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Journey from tech leader to prospective Mayor – Lunch with Vic Crone


Outgoing Xero MD and Auckland Mayoral candidate Vic Crone is the first to admit she is not big on career planning.

“I’m certainly not a poster child for mapping out a career.  I learnt from my Dad who started as an office boy and made it to CEO.  Step by step, job to job, keeping an open mind about new opportunities,” she said at NZTech Women in Auckland yesterday.

A good thing considering there isn’t a guide book on transitioning from tech CEO to politics. Her mission is simple though, “I want to lead a city that leads the world,” she says.

“We should be looking forward and not building infrastructure that is already 100 years old and out of date.”

It’s not surprising given her business background that Vic is a strong technology advocate, explaining that we are on the cusp of some phenomenal changes.

“We simply can’t ignore the impact technology is having on our lives.  Sure, we can bury our heads in the sand or get stuck in,” she says of the Internet of Everything.  The alternative is worse she says, if we don’t do everything we can, we will get left behind.

Vic Crone says Auckland could be the next Smart City if we are prepared to discuss it openly.

“As a city, we are simply not having these conversations and we should be.  I want to explore the opportunity and I know for some, the idea of autonomous cars and internet traffic lights is scary.  Sure there are regulatory, privacy and social impact considerations, but let’s use available technology to build a better city.  I want to explore all the opportunities so we can all benefit and get ahead of the curve.”

With the industrial internet revolution fast approaching, Vic Crone made 5 observations,

  • GLOBALISATION – thanks to the tech sector, globalisation will continue to be with us.
  • CONSUMER POWER – social media has shifted the power balance.
  • TECHNOLOGY – technology is absolutely everywhere and disrupting everything from cars, hotels and the way we live our lives.
  • BIG DATA – as data and information continues to grow analysing this will help us find new and better ways of doing things.
  • COLLABORATION – a change in mind-set for the future.

On a personal level, she says her first six weeks of running for office have shown how crucial resilience is.

“As soon as I announced I was running I began to receive lots of criticism, and most of it is untrue so I can laugh it off, but you need resilience in this job, and we all need it in our careers too,” she told the NZTech Women forum.

Vic Crone says we need to build confidence in girls from a young age and support one another and develop resilience.

“As women we can’t afford to lack confidence, we need to put our hands up and show we can add value in business.  The diversity statistics show that when you have women in your business it will be more successful.”

“You can achieve anything, it is possible and it’s an attitude women especially need to bring into the workforce,” she urged.

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