Last week we published our one hundredth newsletter, and what a ride it has been. The innovation and digital transformation space that we report on has been incredibly busy.
In our very first newsletter in July 2015, we reported on Paul Shetler’s appointment as chief executive officer of the Digital Transformation Office.
At the time, our editorial director James Riley wrote that Mr Shetler better bring his flak jacket with him, “because he has many, many battles ahead of him”.
Well, one hundred editions later and the DTO, now called the Digital Transformation Agency, is still leading the InnovationAus.com newsletter. And it seems not much has changed.
Last week, Riley led with an article which began: “We seem to have traveled a long way to get not very far in relation to the digital transformation of the Australian Government services. It’s in pieces.”
Mr Shetler indeed faced the “many, many battles” we predicted.
Also last week, we recorded a podcast with Mr Shetler for our 100th newsletter, where we discussed his fundamentally different view of how transformation in government works. (If you haven’t already, it’s worth a listen.)
Of course, a lot of other things have happened since our first newsletter. For instance, Malcolm Turnbull became the 29th Prime Minister of Australia (newsletter 11) and launched the $1.1 billion National Innovation and Science Agenda (newsletter 27).
For InnovationAus.com, other big milestones include the launch of our Budget Insider signature event. The morning after the inaugural event on 2 May 2016, our 46th newsletter went out, dissecting ScoMo’s big fat boring budget, with Riley quipping “Innovation is so last year”.
In June 2016, we hosted the 2016 Federal Election’s first ministerial debate on innovation and digital transformation, in collaboration with a cross section of the sector’s most important industry groups.
But for InnovationAus.com publisher and Hello Espresso CEO, Corrie McLeod, there have been two stand out newsletters.
“We knew that when Malcolm Turnbull took over as Prime Minister and there was the subsequent cabinet reshuffle, that there was intense interest in understanding what the cabinet shuffle meant. Readers were looking to the InnovationAus.com team’s experience to unpick that.”
“The second newsletter that stands outs included coverage of a report on the role of women in the ICT sector and some of the changes and trends that were less than encouraging.”
“The traffic from that newsletter is still one of the biggest spikes to this day, which tells us that there is interest in understanding how our sector is developing from a diversity perspective.”
According to Ms McLeod, InnovationAus.com has built a very strong readership that is much more diverse than originally anticipated, with the publication now on the cusp of 10,000 newsletter readers.
“We made a decision very early on to invest in high quality commentary and reporting that was able to build on the breadth of experience of our contributing writers and editorial team.”
In regard to future growth, Ms McLeod said the immediate focus is on ensuring InnovationAus.com has as national a voice as possible. To that effect, Denham Sadler has started writing from Victoria, and we will be looking at replicating that in other states.
Ms McLeod said the publication will also continue to broaden the areas it covers, and will be introducing an expanded line-up of 2017 signature events.
She said that when InnovationAus.com started publishing, the innovation landscape wasn’t being covered in anywhere near the detail it is today.
“More and more mainstream publications are writing stories on our sector that they wouldn’t have covered two years ago. That’s good overall – it has us kept us on our toes. But we, and the industry as a whole, need to be very careful that the word ‘innovation’ doesn’t just become wallpaper.
“If InnovationAus.com’s whole reason for being is about promoting the development of the Australian innovation sector, then we need to be adding valuable insights.”
“And that’s what we strive to do with each edition of this newsletter.”