Category Archives: Entrepreneurship

Subconscious Over Conscious (Quiet Time)

Lately I have been reminded of the importance of quiet time, I’m not the quietest type so I find I have to make an effort to get some quiet time other than sleeping.  I really think your subconscious is a smarter than your conscious by a decent multiplier, not sure what it is, but it’s defiantly smarter. I think your subconscious is especial great at taking in multiple complex factor processing them and delivering the best solution.  I always find that my subconscious makes the best decisions and have to remind myself to use it and more importantly give it time to work.

I believe this is the reason we always return from holidays or long weekends where we really take some time off with a few good ideas and/or better ways of doing things.  I think my brain capacity (granted it’s pretty limited) spends most of it’s processing power in the present and that it needs to be released from the present to really operate at a higher subconscious level.

So things I’ve been doing lately to help include driving with the radio off, walking with nowhere to go and fishing by myself. I have also tried to use my daily tram ride to do nothing (not play with my iPhone) but this has lead me to believe that 15 minutes isn’t long enough.  I think 30 mins is a minimum to get things working on a subconscious level and the longer you stay there the better it gets.

Music: Human Era – Horrorshow

My First Blog & Accidental Business

3D Printers AustraliaMy first blog was started back in 2011 with my Co Founder of Annex Products Chris Peters.  The blog was a place to throw all the useful information that we could find on the fast growing entry level and open source 3D Printer industry.  A year later and a few machine reviews in we found ourselves with 3D Printers Australia the number one site for all things 3D Printer related in Australia. We made a few phone calls and filled all the advertising spaces within a day, many of which still advertise today!

Rapid 3dWe then had this great audience and ended up even selling a few entry level machines, which turned into a full time gig and a spin of business Rapid 3D. Rapid 3D has now sold to almost all the Universities and many high Schools and Design firms throughout Australia including Melbourne Uni, Swinburne, RMIT, QUT Canberra and many more…

So I guess it shows just being involved in something that you find interesting and accepting opportunity when it presents itself works, and that not every business needs to be a well defined plan with a set course.


Meeting Seth Godin

Power session with Seth GodinIn January as part of winning our category of the Shopify ‘Build a Business’ competition, we were rewarded with a trip to New York where we met blogger, author and all round nice guy  Seth Godin.  For those of you who don’t know Seth, he has written thirteen best sellers that have been translated into more than thirty languages and single handily writes one of the most read blogs on the net. He sold one of his companies, Yoyodyne, to Yahoo in 1998 for 30 million (in ’98 30 million was a lot) and has been consistently called “America’s Greatest Marketer”.

All his accomplishments aside, Seth is a really well-centred individual and I was extremely impressed by him. I wasn’t only impressed by that fact that he cooked us lunch, but how he deconstructed complicated business direction and marketing problems to make them super simple, to the point that the individual he was helping would come up with their own solution.

Having read a few of Seth’s books and being some what familiar with his way of thinking I didn’t expect to be as impressed as I was, but everything seemed to be easy for him and I left thinking that things really are only as complicated or as simple as you make them.

How to start a Kickstarter project if you’re outside the USA

WARNING: the following information is not guaranteed to work, nor is it financial advice. This post is just a few tips based on my own personal experience.  

Kickstarter for australians

Since successfully funding our first project the Opena Case on Kickstarter I have been asked over and over again “how’d you get on Kickstarter if you’re Australian” or “how’d you get an Amazon Payments account as an Australian”.  Well as I explained in my previous post How to run a Kickstarter project if you’re not a US citizen? the first time we ran a project on Kickstarter we used my sisters detail who lives in the US, but I do now know how to run a Kickstarter project which relies on having an Amazon Payments account hooked up to an American bank account. Before we start I must mention that the process will cost you, but if you have an idea worth Kickstarting then I think it’s worth it.

Continue reading

Shopify Build-a-Business Competition Winners

Coffee Joulies shopify competition winners

Shopify have announced the winners of the 2011 Build-a-Business Competiton. The competition was entered by over  3,000 entrepreneurs who created brand new online stores and sold over $12 million during the competition period. The grand prize is $100,000 cash, along with VIP trips to New York City and San Francisco to meet with Timothy Ferriss, Seth Godin, and Gary Vaynerchuk.

Congratulations to the overall winner Coffee Joulies –

Coffee Joulies

Dave Jackson and Dave Petrillo are two mechanical engineers from New Jersey. Similarly to us they crowd funded the capital on  Kickstarter to fund the creation of Coffee Joulies. They’re one of Kickstarters most successful projects, and now one of Shopify’s fastest growing online stores. I’m now personally looking forward to meeting “The Dave’s” in New York along with all the other category winners.


Shopify category winners

We ( were lucky enough to also win our category along with 5 other awesome category winners as seen in the infographic on the left, click the image for a larger view of the whole thing. Chris and I are both super stoked to have taken out the category prize for the “Other” section of the competition. The category prize is pretty awesome too with $25,000 in cash, a VIP trip to New York, a power session to Seth Godin and $7500 worth of Google AdWords credit.

It’s also worth noting that 3 out of the 8 winners were funded on Kickstarter which shows jus how may great Sartups are emerging from Kickstarter.  We also love the fact that only 8% of the entrepreneurs who entered the competition were from Australia, but that 38% of the winners are Australian including Flock-stocks, My Footy Boots and us (Opena Case). Aussie, Aussie, Aussie, Oi, Oi, Oi!!!

Shopify comp

Melbourne Geek’s Article on our success in the Shopify Comp. Melbourne Blog



For tips on how we started a successful online business read my blog post

For tips on running a successful Kickstarter project read my other blog post

How to Start an Online Business

Shopify ReviewThought I’d throw together a few pointers to help others wanting to start up their own online business. The information you’ll find below is based on my experience, over the last 6 months, using these simple strategies and online tools we were able to sell 1000’s of units all over the globe in a matter of months.  Both my business partner, Chris Peters,and I have now quit our day jobs and are currently launching other online stores.

UPDATE 1/03/2011 – With these strategies we were also able to win our category in the Shopify Build-a-Business Competition for 2011 with a $25,000 cash prize, all expenses trip paid to NY, power session with Seth Godin and $7,500.00 of Google AdWords credit. 

I don’t want to go into details about products or business ideas, but rather the mechanics of setting up an online business and the awesome tools available to entrepreneurs today. It’s never been easier to setup an online business and start making money straight away.

Continue reading

Importance of STARTING

Importance of starting

Lately I’ve been asked many question by both friends and complete strangers on topics from starting a business to marketing a product. I don’t have all the answers but the one thing I keep finding myself repeating is the importance of starting. I truly believe that starting is the hardest but also the most important part of the whole process and if you can’t get past it then nothing else matters.

Annex Products signs global partnership with Forward Industries

During our trip to the US we signed an exclusive worldwide distribution agreement with Forward Industries.  We meet with Forward while at CES in Las Vegas and then flew to Santa Monica to hash out an agreement. Press release below.

Annex Products an Forward Industries

Annex Products, the inventor of the Opena® case and Quad Lock, announces an exclusive worldwide distribution partnership with Forward Industries (NASDAQ:FORD), a leading global provider of mobile technology solutions. The partnership includes the distribution of all Annex Products, beginning with the Opena® case and Quad Lock mounting system, two top performing iPhone 4 case accessories.

Continue reading