The CEO of Australian financial software company IRESS says the political debate about diversifying Australia’s economy through technology-led innovation is “inflated with bad cliches” and argues the challenge has never been about the supply of ideas but the ability to turn them into profitable businesses.
Prime minister Malcolm Turnbull announced a $1.1 billion package of measures to support innovation as his first major policy announcement last November, positioning it as a platform to support the growth of new industries and employment sectors as the economy rebalances in the wake of the mining investment boom.
In comments to Michael Roddan at The Australian, Andrew Walsh, the CEO at the ASX-listed IRESS, says the rhetoric around the so-called “ideas boom” has been “really shallow”. Here’s an excerpt:
“There’s a huge difference between having an idea and creating a business,” he told The Australian.
“This whole political agenda of focusing on the ‘ideas boom’ — it’s easy to come up with ideas, it’s hard to turn prototypes into real things and then get revenue on them.”
He said the notion that Australians had not been coming up with ideas and now needed to start was “really shallow” and risked making the country look like it was having a “mid-life crisis”.