Daniel Wright has spent 20 years working within the IT sector in the Hunter Region, serving the SME space. He grew up surrounded by entrepreneurs making it a natural journey for him to set up his own business.
As the Managing Director of sabervox (previously Regional IT Group), Dan has driven innovation within the company, developing innovative new products for architects and engineers that have seen interest from all over the world. So much so that their 3D in the cloud solution was named by Citrix as one of the top 5 hot trends for 2015.
- What prompted you to start your own business?
I’ve always been around people that started their own business, from a young age. My dad started his own business, several times, so I’ve always been around entrepreneurs; I’ve always hung around people that started their own business.
I think for me personally, it was when my wife and I were working as volunteers in Indonesia. We went over there after the 2004 tsunami and we were working with a whole bunch of small businesses and large organisations, just pairing up people that had the money with people who had the great ideas. After doing that so many times over and over again for so many other people I just thought when I come back to Australia I’ll give it a shot myself and that was the thing that gave me confidence to be able to start my own business.
- What has been the biggest learning curve as an entrepreneur?
I think the biggest learning curve for me in being an entrepreneur would have to be around thinking big and the whole strategic thinking.
When you start a business most people would look at it and they’d think ‘yeah, I am great at this or I am great at that’. I think when you set those goals the biggest learning curve for me is just being able to dream bigger and bigger. Every time you set them, you meet them and then what’s next? Just being able to grow your goals in line with how your business grows as well.
- What has been your proudest moment in business?
It would be hard to pinpoint one moment, I think so many proud moments leading up to where we are today. Something recently that has happened for us was that we were named by Citrix as one of the top five innovators for 3D in the cloud. So being able to be profiled on a global platform and solutions that we have developed here in Newcastle, now being able to showcase those around the world for engineers and architects. Very large firms that have these same common issues over and over again – that’s definitely been a proud moment for us recently.
- Do you think there are any key traits that entrepreneurs tend to have?
I think an entrepreneur firstly has to have a thick skin, you need to be able to take the bad news with the good, you need to be able to learn from your mistakes and you make so many, and be able to put things in place, not be afraid to fail, just keep working and working until you succeed.
Every entrepreneur has to be a good listener; you need to be able to listen to your people and listen to your customers, listen to what is going on in the economy to be able to see what the future is for your particular area.
As well as being a good listener you need to be able to take that advice and know what the right advice is for you and just have that intuition to say I’ve listened to everybody but I am just going to go with my gut.
- What local businessperson do you find inspiring?
I meet so many local businesspeople every day, so many different stories of people that are working here locally, working globally doing some amazing things. I think somebody locally that I have always thought has done an amazing job would have to be Chris Deere. Chris started Hunterlink here so many years ago and when he sold Hunterlink he started putting fibre optic cable into the ground here in Newcastle, and I remember so many people saying at the time that it was crazy, why would he be putting fibre optic cable into the ground, he’s just wasting money, but again and again Chris continues in the field of data centres and fibre optic data communications and he would have to be one person I think Newcastle owes a lot to because he’s really out there doing some amazing things, now for Vocus, an Australia-wide and New Zealand company.