Following on from my previous post regarding the Skellerup layoffs, an interesting post here from Brian Sweeney of Sweeney Vesty/NZ Edge/7*7 fame.

As Brian so rightly comments, we are nation of “she’ll be right”ers, happy to achieve a modicum of success but often not striving for excellence. If we want to truly succeed on an aggregate scale we have no option but to find some ambitious, driven, passionate and inspired leadership to take our businesses and create our own versions of Nokia, Ikea, B&O, Danish Design etc etc.

Despite having made some public criticisms of Icebreaker in particular and the Better By Design programme in general, it has to be said that they have some runs on the board. Icebreaker, Phil&Teds and Methven are doing the business of building global brands. My concerns lie more around the way their message has been articulated.

I believe a degree of manipulation of facts has occurred to enable them to rationalise decisions they have made post-event – in particular I still firmly believe it is viable to manufacture high class products in New Zealand – witness Danish Furniture design as a perfect role model. This however is a topic for another time….

In any case the bottom line is simple – build some world class business, the challenge however lies in choosing businesses to build that will continue to derive revenue to be repatriated to NZ. Rod Drury has pledged a commitment to continuing Xero as a NZ owned and domiciled business and this is the sort of model we need to continue finding and developing.

If we want to continue enjoying a first world standard of living we simply have no other option.

Ben Kepes

Ben Kepes is a technology evangelist, an investor, a commentator and a business adviser. Ben covers the convergence of technology, mobile, ubiquity and agility, all enabled by the Cloud. His areas of interest extend to enterprise software, software integration, financial/accounting software, platforms and infrastructure as well as articulating technology simply for everyday users.

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