Entrepreneurs of Australia: Naomi Simson.
Hyundai is all about the pursuit of ideas and creating possibilities. We’re all for thinking outside the box – Asan, the founder of Hyundai, was an entrepreneur himself. That’s why, we’re going to be profiling Australia’s top entrepreneurs – people for whom the Hyundai mantra of “New thinking, new possibilities” is a way of life.
Naomi Simson is a successful Australian entrepreneur, businessperson, author, blogger and media personality. She is the founding director of online experience gift retailer, RedBalloon, which operates under its parent company, Big Red Group. Founded in 2001, RedBalloon has now delivered more than 4 million customer ‘experiences’ and is regarded as one of the country’s leading tech startup success stories.
However, most people know the 54-year-old best for her role as the ‘Red Shark’ on Channel Ten’s Shark Tank, a television show that allows her to support the startup community and invest in the ideas of Australia’s emerging entrepreneurs.
ROAD TO THE TOP.
Simson’s career began in corporate marketing at a number of large companies – IBM, KPMG, Apple and Ansett Airlines. Inspired by her belief that Australians craved experiences as much as tangible goods, in 2001 Simson used a second-hand computer and a $25,000 personal investment to launch RedBalloon from the living room of her house. A decade later, with the company having grown to 46 employees, she stepped away from her hands-on role as CEO to focus her attention on other business interests.
On the back of such enormous success with RedBalloon, Simson seamlessly diversified her career and business portfolio. In 2017 she and Dave Anderson formed the company Big Red Group, which now operates RedBalloon as well as Redii, Big Albert AI, Wrapped and The Huddle.
Simson is the acclaimed author of three books including the business books, I Want What She’s Having: The Experience of Creating a Pleasurable Business and Ready To Soar: Turn Your Brilliant Idea into a Business You Love. SmartCompany ranked Simson’s blog, NaomiSimson.com, second in its Top 15 Business Blogs in 2016, and ninth in 2017.
Simson has received a number of prestigious awards throughout her stellar career, including the 2008 National Telstra Business Women Award for Innovation and the 2011 Ernst and Young Entrepreneur of the Year.
WORDS OF WISDOM.
Some quotes about business and life goals by Naomi Simson:
“If you have a dream and you give it a crack and you work at it relentlessly, who knows what's possible?” (Who, 2017)
“My personal motto is, ‘If it is meant to be, it is up to me’.”
“With more than 2 million LinkedIn followers, I believe my gift is the ability to share my insights, experience and observations about business, innovation and success.”