Rebekah is a serial entrepreneur who has played a lead role in the disruption of two industries. Her company ‘Hey You’ is Australia’s largest mobile ordering and payments platform for cafes.
Hey You enables customers to discover and build relationships with storeowners, order and pay via their mobile phones and gain loyalty. The company processes more than 50K transactions per week with 4% weekly growth and recently closed a $5M investment round led by Westpac.
Rebekah’s first company, Scorpio Music, developed the careers of some of Australia's biggest stars: Evermore, Alex Lloyd, George, Matt Corby and Lisa Mitchell. Rebekah collaborated with Warner Music to pioneer new business models that revolutionised the relationship between record company and artist. In 2010, Rebekah launched a technology platform that enabled music fans to earn income by promoting concerts online. The business later sold to Future Music.
THIS WHOLE JOURNEY IS LIKE A ROLLER COASTER, THERE'S A LOT OF UPHILL, AND SOMETIMES YOU'RE GOING OVER A LOOP WHERE YOU FEEL LIKE YOU'RE GOING TO DIE.
Blackbird: Tell us about your first entrepreneurial experience
Rebekah: My first entrepreneurial experience that I can remember was when I was seven. I decided that I was going to sell flowers outside the front of my house, and they were like five cents or ten cents each. I remember having my little stall and all day all these cars were going past me really fast and nobody stopped, and I remember I was going to the supermarket with my mom that night and I asked if she would buy me some balloons. I put them all around my stall so people could see me, and then lots of people started stopping and I sold out. But I think the most important lesson was it taught me to stick with something. If it doesn't work the first time, try something different and keep going.
IF YOU THINK TOO BIG FROM DAY ONE, YOU CAN MISS THOSE FIRST 10,000 FANS, AND THEN YOU JUST MISS ENTIRELY.
Transactions a Day
Blackbird: Startups are hard work but what does it feel like when you win?
Rebekah: This whole journey is like a roller coaster, there's a lot of uphill, and sometimes you're going over a loop where you feel like you're going to die. Then you'll get these little parts where things just take and it feels like you’re flying. You don't fly forever, because you always hit another bump and then you've got to churn your way up again, but I think for me it's the opposite. It feels good and it feels like I'm in a flow.
Blackbird: You used to work in music. What are some of the similarities between music and tech?
Rebekah: You've got to find the first fans, right? It's all about the first 10,000 fans of anything, so if you're in music or in business, you've got to get those 10,000 people to be really, really passionate about whatever it is that you're doing. Then if there is a big enough market opportunity, it will then explode from there. But I think if you think too big from day one, you can miss those first 10,000 fans, and then you just miss entirely.
Blackbird: What personal qualities are absolutely necessary in a founder?
Rebekah: I remember when I was ten years old or so, going to visit my parent's friend's house every weekend and they had this little cocker spaniel called Prince, he was this black cocker spaniel and because I was the only child I would always play with Prince in the yard the whole time. Prince had this ice cream container lid and he would hang onto this ice cream container lid, and every Sunday I would spend the whole day picking up this lid and swinging this dog around, and he would just never, ever let go of this ice cream container lid. It must have been a year I'd been trying to get this lid off this dog, and sometimes I think of that little dog and I'm like, "I'm frigging never letting go of that ice cream container lid." When things get really hard I think I've just got to hang on, and hang on. I'm going to hang on.
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