A quick introduction
I am a strategist, marketer and entrepreneur with top-tier consulting skills, an MBA, and hands-on experience launching & growing innovative businesses. My professional focus is on startup and growth opportunities where a combination of creativity & strategy is needed to find the right path.
My professional background
With my straightforward and collaborative style, I like to team up with smart, friendly people to tackle interesting challenges and deliver real impact. As a consultant and entrepreneur, I’ve seen the full lifecycle of business: starting, growing, restructuring & achieving a successful merger/sale. As well as deep experience in online & digital, I have worked in industries as diverse as software, mining, sports/entertainment, financial services, and retail.
My core consulting skillset was developed at Booz & Co. (now Strategy&) and Gemba Group, and honed further in freelance consulting with clients including Temple Investment, Partners in Performance, RocheMartin, ITW Construction Products, Business Spectator & others. Consulting projects have included everything from strategic planning at professional football clubs to commercial due diligence on mining acquisitions, from sponsorship strategies for big consumer brands to new product assessments and business model development at innovative small firms.
I’ve worked in investor-funded, bootstrapped, and in-house ventures to achieve successful outcomes. I’ve also invested my own cash in these and other ventures, earning healthy returns and plenty of lessons along the way.
As marketing manager of RedBubble, I was part of the founding management team that launched this very successful global e-commerce platform and community for artists. Ten years later, RedBubble listed on the ASX at a market capitalization of around $200M (see ASX:RBL).
After that, I co-founded Software Shortlist and as Managing Director I led its evolution and growth into a leading provider of sales & marketing solutions for enterprise software companies. The business was sold to NZ publisher iStart in 2012, where I became a non-executive director.
In June 2013, I joined Envato as strategy and marketing manager for their online learning business Tuts+. With an audience of over 5 million people each month, Tuts+ helps people learn creative and technical skills. As 2IC to the GM, I played a key role in revamping the brand, setting up direct advertising sales, and carving out a viable new strategy to compete against well-funded competitors like Lynda.com, Udemy, and Pluralsight.
In 2015/2016, I helped launch Envato Elements, a compelling new subscription for design assets, reaching $2M ARR in about 4 weeks. Innovative aspects included (i) unlimited downloads yet powered by independent designers (ii) simple approach to licensing (iii) pioneering the use of “subscriber share” to pay contributors. As 2IC to the GM, my responsibilities included customer insights, business model design, financial projections, marketing strategy, licensing & user terms, content acquisition, and PR spokesperson. After a very successful launch, our team merged with the rest of the business for the next phase of growth and I accepted a redundancy to continue my focus on innovation and new product development.
My educational qualifications include a Bachelor of Engineering (Mechanical, First Class Honours) and a Bachelor of Arts (Italian, Philosophy) from the University of Melbourne, and a Masters of Business Administration (MBA) from Melbourne Business School where I graduated with the John Clemenger Prize for top student.
Hobbies & Interests
I love learning new things and can often be found reading quality books (and a bunch of sci-fi and fantasy novels) as well as taking online courses at places like Coursera (e.g. Grow to Greatness, Data Analysis, Design Thinking for Business Innovation), Stanford and Tuts+ (of course!).
Life’s busy with my young family, but I like to find time to publish articles here, tinker with hobby side-projects (e.g. wordsearch puzzle maker), help my family with their websites (e.g. Boho Valley Produce) and pursue various creative interests like photography and drawing.
How to contact me
You can contact me online or via email: xavier (at) xavierrusso (dot) com.