BlueChilli’s CEO says startups thrive in chaos and Australia's complex politics won't hurt the industry

BlueChilli founder and CEO Sebastien Eckersley-Maslin. Image: Supplied.

Australia is facing a period of political uncertainty with a fractious Senate taking shape following the double-dissolution election, but the CEO of one of the nation’s most authoritative innovation hubs, BlueChilli, doesn’t think the instability will negatively impact the industry.

In fact, Sebastien Eckersley-Maslin says tech startups thrive under such conditions.

Speaking to Business Insider from San Francisco, Eckersley-Maslin said while he generally tried to avoid politics as a conversation topic, innovation had been put on the national agenda.

“My background is military,” says Eckersley-Maslin, “and in the Navy we were taught to never mention sex, politics or religion at the dinner table. That’s kind of the same thing I do in business.

“One of the important things to note is that both parties played innovation as a very important initiative. We had bi-partisan support for innovation. This wasn’t just during the election – this was prior to the election as well. It’s a very exciting time to be in Australia because for once we have bi-partisan support on something that is really going to change the national language and dialogue and move our country forward, and that’s what is important.

“Innovation wasn’t the battle ground for this election, because both parties supported it and what I’m hoping is that both parties can continue to support it. For our country, it’s really important that we embrace this because this is the future of where commerce, industry, education, health is all going this way.”

When asked if the political uncertainty which resulted from the close election would impact the industry he said: “Chaos and turmoil is what tech companies love, they thrive on it.

“That fact that we have chaos and turmoil in government is not good. It’s always better to have a stable political climate. But I think any startup or tech company that needs the government to survive is doing it wrong.

“I don’t think it will adversely effect it but I think any delays to decisions to implement policies around innovation will adversely effect the ecosystem as a whole for fear of missing out and being left behind on a global standpoint.”

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