‘Sometimes knowing how to do something is a disadvantage’. Steve Sammartino
Thanks to our relationship with The Illawarra Connection, the LIP had the rare opportunity to chat over breakfast with Australian Futurist, Author, Technologist and Speaker, Steve Sammartino, https://stevesammartino.com/, a keen surfer and devoted family man, who also loves trainers and busted out some gold ones for the morning’s event.
The conversation was varied and fast, jumping from subject to subject with animation and authenticity. If Steve didn’t know the answer to a question, or doesn’t know quite why or how he achieved something, he’s not afraid to admit it. When Michael McKeogh asked how he builds and prepares a product or company to sell, Steve advised he doesn’t. Steve never starts a project with the end goal of selling, and when he has sold in the past, Rentoid for example, the offer has come to him at the right time and for the right reasons. In the case of Rentoid, it was the backend and the technology that was attractive to the purchaser, as Steve said he was a little too early for the Sharing Economy to really take hold for the top end to be lucrative enough to hold onto.
One of this years big projects for Steve is a TV show, and he has set up a production company but hasn’t actually made TV before, and uses this to his advantage to question why things happen and who they benefit to shift the paradigm and in the process pave the way for others, which he has done consistently in his career.
Talking regional was a focus of the mornings chat, and Steve encouraged the Illawarra to undertake a Regional Renaissance and gave the following advice. “Ignore politics. If you’re waiting for a change of government to change your fortune you are already lost”
Steve recommended we identify and sell our regional selling points, and stop thinking small. Technology is the greatest tool to grow business, and with the right marketing angle you could sell your product globally. Big ideas can come from regional areas and can be talked about internationally if you have the right communications strategy and create interest and excitement.
Steve believes we should “get paid for the value we create not the hours we work” and when he’s contracting someone to create or assist on a project he cares about how much it will cost and when the goal will be reached, not the hours it will take to produce.
Stacey C eloquently delivered the vote of thanks on behalf of the LIP, sharing she would be extra motivated at some well timed meetings she was returning to the office to conduct thanks to Steve's motivating words about focusing on the outputs instead of the hours.
The final gold of the morning was the observation from Steve that “if you can live on half your income you only need to work one week in two” meaning you could spend half your time just living and enjoying life instead of working so hard just to over consume. This was great advice to end with, but I reckon Steve wouldn’t want to give up his trainers.
(A big fan of podcasts, Steve recommends the following:
Recode Decode, Pivot, Planet Money. Harvard Business School and Future Sandwich)
Blog posts written by the Leadership Illawarra Program Cohort.