#43 New Zealand Heroes

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Edge Message #43 from Brian Sweeney, producer NZEDGE.COM


Today in HEROES we offer you the story of Joseph Nathan, a New Zealand entrepreneur with extraordinary foresight. In 1906 he founded Glaxo, producer of the dried milk formula that became a household name for infant health. In world terms, he was a pioneer of direct marketing and branding. The Glaxo name now fronts one of the world’s largest pharmaceutical companies, GlaxoSmithKline. This is a story straight from the Wellington and Manawatu heartland. /joseph-nathan/

Joseph Nathan’s story was written by David Passey, a New Zealander currently living in Stockholm. David was a senior business journalist for the Sydney Morning Herald.

We have had many requests for a Hero story about Alan McDiarmid, Nobel Prize winner in 2000, ex Masterton and Lower Hutt. Ernest Rutherford’s biographer, Dr John Campbell of the University of Canterbury’s Physics Department, has agreed to prepare this story. Coming soon.

We have a new front page, light’n breezy; there are a few variations so that soon your front door experience will be new every time you visit the site.

We also have a new Search service, we’re still shaking it down, it delivers many more hits than misses, we’re refining it, all feedback welcome. You will need to use this Search tool in conjunction with your “find on page” option in your browser (under Edit in both MSExplorer and Netscape). 

Current thought: with the lead-up to the Knowledge Wave Conference http://www.knowledgewave.org.nz in Auckland August 1-3, observe that the last four letters of Knowledge spell EDGE. My pitch is that potential for real breakthroughs lies in the areas of creativity, wit, attitude, moxie, nous, nerve, chutzpah – call it what you will; KNOW is left-brain, EDGE is right brain. Much of the dialogue about our way forward features rational thinking that emphasises institutional, process-driven learning.

The Edge spirit says that outlaws, eccentrics, misfits, dreamers, black sheep, visionaries and risk-takers who are outside mainstream institutions (and who may never have qualified in the first place) form a nucleus of ideas and energy. The “edge” part of our way forward is at least as important as the “know” element. It is the side of our national psyche that can be primed to take inspired shortcuts to to ideas, imagination and innovation.

It’s been pouring here in Wellington, in contrast to the week I spent in Sydney on new business. Australian investment in New Zealand exceeds NZ$22.5 billion, so let’s not be backward in staking this market fully. Australia needs us in ways it wouldn’t admit to, so let’s keep under the radar and double our efforts to repatriate value.

Best regards

Thumbnail description: The first dried milk factory in Bunnythorpe, built my NZ hero, Joseph E Nathan.

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