Business In:Brief with Chris Noone (Collaborate)
CEO of Collaborate (Carly), 2014-present
Chris Noone is the CEO and executive director of Collaborate Corporation, an ASX-listed company that operates the peer-to-peer marketplaces DriveMyCar, MyCaravan and Mobilise, and aims to disrupt traditional business models by allowing individuals to transact directly with each other.
In March, Collaborate launched the car subscription service Carly, an alternative to car ownership and rental, which gives drivers access to a vehicle in return for a monthly subscription fee. Drivers are free to swap cars as they wish and can cancel their subscription at any time.
Chris also previously worked as Commercial Director of Hasbro Interactive and Group Mobile Director for NineMSN.
What was your first job?
My first job, aged 17, was starting a commercial cleaning business. Ironically for me, I really wanted to buy a nice car, and this was the fastest way of getting the cash I needed.
What's your proudest achievement?
I've worked in lots of new and innovative industries where the constant challenge is to start with a blank sheet of paper, decipher customer needs and build a product to meet them. Reaching the first $1 million in sales is incredibly satisfying and shows that others believe in what you are doing.
What's the biggest lesson you've learned?
Happiness is not something that's given to you, you have to work for it.
What other business leader do you most admire and why?
There are too many to name, but they have similar traits – they believed in themselves, overcame setbacks and helped others up along the way.
What's the best piece of business advice you've ever received?
To lead people, you first have to gain their respect.
Business In:Brief is a regular interview feature that profiles a notable business leader each month. It is also included as part of our business newsletter, which you can sign up for below.