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Crazy Rich Australians

by Nicholas Atgemis |

I don't know Mike Cannon-Brookes nor his business partner Scott Farquhar though in fact Cannon-Brookes is my alumni and perhaps I passed him once when I walked past the computer room not looking back. I love computers but I also loathe them because you can get lost in them and the kids that were in the computer rooms were often lost in computer world. I can recall one time a kid in my class who was into being computers being asked by a teacher to solve something that was going wrong with a computer and he sat down next to the PC, pushed his glasses back and said with great relish "welcome to my world now" and the comment never left me. He is probably hacking somewhere today as I write this, I hope it all went well for him.

As for myself, I have a relationship with computers that reminds me of marriage. You would love to break free of them but you know you need them so it's a bit of tough titties, you just gotta suck it up and get on with it. 

Yesterday I was moving stuff around my studio when I saw an old copy of GQ magazine and I only keep the copies where we are mentioned. I opened it up and I found this article which was on the two friends from University who started a computer software company that's been so successful that nobody can make a decision in our fair country now without asking them their opinion. Energy, finance, technology, science, government debt, covid - they seem to be the go to guys with all the answers. In fact, I feel sorry for them. I could not think of anything worse than having to shoulder all that responsibility and field calls from every journalist looking for a quip. I just hope they have built themselves some zen room in their houses that shuts out absolutely every sound and visual with a sentinel on the outside just so that nobody can get to them for meditation time.

I'd invite them down for a morning swim at Bondi but I wouldn't want the publicity and then they'd be ask by the press as to how to clean up Bondi and make it carbon neutral. 

In my own way though I am super proud of their achievement. They did it from a country that's often referred to as the 'arse end' of the world. They did it from a 10k investment, according to the article. And they are world renowned. They remind me of my own struggle, only they really did make it. Like really.

As a journalist wrote the other day on the rise and fall of the Packer dynasty and the unfortunate demise of James Packer and his mental health, challenging his right to govern or influence a corporation applying for a casino license (of which my personal opinion is give it to him but with handcuffs on as Crown is a good brand for Australia and did wonders for Melbourne), the journalist suggested that Packer was out of touch and should be more like the Atlassian wonder kids. I have to agree. Like I said, I have never met Mike Cannon-Brookes, but I have heard friends say they see him round the local shops in bare feet. That's a tick for me. And they don't seem to rub all their wealth in your faces with Kardashian chicks drinking champagne off the back of their boats with nighttime condiments below deck. 

In fact, it's kind of nice that two of the richest Australians in history are nerds from the computer room. It's much less aggressive than newly minted property developers and the like. 

In fact, who better to own the new Sydney casino than these guys. Perhaps they should do some meditation with James Packer and come up with a solution. It would kind of be nice to know there were bean bags in the breakout area between black jack and poker. 


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