Small Business: Company conferences - John Campbell

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John Campbell, co-founder, of Gopher, a digital advertising technology company whose mission is to revolutionize digital advertising for SMEs through offering low cost, high value, fixed price digital advertising products

John Campbell of Gopher. Photo / Greg Bowker
John Campbell of Gopher. Photo / Greg Bowker

Gopher tries to demystify online advertising for business owners, making it accessible both in concept and price. Gopher offers a wide range of digital advertising products and packages, and is always looking at partnering with major internet companies such as its Premier SME Partnership with Google to offer new products that will deliver value to SMEs.

Where are your overseas offices?

We have central hubs in Auckland and Jakarta, servicing New Zealand, Australia and South East Asia. We also have some key partners in other countries, Singapore for instance, where we regularly send staff. We are highly automated and centralized, which reduces the requirement for satellite offices in multiple regions. This also has the benefit of keeping our operational costs down, and allowing us to work with regional partners at a much bigger scale than what we could do in New Zealand alone.

Gopher has a very distinct company culture. In the future, do you like the idea of bringing all the staff together for a company retreat/conference?

Yes - we do have a distinct company culture - one of success, and celebration.
To date, Gopher has been a largely cash-flow funded business, and as such we are careful where we invest our funds. While the idea of bringing together our global team is exciting, the cost would be prohibitive. Whilst we do exchange personnel between countries, we have a strong tech focus, and as such we keep in contact with our team primarily using different low-cost digital methods such as Skype and Google Hangout.
This serves us well. Our Jakarta team culture is largely the same as our NZ office, one of success and a desire to help SMEs, but with their own flavour to suit the cultural differences.

What are your beliefs about staff spending time together in an informal way to spark new ideas for the business?

We have a high-touch philosophy within our company, one which enables regular communication of ideas and suggestions. We do things differently from most, and are willing to try most things. If we fail, we fail fast, and fail cheap. But mostly our ideas are good ones. Our company has been built on the accumulation of many great ideas, which have led to experiments, and then implementation of those initiatives that have proven successful.


Next week: The characteristics or the DNA of an entrepreneur is something which has fascinated many business schools around the world. At this week's Morgo conference, the event designed purely for entrepreneurs, I will see these people up close and find out what makes them tick.

- NZ Herald

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