getty Images

Some tough talk from Atlassian co-founder Scott Farquhar to Business Insider’s Sarah Kimmorley:

“The biggest hurdle we have in Australia in terms of innovation is that most people in Australia have led a very comfy, sheltered life and so innovation is scary because it is change. Change can bring awesome, new things, but it can also be scary. Once Google are producing self driving cars, and we buy a lot of cars, then the money is going to go over to Google rather than Australia.”

This strikes at the heart of a widely-retailed — and probably somewhat accurate — analysis of how Malcolm Turnbull’s innovation platform hurt the Coalition at the last election: that when people heard the arguments about being innovative and agile, they heard threats to their jobs.

But the reality is Australia needs to be making products that will be in demand in the future, or else other nations will do it and Australia will fall behind.

More from Farquhar on innovation in Australia here.

NOW WATCH: Money & Markets videos

Want to read a more in-depth view on the trends influencing Australian business and the global economy? BI / Research is designed to help executives and industry leaders understand the major challenges and opportunities for industry, technology, strategy and the economy in the future. Sign up for free at research.businessinsider.com.au.