Top 10 Life Lessons From Simon Hackett

Top 10 Life Lessons From Simon Hackett

Internode founder Simon Hackett was appointed to the board of NBN Co today, which sounds a very sensible move given his extensive experience in the ISP sector. To celebrate, here are 10 key lessons (for both business and life) from Hackett’s career to date.

1. Do the right thing by your customers Internode’s success can largely be attributed to its excellent customer service (it regularly tops Roy Morgan surveys for ISP customer service). It’s unlikely that Hackett would have agreed to the 2011 sale to iiNet if that company didn’t also treat customer service as essential, not an annoying expense.

2. Business decisions don’t have to be made in a hurry. Internode first began talking to iiNet about a possible merger 10 years before it happened. “This deal was done at the moment it was ready,” he noted at the time. “It’s taken a long time to reach the point where it makes sense. ” A rushed decision is unlikely to be a good one.

3. Electric cars make sense Back in 2009, Hackett drove 501 kilometres in a Tesla Roadster on a single charge (and 300 kilometres in total) to demonstrate the cost-saving potential of electric vehicles. The total bill? $126.11 — and that was using peak-cost electricity.

4. You can be a business leader and keep a personal blog Don’t believe us? Check it out.

5. You have to embrace change early Convincing businesses to shift to IPv6 remains difficult, but Internode began experimenting with it in 2008.

6. Wi-Fi can transform a city While other cities dither about offering Wi-Fi in the CBD, Internode has long provided a service in much of the Adelaide CBD. By next March, that will be expanded considerably to cover virtually the whole CBD area. As a regular Adelaide visitor, I’m a big fan. Time for the other states to catch up!

7. Inbox zero is possible It may not be permanent, but it can be done:

8. Be pragmatic about tech deployments As Luke notes over at Gizmodo, Hackett’s approach to the National Broadband Network is a pragmatic one. He’s keen not to see a reduction to Coalition-level speeds, but he doesn’t want the cost to blow out either. One potential solution? Simplifying the network by removing expensive quality-of-service (QOS) and voice port options.

9. Passions can translate into good business investments Hackett has long been an enthusiastic pilot. This year, he put his money where his wings were, investing in Australian company AvPlan, which develops iOS navigation software for pilots.

10. It’s totally OK to have a flux capacitor in your office. Of course it is.


  • 3000 kms on a single charge? Are you sure about that 🙂 I think the Tesla people would be very happy to hear about this.

  • It was a 3,000km trip, but recharging occurred. Simon did a “one charge” trip –
    The record for the furthest drive by a production electric vehicle on a single charge is also held by the Roadster, thanks to a long haul pulled by early owner Simon Hackett, who drove 501km in Australia with his own Tesla Roadster in 2009. (The Motor Report)

    • I think you’ll find that record has now been smashed by the Tesla Model S, which has been driven over 600km on a charge multiple times now.

      • The Tesla Model S has a much, much larger battery (85 kWh vs 53 kWh) so of course someone drove further than my Roadster record, once those cars existed. They didn’t exist when I established that record 🙂

        Just wait until I get my own Model S delivered in 2014. I do mean to give that distance record a serious tilt with it 🙂

        • Hi Simon. Wasn’t trying to take away from your record (which was very impressive, I might add). You’re right – of course the record will be broken with a larger battery capacity! I was merely pointing out that the record mentioned above has been broken. Look forward to seeing what you can do in a Model S! 😀

          Also, very happy to see you on the NBN Co board! I hope you’ll be able to have a hand in helping the NBN get back on track (as per your presentation – Fibre on a Copper Budget).

          P.S. A bit OT, but what do you think the chances are of persuading the government to redirect some of its “Auto Manufacturing Assistance” funds towards enticing Tesla to have a factory in Australia? A couple hundred million could go a long way in the hands of Tesla and would work well with the federal government’s “direct action” climate policy. I hear Ford will be vacating one of their factories right around when the Tesla Gen III vehicle is meant to start being produced…..

  • Apparently Simon’s commitment to customers meant he would inhabit the Whirlpool forums for many hours a day. Impressive.

    • This was most definitely true, every other internode thread had a post by Simon to help out or clarify.

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