Keep your ego in check

13/07/2015 - 16:59

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Entrepreneurs need to park their ego if they want their idea to go global, according to one of the ‘sharks’ from the Channel 10 TV show, Shark Tank.

Internet pioneer and startup investor Steve Baxter.

Entrepreneurs need to park their ego if they want their idea to go global, according to one of the ‘sharks’ from the Channel 10 TV show, Shark Tank.

In a recent visit to Perth, internet pioneer and startup investor Steve Baxter told the monthly eGroup gathering that individual egos often got in the way of otherwise sensible business decisions.

“You have to get out there, and you need some ego to kill the giant and take on a unicorn, but you must hold it in check,” Mr Baxter said.

Trained in electronics during his army days, Mr Baxter set up an internet service provider while still in the service, which he sold before setting up Pipe Networks, a wholesale provider to ISPs.

“This was an eight-year journey. We listed on the ASX at 40 cents,” Mr Baxter said. “And we turned down four offers before accepting $6.30, or $373 million. As the share price rose to $2.50 and then $3, we were being told we were too expensive. People could not accept the valuation, and then it went higher. Ego got in the way.”

Mr Baxter is also in Perth as a mentor on the Amcom Upstart tech accelerator program, having set up a similar organisation, Startup Catalyst, in Brisbane, his hometown, as well as River City Labs, a co-working space similar to Perth’s Spacecubed.

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