Richard Keeves – Online Business specialist
When it comes to websites, what is ‘excellence’? The standards keep changing as technology and user expectations keep evolving. I’ve been involved planning and building websites for almost 30 years, and understand a lot about the ‘web industry’. (It’s not all good, and there are plenty of charlatans and snake-oil salesmen in the digital world.)
I was the national Chair of Judges for the Australian Web Awards from July 2014 to July 2016. These are Australia’s major awards to recognize excellent websites. I was also a Judge for the WA IT&T Awards (WAITTA) for over 15 years. These are now called the Incite Awards, run by the WA IT&T Alliance. Back around 1999-2000, I was also a Judge for the Yellow Pages eCommerce Awards. (Yep, this was a long time ago, when the Yellow Pages was still a big thing.)
Building the web and the Internet has also been important to me, both personally and professionally and I’ve tried to make a bit of a difference along the way. I was the President of the Western Australian Internet Association (WAIA) from 2004-2008, and 2012-14. Even then, WAIA had national operations, and is now known as the Internet Association of Australia (IAA). Amongst other things, the IAA runs the IX Australia Internet Peering Exchange services which is part of the Internet infrastructure used by Internet Service Providers (ISPs) in Australia and New Zealand to provide fast, functional and affordable services. IX Australia is still important even with the NBN, but the NBN ‘compromise camel’ could have been a lot better if the original vision of the national fibre network had been built.
I was a member of the Information Industry Forum, and was a founding board member of the Information & Communications Technology Industry Collaboration Centre. In 2015, I did a stint on the Board of the Agribusiness Council of Australia. It’s an interesting sector, especially as agribusiness transforms in the digital age.
In my business advisory work, I’m a digital strategist, strategic marketer and a strategic trouble-shooter. My clients tell me they value my experience, commercial creativity, clear thinking and straight-talking.
I’ve been involved in 18 different SME (Small-Medium Enterprise) businesses over the past 40+ years, and worked through 7 different business exit strategies. I’ve gathered substantial experience in how to successfully build, scale (or not) and sell different SME businesses. I’ve also learnt how not to sell a business, and I’m happy to share these experiences with others…
In The Media
I’ve appeared as a specialist commentator on online business and the Internet in the press and on various radio and television programs including news bulletins, Today Tonight and A Current Affair. I was the Internet Expert on ABC TV’s Can We Help program’s “Ask The Expert” segment.
Internet Business Corporation (IBC)
From 1995 to 2008, I was the Managing Director of the Internet Business Corporation Ltd (IBC), a business I founded, built and successfully operated for 13 years and sold in 2008. In this time, my team and I consulted with and advised many of Australia’s leading organisations in how to discover, understand and successfully use the Internet for business. (We also did a lot of work for government clients.)
At IBC, we built a team of clever web marketers, web designers and web developers who built and launched hundreds of successful online business websites. We also started, built and ultimately sold the digital marketing agency, Tentacle.
Business Publishing & The Internet
Prior to the online world, I was the founder and Editor of Business Directions magazine, a nationally distributed magazine for business owners we ran from 1987 to 1995. The purpose of Business Directions was to tap into the expertise and experiences of business owners and share these learnings amongst others. During this time I had the opportunity to meet and interview many business leaders and influential thinkers; my favorite highlights including interviewing Robert Kiyosaki of Rich Dad, Poor Dad fame; Michael Gerber (author of The E-Myth); Edward De Bono (inventor of ‘Lateral Thinking’ concept, the Six Thinking Hats and more); and the Body Shop’s founder Anita Roddick who was the world’s richest woman at the time we met.
In 1990, I published The Success Book, a 460 page hard-back anthology featuring inspiring stories of the challenges, struggles, failures and successes of fifty Western Australian-based quiet achievers in business.
Back in 1993–1995, my publishing company was selected for the Federal Government’s Best Practice program. As part of this, we conducted extensive studies into emerging technology for electronic publishing, electronic marketing and online business. This was during the very early days of the commercialisation of the Internet. The insights gained during these studies led to the development of he Internet Business Corporation Ltd (IBC).
In 2001, I participated in an extensive study tour of Silicon Valley, USA organized by the Australian Institute of Company Directors.
This provided many fascinating insights… especially in the wake of the huge dot.com tech bubble bursting. The Hype Cycle was right in the Trough of Disillusionment back in 2001.
Seminars, Workshops & Training
I’m a qualified trainer with a Certificate IV in Training and Assessment in the workplace. I enjoy helping non-technical business owners understand online business trends and tools. I’ve been a workshop presenter and keynote conference speaker, and have presented Internet business seminars and workshops throughout Australia, New Zealand and in the USA.
Over the years I have been a member of different business groups. I’m a past Fellow of the Australian Institute of Management, a past Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and and a past Fellow of the Customer Service Institute of Australia.
Family, Fun and Freo
I live in Perth, Western Australia. I’m married to the gorgeous Jane, and we have three wonderful children and now some grandchildren. I enjoy travelling, fishing, getting fit, cooking, cycling, and wine tasting. I follow the Fremantle Dockers AFL football team. (And yes, it can be bloody hard to be a Dockers supporter.)