Founder of the first cloud company shares his secrets to success with Aussie entrepreneurs

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Oracle NetSuite founder and EVP Evan Goldberg. Photo: Supplied.

Oracle NetSuite founder and EVP Evan Goldberg had already taken the global SuiteConnect ‘Full Suite Ahead’ roadshow to the UK and Brazil when he took part in the Sydney leg of the tour recently.

Such a demanding travel schedule means Goldberg has his ear to the international economic ground. The good news is, despite some bumps in global markets, NetSuite customers routinely say they expect to grow this year. 

“They are optimistic about the future. But they are sharpening their pencil on their operations to make them as efficient as possible. Because it’s so hard to find great talent, they are making sure their existing teams don’t spend undue time on processes that require substantial manual labour. Rather, they are making sure everyone is as effective as possible,” he says.

A local global outlook 

Global travels aside, Goldberg says Australia represents a great business opportunity. 

“It’s one of the reasons we have been here for almost 20 years. We have seen internationally successful start-ups emerge from Australia. Also, Aussie companies often sell overseas very early in their lifecycle, which is something NetSuite can support. It’s just a good match,” says Goldberg.

Given Australia’s relatively small market, he observes achieving scale to sell offshore is the goal of many up-and-coming early stage ventures. 

“These businesses share many challenges with their global counterparts, such as how to grow profitably and use resources as effectively as possible. We’re impressed with the quality of our customers and what they’re doing. It’s a really exciting place to do business,” he says.

To learn more about how NetSuite helps Aussie entrepreneurs grow their businesses, visit us at

All about balance  

Having founded NetSuite in 1998, Goldberg has incredible perspective about how to survive and thrive through the business cycle. Achieving a balance between serving existing customers and finding new ones is critical. 

“Lots of companies don’t get that right. It’s tempting to always seek growth. But keeping your current customers happy is critical, especially in tough times. Make sure they are successful and getting the most out of your product.”

In an AI-obsessed world, Goldberg says there’s plenty of opportunities for small businesses to do more with their data. NetSuite can assist.  

“We have intelligent product recommendations, which look at the buying patterns in your data and predict what customers may want to buy in the future. Those tools were once only available to the very largest companies. Now everyone can access them.”

Bucking trends

It’s often said to be successful, early-stage ventures should be prepared to pivot as their understanding of their customers’ problems and what they can do to resolve it changes. Goldberg has a different view. 

“When I look back at the success of NetSuite, I attribute a lot to not pivoting. Although there were points when we could have moved from our path. For example, we are a pure cloud provider. But early on, some customers asked us to install our software on premises. It would have looked nice on our income statement, but it would have distracted us from our mission. 

“So I’m glad I didn’t pivot. But every entrepreneur has to make their own decisions. Your path to your north star is never going to be completely straight.”

Goldberg’s advice to business owners who want to make sure they are on the right path is to ask customers if they received the benefits they thought they would from their business’ products and services. 

“If they are using your products and services in a way that diverts significantly from your value proposition, you should worry you’re getting business for the sake of getting dollars in the door. But you’re making progress if they come back to you and echo your sales pitch.”

Goldberg emphasises how important it is for entrepreneurs to believe in themselves.  

“Be willing to push forward even when there’s scepticism from the highest authority.

When you’re doing something brand new, you have to reframe people’s perspective.  Combine your experiences and dreams and consider outside perspectives. That synthesis is what leads to great success.”

Read now: Growing Aussie businesses turn to cloud ERP to support customer care and increase cash flow

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