Every important lesson from the Vogue Codes 2019 panel at Adelaide University
Photography by Now and Then Photography.
The Codes 2019 event series is rolling out thick and fast, seeing a incredible mix of talent in the tech industry deliver keynote speeches, take part in panels, and Q&A sessions across the country.
Last night, Adelaide University kindly hosted the third installation of Codes 2019, where tech leaders and innovators sat down with our very own editors in front of a lecture theatre of students. First up, we saw Vogue Codes editor Victoria Baker sit down with Dr Michelle Perugini, co-founder and CEO of Presagen, to chat through the topic of artificial intelligence, and how it’s changing the world. Digital editorial director Julia Frank then sat down with The Daily Edited founder Alyce Tran, CEO and head designer of Canaria Technologies Alex Moss, and co-founder of Suntrix, Jenny Paradiso to walk through the dichotomies of glamour and grit, and what starting a business is really like.
Finally, editor-in-chief Edwina McCann hosted a panel with Australian Fashion Labels founder Melanie Flintoft, and founder and CEO of Kik Innovation, Louise Nobes. Together, they walked through the idea of being an entrepreneur, and balancing inspiration with innovation.
With such a vast mix of talent on stage, the lessons drawn were varied, but all worthy of mention, which is exactly what we’ve done below. Keep reading to find 10 pieces of career gospel from the Adelaide University Codes event, 2019.
Dr Perugini’s business, Presagen, is heavily rooted in the world of A.I., specifically in the medical field. An uneducated assumption is that A.I. is here to overtake human roles in the workforce, but Dr Perugini explains that’s not the reality. “One of the important features with A.I. is ensuring the tech isn’t at odds with the industry. For example, doctors work incredibly quickly, and are often required to process huge data and make snap decisions. A.I. can be used to assist them in that process. The aim is to free professionals up so they can focus on creative work that isn’t able to be programmed.”
Tran, when asked how she handles competitors in her market (of monogrammed leather goods) came out with this pearl of wisdom: “Replica brands make me better. If it wasn’t for others copying my business, I might not be pushing myself and my brand as hard. I’m grateful – it keeps me on my toes.”
Moss explains that so many people in the tech industry chose to work in what she describes as “stealth mode” where they don’t share their idea with anyone until it’s ready to launch. Instead, she’s a huge advocate for asking the right people for their opinion, and for validation that you’re on the right path.
Dr Perugini dished out some sage advice on finding your passion, especially if you aren’t entirely sure what it is. “Say yes to opportunities, try new things, talk to new people, and take on different hobbies. It can be a long process, but you’ll never discover what you’re passionate about if you don’t try anything outside of your regular routine.”
For Paradiso, a huge part of her success has been surrounding herself with the right people. “I work with my husband, which is amazing as he is incredibly supportive, and just wants to see me succeed. In business, I have definitely had to remove myself, or remove from my business, people with a negative, or unsupportive attitude. My support network has played a huge role in my success.”
Imposter syndrome can be a destructive force, especially for those starting out in their chosen field. Moss, who is the absolute picture of success and intelligence, had some words of wisdom when it comes to handling the feeling that you’re not good enough to be where you are. “Everyone suffers imposter syndrome at some point – even billionaire business owners who have raised millions and millions of dollars in seed funding. I think there’s a lot of power in knowing that.”
Kik Innovation founder Louise Nobes let the audience in on her secret for constantly growing in her field: “I always try to ensure I’m not the smartest person in the room, even when it’s intimidating.”
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The tech industry can be daunting for entry-level employees, but Moss explains that because of the rapid advancements in the field, even the most senior engineers have to relearn their skill set every few years. “When it comes to tech, not having a lot of experience can be an edge. Often, it means you’re not attached to any ways of doing things, which is so necessary in this industry.”
Melanie Flintoft, the founder and head designer at Australian Fashion Labels, has done an incredible job in her career keeping abreast of trends, but she confirmed with the audience that while she can’t see exactly where the industry is heading, she ensures her company remains agile enough to change course whenever necessary.
For Tran, quitting her corporate job as a lawyer to launch The Daily Edited was essentially the product of her feeling bored and unhappy in her job. “I live in the present, and frankly, I decided that life was too short to stay in a role that had me falling asleep at my desk every day.” Noted!