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eCommerce Entrepreneur School: From Temando to Lyre’s Spirit Co. with Carl Hartmann | #029

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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.

Carl Hartmann is a prominent, multi-award winning Australian serial entrepreneur, who is best known for his work in co-founding Temando, Compono and Lyre’s Non-Alcoholic Spirit Co, and his involvement as an investor & board member/advisor to a range of leading technology companies around the world.

In this episode of Add To Cart, we are joined by Carl Hartmann, a serial entrepreneur, co founder of Temando, Compono and Lyre’s Spirit Co. 

Carl took the shipping and fulfillment solution, Temando from an idea to one of the largest Australian technology companies, having raised over $55m in funding.  Compono, an end to end talent solution company, was born from Carl’s own hiring frustrations and his latest venture is award-winning, non alcoholic spirit retailer, Lyres, launched in 2019.

Carl shares his learnings from the Temando years, talks about building the Lyre’s brand, and provides fascinating fulfillment insights and tips.  We also find out why for Carl, second is the winning position.

“There’s a lot of people that say, ‘Oh you’ve got to be first’. I actually disagree, I think in most cases, you want to be second.”

Carl Hartmann
Questions answered in this episode include
  • What was your biggest lesson from the Temando journey?
  • How did you go about creating the Lyre’s brand?
  • Who is the Lyre’s audience?
  • What do you see as the big fulfillment challenges retailers have in the current COVID climate?

Carl wished that there was a platform that could tell employers/business owners who to hire, who to fire, who to train, and who will be obsolete due to automation. So he built one!

“My biggest learning from the Temando arc was really about people. We had grown that to a couple hundred people in size, multiple countries and you get to this of your career, where the businesses is stable and the bane of your existing existence just literally becomes people.

It’s either hiring the right people. Like, just finding them. Then when you finally find them, you’ve got to keep them. And there’s definitely some difficulty trying to attract talent the Silicon Valley way. You’re going up with head to head with companies that have an unlimited budget.

I remember interviewing some people and them asking what’s on the menu for the week. They’re like, “Oh, I only work somewhere where there’s a catered lunch”. And you’re like, “holy shit. Some people are entitled.” And then, I got reflecting.

I remember a couple of times I made some absolutely shocking hires that caused lots of damage to the business.

On paper looked amazing. But get them in the business and they’re just not the right person. And then I had the complete inverse of that, where I had some people that literally you read the resume and you probably shouldn’t even interview them. But you get them in your upskill, then, then they become your next superstar.

So I remember just talking to other CEOs, just thinking, I wish there was a platform that could tell me who I should hire, who I should fire, who I should train. It could be something simple as a chat bot or a traditional manufacturing business.

So I teamed up with someone I went to uni with and we cracked on. We built it and that’s a growing like a weed. That was one where I felt passionate to solve that problem because it was the source of frustration.”

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