Morgan Trades Up
TradeMe founder Sam Morgan was profiled in the February issue of Australian Financial Review Boss magazine. In 1999, the then 23-year-old Wellingtonian launched NZ’s e-commerce success story, which was recently purchased by Fairfax for $AU 625 million. Morgan’s share was $AU 197 million, he continues to run the company. His advice to budding online entrepreneurs is to learn code, keep a tight rein on finances and not to bother with advertising until the website is truly established. Initial marketing should be done by word of mouth. “There is no joy of discovery when you find a product through being advertised to,” he says. “When did you last tell someone how cool Coke was?” Morgan hopes to gradually phase himself out of TradeMe and put his earnings into a venture capital fund to invest in NZ businesses. “I just get bored kind of easily,” he says. “I’d like to be backing companies where there are people working hard like I did.” TradeMe currently has 1.2 million members, hosts 35 million auctions per year and includes property, car, job, flat-hunting and web-dating facilities.