The Company You Keep


In this episode, our host Janice speaks to Henry Weaver, Head of Community at co-working giant Fishburners, about developing a strong brand identity and how Fishburners' multilayered approach has allowed for local and international growth. Discover how you can develop a strong brand identity and establish yourself as the big fish no matter the size of the pod.

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A decade ago, co-working spaces didn’t exist. Now there are thousands. Henry Weaver, Head of Community at Fishburners, explains how the company has succeeded in the saturated market with shrewd business growth strategies.

After studying law, Henry Weaver quickly realised this wasn’t the industry for him. After some soul-searching, he wound up the Head of Community at Fishburners, a pioneer in the co-working space.

In fact, Henry says the company was Australia’s first co-working space. The company took off, expanding quickly across multiple cities, and taking advantage of the exploding start-up scene at the same time. Of course, that presents its own challenges: Fishburners faced intense competition.

“Quite frankly they [WeWork] almost killed us. They had bigger marketing budgets, they had bigger everything in terms of they were nicer,” Henry explains in this episode of The Company You Keep.

It wasn’t the only challenge they faced. During their rapid business growth, Fishburners ordered a full suite of glass desks, but they kept breaking. The company had to order over 200 new wooden desks that were then built by the founders and initial start-ups in the space. 

But the focus on community helped Fishburners survive and thrive. In fact, Henry offers a warning for businesses taking the leap and who are scared about growing too fast: 

“Don't expand too quickly. See a lot of start-ups go, they get that little bit of traction in Australia or Sydney or whatever, and then they go, "Right, we're going global on day one." 

“Whereas I think that actually just puts way too much stress on a business and they don't actually know what their processes are.”

Facing its own rapid business growth, Fishburners has tapped into My Business’s resources to manage their HR processes. 

“My Business has this product called HR Advance and that's really enabled us to have this plug and play product that we can have for our employees to engage with. And that's been awesome.”

Disclaimer: Our guests are real business owners and their experiences are their true stories. The guests express views and opinions that are from their own learnings and insights.

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