DevReady PodcastDevReady Podcast E35 – Understanding the Market for Your Startup Idea with Ahron Young

On this episode of the DevReady Podcast, Andrew and Anthony speak with Ahron Young, the founder and CEO of Ticker TV, a Melbourne-based news streaming service.

Just out of high school, Ahron got a job at a local newspaper. There he got his toes wet in journalism. This continued with a job at a local TV station, and the Russian news service, RT then Sky News.

Ahron chose the name Ticker because it scrolls at the bottom of the screen, but it’s also our heart. He describes his time building Ticker as an alternative to morning cable news, targeted directly at millennials. Ahron gives advice for breaking into the field, building value and discovering the market for your idea. He runs a successful TV service with just over 30 people on his team. He intends to grow Ticker into a global company.

He also advises us to look out for our mental health, especially in the tech world. “Don’t expect yourself to be a winner,” he says, “but it’s just as important to learn to forget as it is to learn.”

Topics Covered:

  • Ahron’s background in commercial TV.
  • The importance of marketing.
  • Working at RT and how it was the best and the worst experience.
  • Be wary of who you bring in for equity because it’s difficult to get rid of people.
  • We really don’t have long attention spans anymore — too many are fighting for it.
  • Where Ahron got the idea for Ticker TV.
  • Ticker TV is a news service that looks to answer “what do people want from the news?”
  • Working in a corporate environment, and how it hurts your individuality.
  • As long as you deliver what people want, the rest doesn’t matter.
  • You need to understand who you are, and establish your identity.
  • The average age of a startup founder in Australia is 54.
  • What you forget is just as important as what you learn.
  • Structuring the business in its early stages.
  • Working in a culture where people take ownership of their work.
  • Get bigger, and faster, and better — or someone else will.
  • COVID has been difficult, but Ticker’s business has not struggled.
  • Identify your brand and really pump it out.

Key Quotes:

  • “Journalism is a lifestyle choice, and it basically owns you.” (03:30)
  • “The floor manager at RT pulled out a gun.” (07:55)
  • “We are members of the business communities to which we are a part of.” (10:05)
  • “It’s never been an open opportunity: it’s always been something you’ve had to fight for and strive for.” (12:25)
  • “You can’t fight a fleeing customer base in court.” (16:50)
  • “It’s all about looking for gaps in the marketplace.” (21:30)
  • “Every time talent meets the corporate world, something gives: and it’s usually the talent.” (25:35)
  • “When you love what you do, it’s hard to realize when you need to ask for help.” (28:45)
  • “In the end, TV is your graphics package, your audio, your presenters, and your studios: nothing else matters.” (37:55)
  • “It’s up to you to know the time to forget and the time to remember.” (47:10)
  • “It doesn’t matter how you structure it, you’re not starting a business on your own. You need a team around you. (54:30)
  • “Don’t ever create a barrier to entry for yourself.” (1:02:05)
  • “We want to start Ticker in 10 other countries.” (1:14:00)
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