Lessons learned building Australia's first unicorn.
Twenty-one years after selling the company that I founded, Com Tech Communications, for an enterprise value of over $1 billion - arguably Australia's first tech unicorn - I decided to write a book. Drawing on over three decades of experience - gee I'm getting old - and sharing some lessons that I hope will provide valuable advice to anyone looking to start a company or manage a good business. Since 1987 I have hired hundreds of outstanding people, knowing that if I paid well, listened to their valuable ideas and ensured that they loved coming to work every day, I could still be part of something great … even if I am the dumbest guy at the table. These principles have formed the basis of my management style for over 30 years. So much has changed from a technology perspective - yet, in some ways, nothing has changed. Products come and go, but you will always have customers, staff and business partners. How you treat these three constituents will be the difference between building a good company, a great company, an irrelevant company or one that simply disappears.
'As a businessman, David Shein has lived up to his ideals. Don't be fooled by the title of the book; this guy really knows his shit.' - Ian Chappell
In June 1987, David, having recently migrated from South Africa, founded Com Tech Communications as a specialist supplier of networking and communications products. Fourteen years later, he sold the business to Dimension Data at an enterprise value of over $1 billion. At the time of sale, Com Tech employed over 1400 people, with offices Australia-wide and revenues of $700 million. If this weren't remarkable enough, the business was profitable from inception, never used any external debt, and was regularly voted as one of the leading companies to work for in Australia.
Since then, David has been actively involved in mentoring young management teams and investing in a number of startups, many of which have been successfully exited. He serves as an investor and board member for some innovative Australian startups, including cyber security company Kasada; Advanced Navigation, a leader in positioning solutions from the seabed to a satellite; and Simpology, a fintech company providing disruptive home-loan origination software. David is also co-founder of Our Innovation Fund (OIF), an early-stage venture capital fund that invests in interesting Australian startups, as well as a founding partner in the Israeli venture capital enterprise OurCrowd, the first global equity-based crowd-funding platform.
Self-help & practical
Self-help & personal development