Our guest on this episode of the DevReady Podcast is Tom Dawkins, CEO and Co-Founder of StartSomeGood, the leading home of cause-driven crowdfunding, innovative partnerships and social entrepreneur education. Before StartSomeGood, Tom founded Australian youth non-profit Vibewire, was the first Social Media Director at Ashoka in Washington DC and was the founding Director of the Australian Changemakers Festival.
“We’re very passionate about social enterprise, but we’re actually model agnostic.” – Tom Dawkins
Tom’s varied experience and journey to where he is now has taught him valuable lessons but also gave him the insight he needs to better support the next generation of social entrepreneurs. His passion for innovation and sustainable impact is the basis behind StartSomeGood and has helped countless people find success along the way.
Tom’s journey to a career that didn’t exist when he started out was full of risk but his optimistic attitude and adherence to his vision and purpose has helped him to achieve significant goals. As an early adapter and innovator he wasn’t deterred by technology he didn’t understand but learned the value of key partnerships and how to leverage them to get to where you want to be.
At the end of the day, Tom’s desire to help others better create social change is inspiring and truly accessible. Throughout this conversation he shares useful advice and combines it with tangible action steps, connecting anyone wanting to pursue their ideas with the tools they need to make it happen.
“Paying for innovation means paying for failure. The only way you get innovation is by trying stuff that may or may not work and along the way there is risk.” – Andrew Romeo
- How seemingly random events and opportunities paved the way for Tom’s career path
- Becoming a crowdfunding entrepreneur before it existed
- Youth empowerment is tokenistic, haphazard and deeply biased towards wealth.
- Tom’s path as an early adapter and innovator
- Building technological companies as a non-tech person
- Focus on equipping people
- Success stories from the platform
- What inspires people to give and invest
Key Quotes (Time Stamps):
- “My whole life purpose is to try and build… a better democracy and to me that means one where people can participate in making things happen.” (1:22)
- “The heart of democracy is not an election. It’s every other day of the year; how we participate, how we make a difference, how we create the future that we want (1:43)
- “Today you shouldn’t know what you want [to do] because the thing you want to be probably doesn’t exist yet.” (2:36)
- “Create spaces where people can engage in conversation, can share their stories and perspectives, and hopefully come up with new ideas and ways to collaborate together to create a better future.” (8:32)
- “I’m an early adapter and so I’m constantly scanning what’s around me and then wondering how that might be relevant for the things I care about. (13:00)
- “People are always looking for that big idea that fresh idea that they can come out of their own mind, but sometimes we can take a concept that’s in one market or another country and then bring it into a different space and create something new and innovative.” (14:58)
- “Burnout is actually one of the great sources of failure for startups.” (34:46)
- “One of the things we pitch with crowdfunding is; it’s not just an alternative source of capital, it’s a source of validation that then helps you get the capital.” (40:39)