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.
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:
— Simon Hackett (@simonhackett) November 8, 2013
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.