Jethro Cohen

Senior Associate
MelbourneAustralia

What’s the next big opportunity in tech?

There are so many. It’s such an exciting time to work in tech, and it feels like huge shifts are happening each week. If I had to pick one, I’ve enjoyed learning about the emergence of technology that enables immutable and transparent community decision - making. Decentralised Autonomous Organisations, or DAOs, have the ability to fundamentally change the way groups make decisions: from where they invest, to the content they create, and much more. The implications for creative and financial industries, and even political spheres and corporate governance, grow more interesting by the day.

Where did you learn the most in your career?

Leading Ops teams at Aussie prop - tech business, :Different, exposed me to the very real challenges of digitising physical experiences. We’d built great tech to improve the lives of homeowners and their tenants. But at the end of the day, we still had to find ways of reliably visiting properties across the country every Saturday morning for inspection viewings. If scaling our operating footprint in a way that balanced customer obsession against cost was the cake, the additional transparency and efficiency our tech provided was the icing on top.

What’s the most underappreciated skill in founders?

Empathy. For your customers, for your team, and for the partners you work with along the way.

What were the greatest lessons an early job taught you?

My first job in uni was as a Genius at an Apple Store, fixing problems with Mac computers. The best moments happened when we’d retrieve data that customers thought they’d lost, especially personal memories like photos and videos. Great technology makes us feel something, and it’s easy to forget how emotionally connected we become to great products. The best consumer businesses become ingrained in our lives.
The many tears I saw also remind me to always keep a backup, and to keep your computer away from glasses of red wine.

What’s your passion outside of work?

Does my Great Dane count?
I wasn’t very athletic in school (unless debating is a sport?). I came to fitness later in life, and do my best to prioritise exercise. I’ve competed in powerlifting, and am now training for a (thrice COVID - canceled) Iron Man. I love being given opportunities to bring this passion to work, and am energised chatting with founders about the future of the fitness industry.

What industry is ripe for disruption?

Residential property is the largest asset class in Australia, and owner - occupied properties outnumber investment properties 4:1. Many steps in the purchase, improvement, and ongoing management of homes are expensive, old - school, and painful. Businesses that use technology to unlock value for homeowners will make a real difference in the lives of many Aussies.
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