The times they are a changin. Bob Dylan, JDNEST, The Never Ending Startup Podcast, Dr Jon Drane

Welcome to The Never Ending Startup Podcast Episode 8- Startup Journey and Stories. The 1980s and The White Shoe Brigade meets Silicon Valley -The era of Christopher Skase and Alan Bond and its problematic funding and banking interface-  Dr Jon reflects on the 1980s boom and its impact on banking models and venture capital and his involvement with the dynamic CRI development group. The parrallel rise of Silicon Valley and its mutual interaction with  Australian venture and property development capital and the rising era of investment banking.

This JDNEST Episode’s Central Question:

What form of wealth will your Startup bring you? And what is the meaning of wealth?

There are many forms of wealth, the most popular being money.

However along with all endeavours and journies many other forms of wealth occur;

Belief, connection, engagement, sharing, friendship, love and wisdom.

Dr Jonathan Drane July 2024

The Never Ending Startup Podcast: Lessons for Modern Startup Journey & Stories of Longevity

The podcast  shares Dr Jon’s insightful entrepreneurial journey, history and inspirations.

It includes interviews with ‘accelerator startups’ from The University of Newcastle’s I2N Innovation Hub about their journey and inspirations.

It also covers the state of Australia’s innovation ecology and lessons for new startups.

The podcast and book build a social and entrepreneurial framework for startup journey and  longevity.

In this episode we concentrate on the theme of transformation and its importance in the startup journey of discovery.

This episode covers: The 1980s era with its impact on development and banking practices  (extract from upcoming book)

In this episode I expand  on how my entry into the world of high rise construction and property development introduced me to entrepreneurship, the concept of risk and return and how to assess potential developments and startup concepts.

In this episode I concentrate on the 1980s boom which was reputed to be the largest boom-bust in Australian history.

I was fortunate to be part of this era which was  loosely recognised in the broader press as the Skase-Bond era and came out of the 1970s and 80s era of the Queensland government at the time.

The Gold Coast developers of this era were called The White Shoe brigade and I worked eventually in the mid 1990s with Brian Ray who was from that era as well as Matrix Constructions who was founded by two ex-Civil and Civic project managers John Davies and Peter Burt.

The White Shoe Brigade meets Silicon Valley

Take time out to view how the Gold Coast development culture influenced Australian development and the world funding models. The rise of Christopher Skase and his Quintex group as well as Alan Bond who ran rings around the banking sector to eventually explode into the dim decade that was the 1990s.

Parrallel with this era came the rise of Silicon Valley which rose from the 1950s to spawn worldwide tech inventions, investments and startups. The rise of venture capital and The Silicon Valley Bank was to shape the future of venture capital

The Rise and Fall of Alan Bond is interviewed by Paul Barry

What is  The Never Ending Startup Podcast About?

The Never Ending Startup is the story of award winning researcher, writer, innovator, historian  and entrepreneur Dr Jonathan Drane and his journey through the world of  high rise construction, property development and then into  start up ventures, the genesis of which he discovered only recently, had its inception over half a century earlier.

Dr Jon’s Startup Journey and who inspired him

His first start up called Optimum Search was established in 1993 and still stands today with a deep quarter century history of entrepreneurial achievement and ‘catalyst research’ with some failure along the way, the latter being a central part of the DNA of its success.

The story starts in the midst of his post war 1950s upbringing as a hot housed adolescent who was introduced by his father to a strange mixture of  ‘chemistry sets’ , explorer Jacques Cousteau, physicist Professor Julius Sumner Miller and Australia’s Professor Harry Messel with the latter’s famous blue science book being in nearly every high school class room.

How History of Innovation guided Dr Jon’s startup journey and stories

In this way the story also  provides a lived ‘side history’ of Australia’s post war innovation path, its ‘lucky country’ label, and  its  subsequent ‘brain drain’ then independence and research initiatives from CSIRO to a modern innovation ecosystem.

Taking Dr Jon’s Lessons to the Modern Startup: Interviews with startups from UON I2N

Spurred by his attendance at innovation hubs and start up groups in the COVID era in  2022 and at the age of 67  Jonathan saw quite clearly what history can only reveal; that for the true start up, innovation is never ending and should not be seen as a single life defining achievement (whether good or bad) or a grab for wealth and celebrity.

The podcast includes interviews with modern startups including an exciting line up of interviews with ‘accelerator startups’ from the University of Newcastle’s Innovation Hub called I2N.

The accelerator startups cover important areas of our social, economic and environmental futures and they are used as themes for the interview related episodes.

Below are linked in posts of support for the podcast by startups I interviewed from  I2N University of Newcastle Innovation Hub.

Upcoming episode 9 covers: An Interview with Tania Papasitsuo and mobility  innovation Beemo

We are also proud to announce that episode 9 will include a special interview with Tania Papasotiriou who is co-founder of BEEMO, the first peer-to-peer decentralised protocol (app) in Australia, that redefines car sharing and empowers vehicle owners to unlock the potential of their unused vehicles.

Car owners share their vehicles when not in use, and community members who need transportation can easily find and use cars nearby.

Tania has created BEEMO as an accelerator startup as part of the University of Newcastle’s Integrated  Innovation Network or I2N.

I2N is an innovation hub which helps startups to develop their exciting new  ideas into valuable commercial and social offerings.

Dr Jon’s Interview Highlight with Tania

Tania Papasotiriou

Where is The Never Ending Startup Being Released on Social Media

Both the book and the podcast of The Never Ending Startup will be released on Linked In and our FB Business Page;

Here is our FB Business Page:

. Startup journey & storiesThe Never Ending Startup Podcast by Dr Jon Drane.


Here is our Linked In Profile:

Linked in profile Jon Drane. The Never Ending Startup Podcast and book. Startup journey and stories.


As for Fortune and as for Fame

“And as for fortune and as for fame,

I never invited them in.”

Songwriters: Tim Rice / Andrew Lloyd Webber, 1996

Startup Journey and Importance

The never ending start up is a journey through life, innovation and one’s innate desire to create, that should never be quelled, ridiculed or sidelined due to the apparent ‘apparition’ of failure.

Taking the reader through his journey and the central inspirations that guided his life, Jonathan builds a social and entrepreneurial framework for what he calls ‘the circular start up’, the type that never ends and keeps giving no matter what obstacles occur.

The never ending startup…

Dr Jonathan Drane The City Whisperer, Smarter healthy cities, Property development theory, Night economy, city and property development processes, precinct activation, dead city areas, chronology of building defects, dangerous building defects history check, the defects dilemma, a decade of dangeorus defects, invisible property developer, pilot station history , literature map, building defects expert witness, building defects legal solutions, how agile are you, life path, third age, fourth age.. self organisation, personal success, business success, higher degree research eligible internships, Dr Jon's Self Publishing Laboratory, my audience of one, mentor and coach. entrepreneurship in self publishing, self-publishing for academic impact, mentoring for success in life, stoicism in men. the ciruclar business entrepreneur

Dr Jon Drane

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Don’t Forget to Take our Quick Quizz based on listening to The Never Ending Podcast Episode 6.

Read The Book – The Never Ending Startup (Upcoming)

Subscribe to The Never Ending Startup

The Never Ending Startup Podcast.
The Never Ending Startup Podcast.
Dr Jonathan Drane

The Never Ending Startup: Startup Journey and Stories of Longevity. The podcast shares Dr Jon’s insightful entrepreneurial journey, history and inspirations. It includes interviews with ‘accelerator startups’ from The University of Newcastle’s I2N Innovation Hub about their journey and inspirations. It also covers the state of Australia’s innovation ecology and lessons for new startups. The podcast and book build a social and entrepreneurial framework for startup journey and longevity.


By Dr Jon Drane

Dr Jonathan Drane is a recognised writer, researcher, advisor and teacher in city and property development processes. He is an expert witness in complex construction and property development issues. Jonathan is also the editor of The City Whisperer which explores our growing cities and the results and malaise of growth.

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