Before We Finish: Ben Richardson, Co-Founder of Future Assembly

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One of my favourite things about work is the interesting people I meet every day. When I remember, I ask people five quick questions ‘before we finish’ our meetings. This edition: Ben Richardson, one of the founders behind Australia’s emergent technology festival, Future Assembly.

Who is your last text from? What does it say?

It’s from a colleague at work. We play a best-of-three table tennis match at work every day and she was asking where I was today (I decided to work from home today).

Do you have a mentor?

I don’t prescribe to the concept of having a single mentor. Instead I have built up a network of mentors each with their own experiences and strengths. I set up conversations with them when I need to address a specific weakness I’ve identified or to seek advice that translates to a past experience they’ve had.

Favourite failure? (your own)

Creating an incubator and investing in an idea without any cash or experience. The particulars of running an incubator were pretty easy to work out so that wasn’t the issue. We made the fatal flaw of investing in ideas instead of the founders which resulted in an ugly ending to the incubator and set of learnings acquired the hard way. I don’t regret it all, I learnt so much and it was (mostly) a lot of fun.

What podcast do you never miss?

I’m not that into podcasts, but I do really enjoy “How I Built This”. I’m mostly spending my time listening to and watching MIT lectures on Artificial Intelligence.

What haven’t you achieved yet?

I haven’t solved the money problem. I’m an avid believer that the opportunity cost of working extremely hard now to solve the money problem will have a compounding effect on my ability to be more impactful with my time in the future.