An excellent question is posed by Stephen Mayne in the weeks Reader, about why Australian has so few successful young companies:
"Australia is a relatively young country, so why is it that so many of our biggest and best companies are so old? A quick look at the top 20 Australian public companies reveals lots of old incumbent players like Coles Myer, the Big Four Banks, Telstra, BHP, AMP and Foster's- all of which have been around for decades- and hardly any new ones."
That is a very true observation; Australia doesn't have any new corporate champions coming through.
I reckon that we (Australians, our Governments and other regulators) have made it too hard for all of our budding entrepreneurs to shake off the bad smell left behind by the rouges of the 1980's like Alan Bond, Christopher Skase and Jack Elliott. We don't like corporate risk takers in this country any more. We are adverse to risk, and don't have a culture that readily accepts that failure is all part of the game, part of trying, part of learning.
And of course we have turned chopping down "tall poppies" into a national sport. A sport at which we (shamefully) excel.
In the US if you go broke having "a go" you don't seem to cope the same level of condemnation as you do here in Australia. They have a far greater tolerance for things like bankruptcy and business failure.So is it any wonder that the US has produced billionaires from booming companies like Yahoo, Google, Dell and eBay. And we have... well, not much. Except for a few infrastructure companies with Government contracts, Child Care centres that rely on Government subsidies and airlines and telco's that make bucks because they operate in cosy little duopolies.
Add to that the barriers for entry into many of our growth areas are too high, and the level of Government support and encouragement for our genuinely innovative risk takers and innovators is too low.
You are better off just getting a nice, secure job with one of the big, old, unoriginal companies.