Tapping our potential

Tapping our potential

A search for Australian talent has thrown up more than 1000 success stories.

The Rust Report column Aussies Worth Watching commenced on August 8 2004, and recently MyCyberTwin was listed as company 1000.

As someone who follows Australian IT companies, I'm constantly surprised and pleased by the innovative companies that we've covered over these past three-and-a-half years. Some of them have perplexing products and for the life of me I can't figure out who would buy them, but people do, and then there are plenty of others that are truly inspirational.

These entrepreneurial builders have founded and grown each company with a unique character and personality. Activities range from designing systems, manufacturing equipment, providing consulting services, designing Web-based systems, to telecommunications services and more.

The process of converting a passionate idea into an actual product with a business model is certainly not for the faint hearted. Whether it's madness or calculated wisdom or some combination, I have a huge respect for entrepreneurs. Sure, not all of their ideas are worthy of investment but I respect their attempts.

To survive, the Australian IT industry needs a continuous flow of new and innovative companies and ideas, all providing challenges to existing ways of thinking and changing market dynamics. As with any industry, as technology matures it changes. As an industry IT is still relatively young compared to other industry sectors such as energy, automotive, and aeronautics all of which have experienced several challenging transitions over the years.

There is a growing concern about Australia's ability to maintain our competitiveness; we must cultivate the skills needed to create tomorrow's innovations.

Alarms have repeatedly been sounded by numerous industry associations about the need to train a far larger domestic pool of technical talent. This is so vital for the continued prosperity of our country that we can no longer delay action.

With regards to economic factors, governments have the duty of solving economic problems, raising international competitiveness and creating employment opportunities. With regards to society, the government also has the mission to upgrade standards of living, bridge the digital divide, create educational opportunities and increase the skills of knowledge workers among its citizens.

Credit crunch? Recession risk? You'd never know it judging by all the Aussie technology start-up activity. If you hear of any start-up companies that show real promise and are worth watching, please drop us an e-mail.

Len Rust is publisher of The Rust Report.

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