About Richard Keeves

Richard Keeves

Richard Keeves

If you’re a business owner or manager looking for smarter ways to do better business,  you’ve come to the right place. Your time is precious, so  I’ll cut to the chase.

I can provide you with independent and unbiased advice so you benefit from

  • my in-depth industry expertise,
  • my extensive over-the-horizon vision, and
  • my practical straight-talking business-focused guidance.

 

Here’s some more background info…

These days, I’m involved in a lot of different activities as an online business adviser, author, publisher, media commentator, entrepreneur, and investor.

In my business advisory work, I’m a strategic guide and sometimes  trouble-shooter.  Clients tell me they value my experience, commercial creativity, clear thinking and straight-talking.  I’m a “No BS” kinda guy. I can cut through to the heart of the issue and help you fast-track the strategies and solutions you need.

I’ve advised, consulted to and given strategic and tactical online business guidance to many organizations, large and small including government and not-for-profits.

You can read my Core Values here.  If you are thinking of engaging me, please see how your values align with mine.  Hopefully we believe similar things about how business relationships need to work…

Helping Others Do Online Business For Years

I’ve been assisting people to do business online since 1995.  At the risk of ‘blowing my own trumpet’, I have been recognized over the years as one of Australia’s leading online business specialists, and have appeared as a specialist commentator on online business and the Internet in the press and on various radio and television programs including  news bulletins, Today Tonight and A Current Affair. I was the Internet Expert on ABC TV’s Can We Help program’s “Ask The Expert” segment.

From 1995 to 2008, I was the Managing Director of the Internet Business Corporation Ltd (IBC), a business I founded, built and successfully operated for 13 years before it was sold in 2008. In this time, my team and I consulted to and advised many of Australia’s leading organizations in how to discover, understand and successfully use the Internet for business.  At IBC, we built a team of clever web marketers, web designers and web developers who built and launched hundreds of successful online business websites.  We also started the digital marketing agency, Tentacle.

In April 2007,  the 51% majority of IBC shares were purchased by the ill-fated BlueFreeway Ltd. I learnt plenty, including the perils of lengthy earn-outs and the danger of being at the partial mercy of a corporate Emperor with no clothes. Living in very interesting times as we did back then,  IBC in its entirety was purchased by another public company Platform Interactive Ltd in October 2008.

Business Publishing & The Internet

Prior to the online world, I was the founder and Editor of Business Directions magazine, a nationally distributed magazine for business owners we ran from 1987 to 1995. The purpose of Business Directions was to tap into the expertise and experiences of business owners and share these learning amongst others.  During this time I had the opportunity to meet and interview many business leaders and influential thinkers, the highlights including Robert Kiyosaki, Edward De Bono and the Body Shop’s founder Anita Roddick.

In 1990, I published The Success Book, a 460 page hard-back anthology featuring inspiring stories of the challenges, struggles, failures and successes of fifty Western Australian-based quiet achievers in business.

Back in 1993 – 1995, my publishing company was selected for the Federal Government’s Best Practice Demonstration Program and received a substantial Federal grant for research into best practice publishing methods and operations. As a result, we conducted extensive studies into the then emerging technology for electronic publishing, electronic marketing and online business. This was prior to, and then during the very early days of the commercialization of the Internet.

Silicon Valley Insights (2001)

It’s a while ago now, but it may help put some perspective on today… In 2001, I participated in an extensive study tour of Silicon Valley, USA organized by the Australian Institute of Company Directors. This was a fascinating tour as the AICD opened doors that would normally be shut.

We had the opportunity to meet and privately pick the brains of many leading players in the Valley. It was after the dot com bubble burst, but still in the fall-out from the crash. The Valley was in some turmoil, and nothing gets the creative juices flowing faster than a good crisis.

Dick Kramlich, then a leading Silicon Valley venture capitalist, spoke of life as a VC at the time, quipping, “VCs in the Valley sleep like babies… We sleep for 2 hours then wake up crying!”  Dick also told us the key to success was to “simplify everything”. He was talking about software, but it’s a good message in general.

Bruce Claflin, then President & CEO of 3Com, said “There is no such thing as a tired product, just tired product managers.” Three days before our meeting Bruce had cut his 10,000 workforce by 13%.  He also told us “There’s more bad news to come…”     Bruce  explained “Our growth took us beyond what we were good at. We are currently in the deepest, steepest, most rapid decline that the technology industry has ever been in.”  But then he added, “The value of the Internet is real. The potential got over-stated. The premise was false in the near-term and the myth exploded.”

We met senior people at Cisco Systems, Silicon Graphics and others, and there were many brave faces. We met Sabeer Bhatia, who was the founder of HotMail, and who had earlier sold Hotmail to Microsoft for US $400m cash. Yahoo had made him a much bigger offer with payment in stock, but Sabeer thought he preferred the cash. Smart move!

And in San Francisco we met Evan Thornley, the co-founder & CEO of LookSmart Ltd then a global directory competing with Yahoo in the days before Google caught on. Evan explained that $250k invested by a VC in January 98 became worth $70m about 2 years later at the height of the bubble. LookSmart did an IPO in August 1999 at an issue price of $12 per share. The stock opened at $19 and reached a high in excess of US$70 in early 2000. By March 2001 the stock was $2 per share. Evan smiled ruefully when he told us, “I was a billionaire once…”

It was a fascinating trip, and part of a unique era. But it was not the beginning of the end, just the end of the beginning.  And through it all, the Digital Age trends have rolled along, changing our lives forever in the process.

Industry Stuff

I am a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Management and have been a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.  I was the President of the Western Australian Internet Association  from 2004 to 2008, and again from September 2012 till I stepped down in February 2014.  I was also a founding member of the board of the Information & Communications Technology Industry Collaboration Centre, and a former member of the Information Industry Forum.

I’m a member of the Australian Web Industry Association,  eGroup Association and still serve on the Executive of  the WA Internet Association which keeps the Internet running smoothly and cost-effectively for ISPs and users through the IX Australia peering exchange services.

Seminars, Workshops & Training

I’m also an experienced presenter and trainer and enjoy helping non-technical business owners understand online business trends and tools.  Over the years, I’ve been a workshop presenter and keynote conference speaker, and have presented Internet business seminars and workshops throughout Australia, New Zealand and in the USA.

Family, Fun and Freo

Originally from South Australia, I’m based in Perth, Western Australia but love being location-independent.  I’m married to the gorgeous Jane, and we have three wonderful children.  In addition to business stuff, I enjoy travelling, fishing, scuba diving, getting fit, cooking, cycling, and wine tasting.

For all sorts of  reasons I support the Fremantle Dockers AFL football team.   We live in hope…  :)

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