In just a few weeks, the annual male charity event Movember will commence. That’s when men worldwide will grow mustaches to raise money and awareness for men’s health issues like prostate cancer.
They start with a clean-shaven face on November 1 and then grow and groom their Mo (slang for moustache) all month. The funding raising happens when others pledge money for them.
Movember has turned into a worldwide phenom, but it first sprouted in Sydney, Australia.
So naturally, the CEO of one of Sydney’s hottest tech startups, Atlassian, signed on to grow his Mo for moolah.
Atlassian is an enterprise software company that competes with GitHub. It’s so successful and watched, it’s like the Facebook of Australia making its cofounder CEO, Scott Farquhar, a little like Sydney’s Mark Zuckerberg. The founders are wealthy, grace magazine covers and sometimes hobnob with Australia’s Prime Minister.
“The fund raising wasn’t going well,” Farquhar told Business Insider. Employees weren’t stepping up to support him. So he challenged the company. “If we raise $US20,000 I’ll shave my head at the end of Movember. If we raise $US30,000 I’ll wear a mohawk and if we raise $US40,000, I’ll wear a blue mohawk.”
They raised $US43,000, and on December 1, the whole company gathered around to watch Farquhar get his head shaved and dyed.
He forgot about one thing though. That night, Atlassian was invited to a nationwide awards ceremony, with the Prime Minister in attendance. He had to go newly mohawked. Then his company won an award.
“I had to stand up in front a 1,000 people with a ridiculous blue Mohawk,” he laughs. He didn’t go full Mad Max and wear a leather jacket and chains though.
The mohawk didn’t last long. It was taking him hours to wash it, dry it, and gel it every day. “Like a full-time job. I lasted part of a month then just shaved my head,” he told us.
Here’s Farquhar and Atlassian’s other cofounder and CEO, Mike Cannon-Brookes, with the award winners that night. Look for the pointy head in the back.