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Coworking Spotlight: Geoff Mether and Know Business

In our minds, the best part of the coworking community here at the Canberra Innovation Network is bumping into interesting, fun, motivated, super smart people every time we stretch our legs. Most recently we bumped into Geoff Mether, CEO of Know Business and all-around Atlassian expert, and got to know him a little bit better.

Tell us a bit about your journey from desk jockey to entrepreneur.

TLDR: left public service (freedom), contracted (>$), started a business to help more customers (>heart, <$) with a mission is to help more teams deliver (>heart, >$, >fun). We train and deliver Atlassian solutions.

In 2014, I had a Mr Fluffy home – I’ve learnt to engage with risk, rather than avoid it.

In 2016, I switched from being a EL2 Public Servant (Department of Finance, IT Procurement) to become a contractor working for one government agency. I was helping them deliver a digital transformation program, mentoring their staff and helping them work more collaboratively.

In 2018, I started my own business; it was pretty simple concept – I’d work with consulting businesses and clients, just being a part of their team. Gun for hire? Perhaps a water pistol might be a better metaphor πŸ˜‰

In 2019, I started helping more and more teams deliver their projects. Atlassian heard about some of my work and we joined their partner program. It was a good fit – we loved their tools and team culture.

In 2020, we (see that change?) started to get work and engage people to help deliver that work.Β Now we are on the Cloud, Software and Marketplace to sell to the Australian Government. We’re a team that has people onsite with customers and also work remotely – two of our team (husband and wife) work part-time on a property in regional NSW, and help clients across Australia.

Tell us about what you’re working on.

Helping the Department of Education, Skills & Employment with a few projects (embedded in their teams) to deliver major initiatives! Since March we’ve helped one team of 24 developers / BAs / etc. switch from monthly releases to weekly releases. Product shipped increased, overtime dropped, production support issues addressed within two weeks (previously 6-8 weeks) … so that water pistol’s firing on all cylinders.

Working with clients (ASX listed and Councils, most recently) to either implement, review or train in Atlassian or other partner products.

Doing some pro bono work with Lids4Kids andΒ setting up collaborative tools for them.

And … we’re in final negotiations to implement a solution for an Australian Government agency, which will be a 3+2+2 year deal (our first this large). The bid was submitted in April 2020 – that’s right, well over 12 months.

Describe your business journey in three words.

Engage with risk.

What’s on your daily to-do list?

  • Review leads – is there anything I should do today to improve the likelihood of conversion?
  • Check to-do list – is there anything I need to do for clients or proposals, etc.?
  • Check in with team – are there any blockers?
  • What do I need to do for my specific clients (I work approx 30 hours / week for a client)?
  • Are there any podcasts I should listen to?

What are you looking forward to achieving in the next 12 months?

  • Teach my daughter how to drive
  • Employ at least one more staff member
  • Increase partnership status with Atlassian
  • Get more work outside of Canberra

What’s your favourite thing about being part of the Canberra Innovation Network’s coworking space?

Engaging with others on their challenges and trying to help by giving a different perspective. The CBRIN Team are also super helpful.

I can engage with the courses, etc. when I have time, or just keep my head down when I can’t – people understand! We’re all trying to change either our world or the entire world (big spectrum).

I also like having a home in the city, so I can leave my actual place and concentrate on work when in the space.

Shameless plug time! What do you want to promote at the moment?

Got ServiceNow? Consider switching to Jira Service Management – you’ll see a major cost reduction and benefit from great tools (yep, we’re doing this with Australian Government agencies).

Thanks, Geoff! We look forward to seeing you around the office on Moore Street!

Connect with Geoff on LinkedIn, and Know Business at KnowBusiness.com.au