Today we find ourselves in the fortunate position where we have developed a technology lead over most of our serious competitors of approximately 5 years. Where we have patents the lead is closer to 20 years. We can do anything that any of our competitors can do and we do it better. And of course we do a whole range of things that no one else can do.
Managing innovation is a key strength for us. Many of our competitors who have been swallowed up by larger companies have lost their ability to innovate. Taking new ideas and driving them to commercialized reality has been critical to our success. To generate the new ideas we have funded research projects at several Universities initially in Australia and now around the world.
Motivated People build smart systems
Finding experts in Artificial Intelligence is not easy. Hence a majority of our staff have joined us as fresh graduates and they have been trained by us.
We focus on retaining good employees. Our key employees have been with us for a long time and are the jewels that shine in our crown.
We are very fussy about who we employ. Attitude is perhaps the most important thing we look for. We have a philosophy of never having to make people redundant due to lack of work. We believe this is a management problem which should not be transferred on to our staff. This does not mean that poor performance is tolerated of course.
Maintaining Financial Integrity
As one of the only Video Analytics companies not dependent on venture capital we initially felt we were greatly disadvantaged. After the Global Financial Crisis we realize that we were in fact fortunate. While competitors were being starved of cash by financiers worried about their short term exit plans we were free to make strategic investments in the technology helping us to widen the gap between us and our nearest rivals. Having broken even financially (back in 2007) in a market where most players have found it hard to turn a profit, we were not forced into a fire sale.
The last ten years we have had many downs with several start-ups attempting to steal our technology, bureaucrats thoughtlessly adding layers of bureaucracy and the Global Financial Crisis putting a damper on the spending plans of some customers. But we have also had our ups with the phenomenal support from various government departments around the world, particularly in our home base in Sydney (Australia) and we have been fortunate to have never needed to fight a legal battle in the courts.
We have had to deal with challenges of integrity. We provided the systems for the Commonwealth Games in Melbourne in 2006 and were invited to participate in the 2010 Games in Delhi. We decided not to proceed when we could not reconcile their unethical business practices. We have had to do this in several other countries as well. It was painful to forego the revenues and see competitors walk in without any qualms but we felt we are in this for the long haul and it is better to sacrifice short term profits to ensure that we live by our principles.