We don’t know how lucky we are, sang Fred Dagg back in 1975.

What was true then, is doubly true now, and celebrated in a new book commemorating 60 years of IT Professionals New Zealand (ITPNZ).

From Yesterday to Tomorrow is the authoritative source of the history of technology in New Zealand.

“With 634 pages across 37 chapters, each chapter drills into a different part of the development of computing, written by a recognised national or international expert in each field,” says the blurb.

“Chapter authors include experts such as Professor Tim Bell looking at education development, RedShield Founder Andy Prow looking at Cybersecurity, Privacy Commissioner John Edwards looking at technology challenges around privacy and so much more.”

Company-X was asked to help ITPNZ mark its diamond anniversary by contributing a chapter to From Yesterday to Tomorrow about how the environment for tech start-ups has changed in New Zealand in the last decade.

It was an honour to be asked and recognised for our experience in this particular field.

Our contribution by Company-X communications manager Chris Gardner was based on interviews with myself, fellow Company-X co-founder Jeremy Hughes and Hillfarrance Venture Capital founding partner Rob Vickery.

From yesterday to tomorrow cover
FROM YESTERDAY TO TOMORROW: Company-X communications manager Chris Gardner wrote Chapter 4: A New Environment for Start-ups.

It pulled on decades of combined experience working with digital start-ups, and other client types, and focussed on how the COVID-19 pandemic had changed everything in New Zealand.

Historically, international growth has been difficult for Kiwi start-ups out here on the edge of the world. A lack of venture funding was a major issue, filling the digital skills gap was a close second and, for some, a lack of global thinking constrained Kiwi start-ups.

The COVID-19 pandemic changed the world in 2020, and we continue to feel its affects.

Vickery immigrated to New Zealand in late 2020 after a decade in venture capital in Los Angeles, USA, looking to invest in digital start-ups.

The pandemic turned our brain drain into a brain gain, bringing many talented technologists home to New Zealand and also ensured many new graduates cancelled their plans to travel overseas.

The work from home mentality the pandemic created has proved that we can do anything from anywhere, and reminded us that the world is our oyster.

From Yesterday to Tomorrow also includes reprints of ITPNZ’s 25th anniversary book Looking Back to Tomorrow and 50th anniversary book Return to Tomorrow.

The book is available directly from ITPNZ, as well as digitally from Smash Words.

It’s a great read for anyone with more than a passing interest in where technology has taken us from and where we are headed.

  • David Hallett is a co-founder and director of Hamilton software specialist Company-X.