100% Humble: The Sendle Story | #103

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Sendle Founder, James Chin Moody, shares what it’s like to take on a national institution and why being humble is so important.

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Nathan Bush is a director at eCommerce talent agency, eSuite. He has led eCommerce for businesses with revenue $100m+ and has been recognised as one of Australia’s Top 50 People in eCommerce four years in a row. You can contact Nathan on LinkedIn, Twitter or via email.

James Chin Moody is co-founder and CEO of Sendle. Sendle makes package delivery simple, reliable and affordable and is the only 100% Carbon Neutral Delivery Service in Australia and the United States.

James is an experienced senior executive and board member. He was a member of the Executive team at Australia’s national research agency, CSIRO, for eight years. He was also the Chief Systems Engineer for FedSat, the first Australian satellite to be launched in 30 years. James has served on Advisory Boards for companies such as Westpac Bank and General Electric and government boards such as the National Australia Day Council, the Australian Bureau of Meteorology, the Australian Bureau of Statistics and the Australia Indonesia Institute. He has also held roles as an Australian National Commissioner for UNESCO and a Trustee for the Australian Museum. James is a recognised expert on innovation, sustainability and the circular economy. He is the co-author of “The Sixth Wave: How to Succeed in a Resource-Limited World” which was published in 2010 in English, Korean, Japanese and Chinese. For seven years, he was a regular panelist and judge on the ABC TV program “The New Inventors”. He has been a member of the World Economic Forum’s Global Councils for over 10 years including as Co-Chair of the Global Future Council on Digital Economy and Society and Vice-Chair of the Global Agenda Council on Intellectual Property.

In this episode of Add To Cart, we are joined by James Chin Moody from Sendle, a shipping company focused on helping small business thrive by making package delivery simple, reliable and affordable. They are also the only 100% Carbon Neutral Delivery Service in Australia and the United States. In this chat, James gives us an insight into the ‘systems engineering approach’ that guides Sendle’s operations, what it’s like to take on a national institution and why being humble and honest is at the top of the list when it comes to success in business.

You can either be 80% good for everybody or 100% good for someone.

James Chin Moody

Questions answered in this episode include
  • How do Sendle send packages cheaper and greener than Australia Post?
  • What’s the part of fulfilment and logistics that retailers struggle the most with?
  • What are the key qualities you look for when growing your team?

100% for someone

We have this belief that the only way to be really, really good for somebody is to really know who you want to be good for.

So, you’ve got this choice, you can either be 80% good for everybody, right? Or you can be 100% good for someone, right? You can be 80% good for 100% of the market which unfortunately is what our competitor in Australia has to do. Right? And they’re trying to serve everybody so, they can never be a 100% good for anyone…

…versus Sendle, we want to be a 100% good for the needs of small and micro-businesses in Australia and the U.S. and we’re going to build for them, and we’re going to do it passionately and with a 100% laser focus. And they know that, and that’s why they know that we’re going to be better.

The flick of a switch

It’s one of those things, I think if we’d known how complex it was going to be when we began, maybe we wouldn’t have begun.  But it’s a very complex thing to do in order to absolutely focus on the whole merchant experience and then the receiver experience and making sure that’s seamless. It’s one of those things to make something simple often requires a lot of complexity.  

Think of the light switch on the wall right now. Right? That’s an incredibly simple thing. You flick a switch and on goes the light. Right? And if you think about it, that’s a level of sophistication. That’s a sophisticated technology right there because behind the scenes, you have an entire infrastructure, a power grid, and then transformers and generators and all that’s just to make it so that it reliably you flip the switch and on goes the light. That looks simple but behind the scenes it’s complex. And that’s the beautiful thing about technology, that’s what it’s there to do.

100% humble

We have what we call the ‘five Hs’ in Sendle which are the things that we recruit everybody by and we try to live by and that is, in order, humble, honest, happy, hungry, and high-performing.  The reason why there is an order is because we want high performers and folks who are ambitious and hungry, but we have to be more humble and honest than we are ambitious and hungry.  Getting that balance right is really important.

I think that humble is ultimately putting others first. Right? And it doesn’t mean that you don’t have an ego or that the team doesn’t have an ego, but it’s in service of something bigger than yourself. And back to why are we B Corp? We’re a B Corp, because I actually think that businesses should know why they exist. We exist to create economic opportunity for small business, we exist to show that you can be 100% carbon neutral and have a fantastic business at the same time and in fact, you can do it by unlocking capacity and shifting the network ultimately to looking at carbon intensity. 

And so, being there in service of something bigger than yourself is actually really powerful and a great way to both run a business but also just to live. And so for us, humble comes first. 

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