Alex Afflick

Chief Technical Officer, Audeara

Fast Five is our quickfire interview series where we hit up some legendary movers, shakers, innovators and changemakers with, you’ve guessed it, five big questions. In this week’s edition, we talk to Alex Afflick. Alex is Chief Technical Officer at Brisbane-based Audeara, the world leaders in personalised sound, creating a platform that using medical style hearing tests to tailor sound perfectly to each individual listener while educating about the importance of hearing health.

Q1: Can you give us three words (or phrases!) that describe your life?

Deliberate. Organised. Chaotic.

Q2: Most entrepreneurs have an origin story- a moment in time or an experience that was the catalyst for their entrepreneurial journey. What is your origin story? 

The catalyst in my journey was a phone call with a friend (who I didn’t know at the time) who was looking for someone to help develop an app. I was working for a small engineering company at the time but found myself wanting to do something more in my spare time.

The task of developing a small Android app after I finished work turned in to a full-time job designing and developing headphones about 12 months later.

Five years on, I’ve had the opportunity to travel the world and have been exposed to lessons more than I would ever have hoped this early in my career.

Q3: Tell us about a massive flearning (failing + learning) moment for you.

Launching a hardware product on Kickstarter was a massive learning curve.

We launched our campaign on the 1st of March, 2017 with the hope of shipping within 6 months. We finally started shipping to most backers on the 20th of February 2018 nearly 12 months after our initial launch.

During those 12 months, it was extremely difficult to balance the pressure of being behind our timeline and ensuring the quality of the product. 

Q4: What do you wish you’d learned at school about starting or running a business? 

I wish that we had more exposure to entrepreneurial career pathways.

I’m witnessing some of the amazing businesses that today’s young people are starting and wonder what could have been for myself and my peers if we were encouraged in similar ways.

I think this will ultimately show a huge amount of growth in Australia’s startup scene. 

Q5: What’s one book, website or podcast you’d recommend to aspiring young entrepreneurs, and why?

I would recommend reading anything about brands or products you experience day to day. “Let My People Go Surfing” is a fantastic book by Yvon Chouinard, the founder of Patagonia.

It tells the storey of how Yvon built his brand through passion, however it really only resonates with me because I love the outdoors and gear. Find something similar that resonates with your interests.  

 

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More about this week’s Fast Fiver, Alex Afflick.

Alex Afflick is Chief Technical Officer at Audeara. You can read more about his entrepreneurial journey here.

Alex is one of the many social entrepreneurs that took part in Future Anything’s Future Fest 2020, a livestream day of inspiration and action for aspiring entrepreneurs participating in Future Anything’s Activate program. Alex was also a judge at the Future Anything 2020 National Semi Finals.

Like this? If you enjoyed this interview, be sure to subscribe to Future Anything’s regular e-newsletter for more just like this. You can sign up here!

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