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What’s on these Aussie CEOs’ Christmas lists?

What do you think CEOs want for Christmas? Image: Getty

It’s that time of year when couriers are run off their feet, the shopping strips are packed until close and gift-givers fret over the perfect gift.

With this in mind, we asked several Aussie CEOs and founders what’s on their Christmas lists.

A stable new prime minister and a paperback copy of Henry Kissinger’s On China

Adrian Harrison, CEO of cryptocurrency exchange Huobi Australia

Image: Supplied

This Christmas, there are three things on my wishlist:

  1. A paperback copy of Henry Kissinger’s On China: As a student of Chinese language, culture, and history for the past 30 years, I came across this book recently and I’m excited to read it. Written by one of the most famous diplomats of the 20th century, it looks at China’s evolving twenty-first-century role in global politics and economics and its changing place in the world.
  2. A stable new prime minister – The last 12 months have been a real positive for the growth of blockchain in Australia with now over one in 10 (13 per cent) Australian fintechs either blockchain or cryptocurrency startups, according to the latest figures from the EY and Fintech Australia Census. It would be great for the federal government to continue to help foster this entrepreneurship with long-lasting and sustainable reforms to help unlock our country’s blockchain potential.
  3. Bitcoin: Need I say more?
Quality time with loved ones, plus a notepad and a pen

Mick Spencer, CEO and founder of custom made sportswear startup, ONTHEGO

Image: Supplied

This Christmas I am hoping for some valuable time with my fiancé, my parents, my siblings, and my nieces and nephews. While 2018 has been a monumental year of growth, it has also been quite stressful having published a book and managing a fast-growing company.

Outside of that, I would love a few more leadership books to read, maybe a notepad and a pen to plan for the year ahead – but mainly – spending quality time with my loved ones as it’s the only gift you can’t return.

Time with my family and for my company’s customer-relationship management (CRM) software to be cleaned up

Silvia Pfeiffer, CEO at telehealth company, Coviu

Image: Supplied

On my Christmas list this year is to take some time to relax with my family; at the beach, reading startup and science fiction books. My goddaughter from Berkeley, California is visiting, so we’re going to show off the sights of Sydney; the Blue Mountains, Palm Beach, Manly, Bondi, Taronga Zoo, the Opera House, Darling Harbour and some of the National Parks. I’m also hoping to get to the Christmas in Town Hall carol singing – it’s our favourite way of getting into the Christmas spirit!

Also on my list is for Coviu’s CRM to be cleaned up. I’ll spend some time making this happen, as well as preparing new technology features, and preparing for our next capital raise. I’ll probably even do some coding – there’s always plenty of work to do as a startup and the Christmas period is a good time for me to get it done without frequent interruptions.

A Smart Ukelele made of European maple wood

Darren Winterford, CEO and founder of corporate and retail training app, EdApp

Image: Supplied

On my Christmas wish list this year is a Smart Ukulele from the Museum of Modern Art (MOMA) Store in New York City. It is made from European maple wood and has 72 built-in LED lights to show you where to place your fingers when learning songs.

I first saw it at the MOMA Store in Soho around the corner from our US office and knew I had to have it. MOMA have a great range of products that ship worldwide and are guaranteed to be unique under any Christmas tree. I’m looking forward to getting mine!

Anova Precision Cooker and Devialet speakers for the team

Adrian Przelozny, CEO of cryptocurrency exchange, Independent Reserve

Image: Supplied

I’m an avid cook and the holiday season is usually the time when I invite family and friends over for a good, home cooked meal. This year, I’m thinking of serving sous vide beef brisket, so the Anova Precision Cooker would be an ideal gift to receive or buy for myself.

To thank the team for their hard work this year, our office is going to get Devialet speakers. We have quite a few audiophiles who would appreciate this gadget. Not only are we going to turn up the noise in the office a bit but also turn up the office styling by a few notches.

We’re also going to make donations to organisations like OzHarvest this Christmas. With 3.6 million Australians experiencing food relief each year, supporting them allows quality surplus food to be rescued and redistributed to those in need.

To spread my passion for lifelong learning

David Collien, CTO and co-founder of education platform, OpenLearning

Image: Supplied

When it comes to Christmas gifts I’m a little difficult – I’m more interested in tinkering, and making my own tech gadgets, rather than what is on the store shelf.

However, if I’m really going to be aspirational about Christmas wishes, I’m not going to be thinking too much about material things – my real wish is to spread the passion for lifelong learning as far and wide as possible.

If you’re going to be getting someone a gift this Christmas, you can fulfil my wishes too by finding something that will make them want to create, express themselves, discover, invent, and share it with the world – a spark which might ignite a passion, to learn something new and inspire future innovations.

A drone and some golf lessons

Adam Theobald, founder at Ordermentum and queue-jump app, Hey You (formerly Beat the Q)

Image: Supplied

I have two wishes this year.

To scratch the massive geek that lurks not too deep below the surface, to convince myself to buy a Drone. I have watched the drone space explode out of nowhere, and the inner kid in me wants to play with one! I should say the last time I bought a flying aircraft I broke it before my first flight… so this might be an expensive and bad idea.

My second and more practical wish is for some golf lessons. Hardly the normal startup sport, I find it really valuable on the rare occasion that I do get out, to switch off and to relax. That said, the way I play it can cause a different type of stress – so a lesson will help me head in the right direction.

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