Founder to Founder with PhilHSC

Phil Hayes St Clair

Phil Hayes-St Clair (PhilHSC) makes this podcast and writes about company building each week because increasing collective wisdom is essential. In entrepreneurship, that wisdom comes from founders. The Founder To Founder podcast surfaces how experienced founders overcome challenges and mistakes to build great companies. These are stories from the startup trenches and Phil's way to help others take their idea from zero to one, and beyond. Thanks for listening!

EP 96: Megan Flamer On Being Mindful Under Fire
Sep 26 2019
EP 96: Megan Flamer On Being Mindful Under Fire
In this episode Phil talks with Megan Flamer.Megan is the Founder of Mindful Under Fire and a former Program Director with BlueChilli. Prior to BlueChilli, Megan lived in San Francisco where she consulted on organisational development, communications and mindfulness for some of the world’s biggest tech and media companies.Prior to working in SF, Megan worked for more than a decade in the media across Australia and the Asia Pacific region, as a journalist and radio host with the ABC.Megan is also a highly regarded mindfulness consultant, having run her own yoga retreat and personal development company, creating mindfulness programs for high performance teams at Google, Facebook and HSBC, as well as working with vulnerable clients in prisons in Australia and the US.Having seen what works for startups (and moreover, what doesn’t) in the global heart of tech in San Francisco, Megan has returned to Australia to join the team at BlueChilli, hungry to contribute to the thriving Australian startup landscape - to support an ecosystem that is creative, dynamic and healthy, while creating new economies, new jobs and new ways of thinking.————————————————Follow PhilHSCWebsiteInstagramLinkedInApple PodcastsSpotifyGoogle PodcastsOvercastPocket CastMediumYouTubeTwitterIf you'd like to know when new episodes are released or when Phil publishes his weekly blog post, sign up for the insider's email list here.Please also visit a new site that Phil launched called Be In Motion ( It’s here where you can send unexpected encouragement to someone you know doing a great job or doing it tough. It will make their day!
EP 94: The Unforgiving60 Interview
Jul 6 2019
EP 94: The Unforgiving60 Interview
This is a replay from Phil's conversation with Tim Curtis and Ben Pronk at the Unforgiving60 Podcast. Enjoy!S1E21- The Entrepreneur’s Entrepreneur: From Little Things…with Phil HSCThis episode is for anyone who dreams big …. And then wants to build that dream from scratch. It’s for anyone wanting to tenaciously solve a problem. This episode is for entrepreneurs and start-ups ….. and anyone working in a café wearing a hoodie!Phil Hayes- St Clair (HSC) is a career entrepreneur. With a shortened first career in the military, Phil has made his career turning kitchen table ideas into reality. Mentoring dozens or entrepreneurs himself, Phil also teaches entrepreneurship to MBA candidates at Australia’s leading business school, the Australian Graduate School of Management at UNSW.With a Bachelor of Science (Microbiology) from QUT and an MBA from AGSM, today Phil is CEO & Co-Founder of DROP Bio, a direct-to-consumer biotechnology venture. He is a Member of the Board of Directors at Sangui Bio and an Advisor at the BlueChilli HealthTech Accelerator for Southeast Asia.Here's to start-ups! And here's how!Seize your moment. Latch onto that chance!Fill your Unforgiving Minute!Intelligence Summary (INTSUM)02:45: The Early Years – Phil at Ben go to School.05:15: How Tim gets amused.08:15: How and why Phil got started as an entrepreneur … and why he didn’t give up when he failed the first time.11:00: About failing and moving on.15:15: The #Entrepreneur hashtag… isn’t it just #SmallBusiness?16:35: What you need to start! And scaling.19:30: What the motivation and enticement for being an entrepreneur?21:35: The critical importance on wanting to solve big problems.24:59: Why failure is necessary.28:00: Enticing capital into your start-up30:21: What new industries, sector or disciplines are investors looking to?31:45: Venture capital in the US versus Australia35:15: Making good entrepreneurs and celebrating successes (even if small)40:20: Phil tests Ben and Tim on their entrepreneurial skills inside the Unforgiving60 podcast:Have you set yourselves up to learn quickly?How would you rate yourselves on marketing and distribution?Have you built a community around the U60 podcast brand?47:40: Tim (and Ben) throw down the challenge to Hamish and Andy!48:19: Having fun! ‘Humour is a free circuit breaker’- Phil HSC52:15: Quick Questions/ Quick Answers to PhilWhat do you do for fun?What’s your definition of success?Definition of happiness?Any sources of inspiration?How does one become mentored by Phil HSC?Why are you running in a weight vest?What sort of writing does Phil do?How can I give a shout out of encouragement to someone?57:45: Wider ramblings and other nonsenseWhat it’s like to meet Tim (from Ben)The challenge (redux)Website & Blog Founder to FounderMusic by The Externals** Opening Comments the Podcast by Lucy (age 13)
EP 88: Dr Silvia Pfeiffer On Telemedicine, Online Video & 3 Habits To Be A Successful Founder
Mar 9 2019
EP 88: Dr Silvia Pfeiffer On Telemedicine, Online Video & 3 Habits To Be A Successful Founder
In episode 88 of Founder To Founder, Phil talks to serial entrepreneur Dr Silvia Pfeiffer.Silvia is the CEO of Coviu, a cloud application focused on enabling healthcare providers to set up video consultation services for patients and to collaborate on patient cases with peers. Silvia has more than 15 years of experience with Web video technology. She has previously worked for Google, Mozilla, NICTA, and CSIRO and has been involved in creating the Web standards that underpin the Coviu technology. Silvia has a PhD in computer science, a masters in business management, has published two books on HTML5 video, and one on video consultations for healthcare businesses.In this episode Silvia and Phil talk about how to history repeats and why backing yourself when you’re young and not underestimating how much you know (and can learn) is important. They also talked about the three habits that founders need to develop to be successful.Enjoy!RESOURCESConnect with Silvia on LinkedInVisit Silvia’s venture CoviuGet’s Silvia’s book called Beyond The Clinic3 KEY POINTSLook at how history has played out before. Fast forward to now and people look at the Australian startup scene and see and ecosystem which focused on building companies, not just placing bets on interesting ideas (2:49)The are significant advantages in delivering health services online, not least of which is the ability to help people stay on track with post surgery or injury rehabilitation (9:20)Why exercise, taking care of you and your team’s health and mental health and celebrating small wins is important (16:17)Follow PhilHSCWebsite: Podcasts: Podcasts: Cast: you'd like to know when new episodes are released or when Phil publishes his weekly blog post, sign up for the insider's email list here.
EP 87: Planning For When The Answer Is 'YES'
Feb 1 2019
EP 87: Planning For When The Answer Is 'YES'
The punchline is to plan the four actions you need to take when the answer is ‘YES’. Consider this training to reduce surprise and potential confusion that can come from an unexpected ‘YES’.Planning for rejection, risk and worst-case scenarios is second nature to entrepreneurs. From the moment the first version of a business model is hatched, we are in de-risking mode. Ten steps back for each step forward. It’s a familiar tune. I love this grind and how it forces adaptation and learning.I also love being told ‘YES’.Doesn’t everybody?There’s nothing better when the grind pays off. Closing a partnership deal, finalising funding rounds, securing that key hire or having a product launch work better than expected makes it all worthwhile.Founders feel relief and the team embraces the shot of confidence.What happens next can make a business. Or dramatically stall its momentum.If a ’YES’ answer is the suck, then go where the suck isOpher, my good friend and co-founder at AirShr always used to remind me to ‘go where the suck is’. The essence of this statement is to serve people who like what you do. And we followed that advice but we did so carefully.In early-stage companies, founders invest a lot of time validating who makes up their actual target customers. In fact, most will tell you that moving from a ‘persona on paper’, or who you think your target customers are, to understanding who they really are is much harder than it sounds. But, you have to start somewhere.When people start expressing interest by wanting to test and buy what you’re selling, there is a natural inclination to listen more to those people.And herein lies the cautionary tale: Homogeneous customer groups are not (usually) representative of your total addressable market.Kickstarter and LinkedInThere are two interesting examples to illustrate this point.First, consider Kickstarter, the world’s largest funding platform for creative projects. While Kickstarter has helped facilitate pledges of more than 4B USD to projects on its platform (of which there have been more than 150,000 successfully funded projects), it is difficult to name 10 household brands that have achieved significant scale from starting on that platform. And while many companies have successfully adopted Kickstarter as their business model (by launching all of their products via Kickstarter), it is hard to scale beyond an early adopter market.LinkedIn is the second example. As Reid Hoffman described in his Masters of Scale podcast, the early days of LinkedIn attracted a self-organising group called LinkedIn Open Networkers (or LION’s as they became known). This large and at the time growing group believed that they should be able to connect with anyone on the platform. They also believed that everyone would want to connect with them.That was obviously not true and the LinkedIn team prevented that from happening. The point is that at the time the signal was so strong that LinkedIn could have gone where the suck was but it would have alienated other users and that would have stalled growth. A potentially terminal move.So the moral of both of these stories and why you should plan for when the answer is ‘YES’, is that if you don’t, you could find yourself course correcting your company to a false plateau. In other words, and in the absence of other recent wins, founders pursue this win as their new strategy.Keep reading hereBy the way, if you'd like to know when new episodes are released or when I publish my weekly long-form blog post, sign up for the insider's email list here: You can also follow me online:Website: Podcasts: Podcasts: Cast:
EP: 86 Dr Dan Pronk On Transitioning From Special Forces And Becoming An Entrepreneur
Jan 20 2019
EP: 86 Dr Dan Pronk On Transitioning From Special Forces And Becoming An Entrepreneur
In episode 86 of Founder To Founder, Phil talks to former army special forces doctor turned entrepreneur Dr Dan Pronk.Dr Dan Pronk completed a Bachelor of Exercise Science at Griffith University in 1999 before studying medicine at Flinders University on an Army scholarship. Graduating with a Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery in Dec 2004, he continued at Flinders Medical Centre for his intern and first residency year. Dr Pronk entered into General Practice training in 2006, and subsequently completed his FRACGP in Jan 2011.In 2007 Dr Pronk posted to his first Army unit in Darwin as a Regimental Medical Officer. In 2008 Dr Pronk posted to 5 RAR in Darwin, and continued to serve with high-readiness infantry units in Sydney and Perth for the remainder of his full-time military career from 2009-2013. Dr Pronk deployed on operations on five occasions with the Army, once to Timor and the remainder to Afghanistan.During his military career Dr Pronk took a particular interest in the pre-hospital management of penetrating trauma, and had the privilege of representing the Australian Army at the NATO Special Operations Forces Medical Expert Panel.In 2014 Dr Pronk discharged from the full-time Army and commenced an MBA through University of South Australia, which he successfully completed in December 2016. In November 2014 Dr Pronk also successfully completed Early Management of Severe Trauma instructor training through the Royal Australian College of Surgeons, commencing instructing in September 2015.For the period of July 2014 - June 2015 Dr Pronk worked primarily in an Occupational Medicine role at BHPB's Olympic dam mine site in South Australia, whilst also working periodically offshore.In July 2015 Dr Pronk accepted a Senior Medical Officer role at a regional hospital in Queensland. He maintains his interest in tactical medicine through involvement with the Army School of Health's Care of the Battlefield Casualty program, as well as acting as a tactical medical consultant for various police and other government agency groups.In this episode Dan and Phil talk about how to manage being ‘in between’ ventures and transitioning from one life to another, how to manage the entrepreneurial rollercoaster and the three habits that founders need to develop to be successful.3 KEY POINTSDon’t underestimate the change an organisation needs to undertake from a team and culture perspective as it grows. This change needs to be managed and carefully and mindfully (12:03)There’s only one way to eat an elephant; one bite at a time. This is might sound cliche but it’s an effective way to thinking through events, challenges and opportunities that can be overwhelming (20:49)It’s not the critic that counts (26:35)By the way, if you'd like to know when new episodes are released or when Phil publishes his weekly long-form blog post, sign up for the insider's email list here: You can also follow Phil online:Website: Podcasts: Podcasts: Cast:
EP 84: Yanir Yakutiel On Growing A FinTech Venture, Decision Making, Podcasts & Habits That Make Founders Successful
Dec 19 2018
EP 84: Yanir Yakutiel On Growing A FinTech Venture, Decision Making, Podcasts & Habits That Make Founders Successful
In episode 84 of Founder To Founder, Phil talks to Lumi CEO and Co-Founder, Yanir Yakutiel.Yanir began Lumi with one major goal in mind: to help Australian small businesses flourish by offering fast, flexible and fully transparent loans. One of the biggest differences between Lumi and other financial lenders is the fact that we harness big data in real-time, allowing us to offer customised lending decisions like no other. Having been involved with SME financing for the last 3 years, Yanir recognised the opportunity to use the power of data and analytics to create a market-leading, customer-focused small business lender that truly solves the lack of access to capital that is an existential problem for Australian small business owners. As the owner of a small business, Yanir says he understands firsthand how the lack of capital can hinder the growth of a business and limit the entrepreneurial potential of small business owners. His overarching ambition with Lumi is to empower small business owners to grow their businesses and achieve their dreams and aspirations.In this episode Yanir and Phil talk about growing a FinTech startup, leadership decision making, podcasts and the three habits that founders need to develop to be successful.3 KEY POINTSBuilding technology to achieve operational efficiency and achieve favourable unit economics was the big lesson from Sail that was carried across into Lumi because it’s good business and because in Australia, unlike the US, investors won’t fund loss making ventures for long periods of time (07:14)Startup is a team sport. A B-grade idea backed by an A-grade team will always win over a A-grade idea and a B-grade team (12:10)Making quick decisions, in particular in relation to talent and if a hire isn’t working out is essential (14:10)FOLLOW PHILHSCApple Podcasts: Podcasts: Cast: you'd like to know when new episodes are released or when Phil publishes his weekly blog post, sign up for the insider's email list here.
EP 83: Building High Performance Advisory Boards
Dec 17 2018
EP 83: Building High Performance Advisory Boards
Advisory boards are recruited to help leaders make high-quality decisions and expand influence. They are useful mechanisms in resource-constrained environments and hence popular at startups and not-for-profits.I serve on numerous advisory boards. And while these roles are different to company directorships where I manage fiduciary responsibilities with my board member colleagues, I enjoy both styles of engagement.I formed my first advisory board nearly 15 years ago. The key reflection from that first one, those I have formed since and through serving on advisory boards today is that the formation step is only a small part of the journey. The underlying routines and rituals that generate value from the advisory board is the main game.Founders contemplating the establishment of an advisory board will nod in conceptual agreement. It’s these same founders who 12 months later lament how disappointed they are with the group they brought together.The recruitment and formation of members to their advisory board might have felt like the assembly of a grand coalition of the willing. A formidable team destined to achieve greatness. But something went wrong along the way. Greatnesses is still a long way off. Advisory board members seem disinterested or hard to reach and the founder feels like a significant piece of their armour is missing.This is not a new issue.Keep reading here.-------------------------------Follow PhilHSCApple Podcasts: Podcasts: Cast: you'd like to know when new episodes are released or when Phil publishes his weekly blog post, sign up for the insider's email list here.
EP 82: Elliot Smith On Med-Tech, Deep Work & The Three Habits That Make Founders Successful
Dec 10 2018
EP 82: Elliot Smith On Med-Tech, Deep Work & The Three Habits That Make Founders Successful
In episode 81 of Founder To Founder, Phil talks to serial entrepreneur and Maxwell Plus CEO and Co-Founder, Elliot Smith.Maxwell Plus, a Brisbane based start up applying artificial intelligence to improve medical diagnosis. Maxwell Plus uses medical imaging, blood tests and patient data to deliver a fast and accurate diagnosis of prostate, breast, and lung cancer. Before founding Maxwell Plus Elliot completed a PhD in biomedical imaging designing the next generation of MRI scanners.In this episode Elliot and Phil talk about how to manage being ‘in between’ ventures, how designing a product is often a collaboration between multiple systems and people, and the three habits that founders need to develop to be successful.3 KEY POINTSFundraising always takes longer than expected. Maxwell Plus budgeted 3 months to raise its first round and it took nearly seven months to close the round (16:39)You get told ‘No’ a lot when you’re building a venture. No only means ‘no’, today. It often isn’t a reflection on you or the work you’re doing (18:10)People need uninterrupted time and space to do deep work. Elliot subscribes to Cal Newport’s philosophy of Deep Work, you can read more about Deep Work here (24:22)Follow PhilHSCApple Podcasts: Podcasts: Cast: you'd like to know when new episodes are released or when Phil publishes his weekly blog post, sign up for the insider's email list here.