Murray Galbraith: father, digital strategist, making ideas happen

My days have gotten pretty messy since my son arrived last year, which is exactly how I like them.”

This week on Ideas Hoist we’re profiling Murray Galbraith who started his own Australian fashion label straight out of high school and has just finished a two year stint helping set up the commercial social media division at Southern Cross Austereo, working across both the Triple M and Today networks around Australia. In between all of this, he’s managed to start a family! So what’s next for Murray? Read on…

What are you working on right now?

I’m really excited about my next few projects which include;

  • setting up a new social media agency
  • a personal data visualisation app
  • a geo-location app to bring together athletes and creatives
  • an e-book for entrepreneurial high school kids; and
  • the usual mix of freelance design and digital strategy.

So not much, really!

How do you make ideas happen?

Define and refine.

Whatever your process is, stick to it unless it’s genuinely counter productive. If you don’t have a process, that’s the most counter productive you can be.

What does your typical day look like?

My days have gotten pretty messy since my son arrived last year, which is exactly how I like them.

It’s also why I’m leaving the 9-5 and heading back out on my own, to shape my days around my wife and sons needs instead of the other way around.

What challenges have you faced when starting or growing a business in Australia?

One of the hardest but most important lessons I’ve learnt in business: Haters gonna hate.”

I started a clothing label straight out of school called becAUSe, which I hoped to design and manufacture entirely in Australia.

After being ripped off by several screen printers and producers, I was more disappointed to realise that the majority of Aussie’s didn’t really care where their clothing was produced.

I also think the biggest challenge facing any Australian business person is the tall poppy syndrome.

Who’s got time to justify their goals or focus on success when you’re busy building a business?

One of the hardest but most important lessons I’ve learnt in business: Haters gonna hate.

What is one idea you are willing to give away for free?

A few years ago I shut down my clothing company to focus on other projects and start a family. If any young entrepreneurs want to step up and give the Aussie retail industry a shake up, I’ll gladly hand over the becAUSe IP to the right team.

Also… Be good to your mother. You can have that one for free

What people/companies/organisations do you think are doing really cool stuff in your industry at the moment? 

In the world of tech startups and social media… Australia is punching well above its weight…”

These days I work predominantly in the world of tech startups and social media… And Australia is punching well above its weight in both.

If you’re not already singing the praises of Melbourne startup @Haul – Do yourself and the environment a favour, say hello to a very clever group of entrepreneurs.

Ned Dwyer (of Native Digital) is one of the most solid operators I’ve come across. If you’re not already signed up to his Native Insights newsletter, you’re missing out.

The team @TCO in Sydney consistently deliver great work but as far as global stuff you just can’t go past digital agency R/GA. You know Nike+? They invented it, and they just keep dropping mind blowing, innovative campaigns and concepts.

Hat tip also goes to the entire team from Yammer, recently purchased by Microsoft. From the CEO to the junior sales guys, they are one of the most enviable organisations I know of… Not happy with just having the best product on the market, they constantly push each other to deliver over and above.

What role do you think business should play in affecting social change?

Driving social debate with an underlying commercial message is fine, as long as you are happy for people to call you out on it…”

I’m of the belief that social change needs to be driven from the bottom upwards.

If business can help by changing our motivations or the conversation around certain issues, then that is always welcome in my opinion.

Companies like KRAFT Foods using their Oreo brand to support Gay Pride is an excellent example of social media content influencing the wider conversation, without needing to sound preachy.

Just always remember to clean your dirty laundry before hanging it out for everyone to see. Driving social debate with an underlying commercial message is fine, as long as you are happy for people to call you out on it, and all the other weird items in your closet.

That’s enough of the clothing metaphors, I think.

Name 3 websites you would recommend to our readers?

I have a list of favourite sites which I add to regularly. The page is called Way Better Than This Blog.

Name 3 Australians we should follow on Twitter? 

Only three!?

Are there opportunities for people to get involved with your idea (e.g. are you looking for funding, interns, marketing help)?

There are ALWAYS opportunities for people to get involved with my ideas!

My ideas seem to revolve around collaboration and creativity, two things which require far more expertise and passion than I can bring to the table.

At least 2 of my current projects will require funding and/or partnerships to take them to the next level, but any entrepreneur who thinks their ideas are too precious to be shared is missing out on far more value than they are gaining by going it alone.

Our readers are smart, creative, talented and good looking. Here’s your chance to ask them anything.

Have you seen my keys?

What’s your favourite bar/café/restaurant?

Little Captain in East St. Kilda is hands down my favourite place on a Sunday morning.

In South Melbourne, it’s Giddiup or Freestyle for breakfast then head to The Honey Bar for a feed, great drinks and a chat with legendary owner Steve.

We thought it would be cool to crowdsource an annual prize to award to the interviewee’s choice (each person interviewed gets one vote) winner for the year’s best interview. Are you willing to kick in a prize?

Absolutely.

Alcohol is always useful when you’re starting out in business, but how about I put up a creative or digital strategy workshop?

Unless the winner is a digital strategist… Then maybe I’ll just give them a high five instead.

Make sure you sign-up to join our amazing community for Australians making ideas happen.

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