Quitting a Dream Job at Google to Build One of the Fastest Growing New Businesses in Australia

Publift
August 31, 2021
Quitting a Dream Job at Google to Build One of the Fastest Growing New Businesses in Australia

The below content is supplied by Derek Stewart, Future of Australia. This podcast was recorded on 16 September 2020.

On Episode 41 of the “Future of Australia” podcast, I speak with Colm Dolan, the CEO & Founder of Publift, who help publishers increase advertising revenue.

They grew over 141% last financial year, to do nearly $1 million in annual revenue, and become the 14th fastest growing new business in Australia.

This made Publift, on the Financial Review list of 100 fastest growing new companies in Australia, one of the FASTEST GROWING new businesses in Australia.

We Discuss…

  • Studying IT and Business Studies in Ireland, before being accepted into Google’s graduate program in Ireland
  • Being in the USA working for Google, and feeling that he had made it in life.
  • The work obsessed culture in the USA, especially in the Silicon Valley tech scene, which did not match his personality.
  • “My mother cried for three days” and why those around him could not believe he left a secure job at Google, and how she still asks him when he will go back
  • “I did not realise how hard it was, doing a startup”
  • Growing revenue to over $13MM+ per year, with 150%+ growth
  • The best part of growth was validating an idea, after putting his life and finances on hold
  • “Keep costs low and focus on the user” as the secrets to success for publishers, along with diversifying their revenue, across models (ads vs subscription), geographic mix across markets, and technology platforms
  • Publishers often hire direct sales people who do not yield results, and need to keep their costs low, and ensure all of their costs deliver a return on their investment.
  • Australia is very entrepreneurial compared to Europe, with tradies marketing their own small businesses, or people investing in a portfolio of properties, but less commonly wanting to build larger companies or tech companies
  • “Work for a startup” as his advice to young people, and how cushioned you are from reality in very large corporates
  • What is the problem you are trying to solve, and why is the burning desire that will motivate you to success?
  • Looking for people who have worked in other startups, versus big companies, as few can make the leap

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