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Future Squared with Steve Glaveski - Helping You Navigate a Brave New World.

May 21, 2020

Tony Nash is co-founder and CEO of Booktopia, which employs 260 people, generates over $170M and sells one item every six seconds.

Tony’s story, however, really starts when he dropped out of college to travel the world for three years  - what he now credits to being his version of a degree.

It paved the way to founding several businesses across different domains, one of which was sold to a listed company, before several strokes of serendipity led Tony to found Booktopia in 2004.

We unpacked numerous topics in this conversation, including:

  • How to build great teams
  • Why you should just start, instead of waiting for a great idea
  • The value of a positive and empowering outlook

...and so much more that Tony credits with the success of Booktopia.

This is a must listen for anybody  trying to build anything great and enduring, so without further ado, I bring you the one and only, Tony Nash.

Note: We’ll have Tony back on the show in the near future to talk going from zero to $170M in part 2 of the conversation, with all of the struggles and challenges overcome along the way.


Topics Discussed:

  • Playing ZORK
  • Dropping out of college
  • Lessons learned traveling the world for three years in his 20s
  • Recruitment and people
  • How to attract and retain great talent
  • What Tony looks for in new hires
  • Questions to ask when hiring
  • Why Tony set up his own firm instead of working for someone else
  • How an SEO company evolved into Booktopia
  • Building company culture
  • Starting Booktopia as a side hustle on $10 a day
  • Not raising capital
  • Thriving through disruption to the book landscape
  • Tony’s most impactful books read


Show Notes:

We are the only company to make the AFR/BRW Fast 100 for 8 years from 2009 to 2017. We are ranked in the Power Retail Top 100 websites.

From 2013 to 2018 Booktopia was a finalist across multiple categories for the Online Retailer Industry Awards and won Best Online Store in 2018.

We are proudly 100% Australian owned and love what we are achieving here. I started Booktopia in February 2004 on a budget of $10/day as a side project. All of this has been accomplished with no external investment. We simply sold more books and reinvested the proceeds.

I have been in business with my brother, sister & brother-in-law for the past 21 years.

Booktopia has 13,000 sqm of office and warehouse and it is our stock holding of 150,000 titles and ability to ship books immediately that is proving to separate us from any local competitors.

We also have a flat fee of $6.95 per order for as many books as you want.

Our philanthropic program has donated $750K of books & cash to literacy based projects, writers' festivals & readers' conferences including indigenous literacy programs.


Listen to Future Squared on Apple Podcasts

Also available on: Spotify, Google Podcasts, TuneIn, Stitcher and Soundcloud



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