I’ve always struggled to describe where I live and what I do. Here is some clarity.
Where I live
After almost two years of attempting to live in both Fremantle and Wellington (and largely failing at either), I am now back in New Zealand for the foreseeable future. I’m based in Wellington, and will commute and stay in Auckland as required.
I’m continuously amazed at the optimism and energy levels of people across a variety of industries in New Zealand. NZ feels ready to not just weather the storm, but also to take advantage of the global turmoil.
What I do
I work across three main areas – early stage businesses, consulting and directorships – often all three at once, and often including an equity stake.
I’m always interested to meet and listen to people, learn about new companies, get the nerdy tour of the facility and products, give free advice and drink coffee. This first coffee meeting is always free, and will often result in some great ideas for your business and learning and fun for me, so please get in touch.
If the coffee was good, then I am always looking for interesting strategic consulting work, short or long term. My specialties are turnarounds, growth and exits, and in pretty much any industry and company size.
Consulting can range from running short workshops, working for a few days with your team, providing ongoing advice - through to taking the reins for a few months to drive a turnaround. You can see some examples of this work in the About Lance page above.
(If you cannot afford my increasingly outrageous fees then I can work for equity, for public good and for kind.)
I’m more than happy to speak in front of groups – actually I really enjoy it. If you feel that some of my experience is relevant to your organisation then drop me a line.
I’m happy to talk about almost anything, from making the most out of you career and life, though to adventure motorcycling, leading teams and companies, Nickel refining (not really), web usability and of course media, dot coms, business strategy and investing. I like to think I am funny as well.*
I’m keen to help out in an academic environment – at a University or even the occasional school. Drop me a line if you think a Yale MBA and too much consulting experience will impress your class.
I will consider NZ directorships – from smaller companies that are going through rapid growth through to very large companies that need strategic advice. I have very strong views on the role of a director, which will be all too apparent to longer time readers and those that have been in a board room with me.
Aside from early stage investments, I am quietly looking for NZ based turnaround opportunities, distressed companies and start-ups to invest in. It could be an MBO, a take over or simply a turnaround with equity upside. In the back of my mind is my desire to raise some sort of fund and make a range of investments in distressed companies. If you are incredibly wealthy and looking for somewhere to put your money – then operators are standing by.
* Reader Opinions may vary. Also please note that I was in the losing team at the Foo Camp debate – “That the Future of NZ is F****d”. That was organised by Roger Dennis and myself, and he proved himself the better man by placing himself on the winning, negative, side. I argue, or course, that the affirmative team was always set up to lose.
Here’s an update on the companies where I currently have a private investment:
Texmate NZ (PLC’s and electronics design and manufacturing) is going well, and even seeing strong forward orders. It helps to be a minnow in a huge market and to have a cheaper, more flexible solution than your competitors.
Lingopal (phone based phrase translation) (VC backed, founded by my cousin in Perth) is waiting for Apple to approve the first product. It was rejected on the first pass after 8 days so we took out some phrases and are re-submitting.
PowerKiwi (buy our products online at Powershop) is up and running with some very cool people on board. We’ve sold over 30,000 units of electricity credits already, growing from zero a few weeks back.
Chainui (NZ’s finest tea) is formerly Chai Tea NZ, and has re-branded as Chanui. “Cha” is tea in several languages, and “nui” is Maori for big – so that’s Big Tea. The new boxes are appearing on supermarket shelves, along with Chanui tea bags which will let us hit the other 90% of the tea market.
Widentifi (city based location, VC backed) continues on, under a confidentiality cloud, but progressing well.
There are two or three other potential start ups in very early stage, and plenty more out there. One is “Monsters” (toys), which has started to gain traction. This could be big, but sadly I’m keeping it offline for now.
I have lots of energy and time for these, and am keen to get involved in several more..
If you do wish to get hold of me, then drop me a line on 021 526239, use the Contact Me form or DM me @lancewiggs on Twitter.