Rod posted here about a NZ Institute intiative to look at the broadband issue in New Zealand (and oh there is an issue)!

Leaving aside the actual intiative (which I wholeheartedly support) I was interested that Rod is on the advisory board for this. Now of course there are those out there who would suggest that since increased broadband equals better uptake of web based functionality, and hence increased SaaS uptake, Rod’s involvement is one of self-interest, I myself would disagree.

We have an interesting ethos in New Zealand that is different from the ethos elsewhere (and especially it would seem in the valley). That ethos is that influential New Zealanders expect of themselves, and have an expectation thrust upon them, to work for the greater good.

Look at it this way, beyond the direct benefits to Xero of increased broadband in New Zealand, Rod has (I believe) a personal desire to see this country excel. From his perspective broadband is part of the formula for excellence.

On another level it’s reasonable to think that Rod and co could have flicked Xero pre IPO and made themselves a few tens of millions of dollars in the process. But they didn’t (and just the fact that Rod is doing Xero when he has no financial imperative to do anything anymore is a similar theme), they played it for the long haul.

So a hat tip to all those out there who put their money where their mouths are and do good, not only for themselves, but for all of us – together we’re building a better country

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.

2 Comments
  • “We have an interesting ethos in New Zealand that is different from the ethos elsewhere (and especially it would seem in the valley). That ethos is that influential New Zealanders expect of themselves, and have an expectation thrust upon them, to work for the greater good.”

    Most people I’ve met in business around the world (and especially the US) are decent, ethical people, and nearly all were engaged in greater good activities. Likewise, there are people in US, Oz, and UK I wouldn’t do business with, but no more or less proportionately than in other countries, including NZ. You risk being offensive and naive at the same time, Ben, which I’m sure wasn’t you’re intention.

  • Point taken Jim but I still contend that, along with the fact that the bach/boat/bmw mentality causes some negative things in terms of limiting growth, the positive flip side of the mentality is that people focus more on altruism than self.

    In short I contend that the ethos is stronger here than elsewhere. Or perhaps better t say the entry point to alrtuism is lower here than elsewhre (don’t want to annoy Bill gates or Warren Buffet)

    Having said that my example was using Rod Drury who isn’t guilty of the b/b/b syndrome

    Perhaps my contention is a little simplistic but it’s still my contention and I’m sticking to it (for now)

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