My coffee was made that much better today when I spotted Cyan Ta’eed on page one of the Australian Financial Review.
The AFR reports Ta’eed had initially been reluctant to be interviewed for the Young Rich List feature. But she changed her mind, deciding it was important to be ‘visible’ in order to show women and girls just what’s possible.
Ta’eed is one of just nine women on this year’s Young Rich List featuring 104 Australians in total (and all revealed on Friday). That’s one less than 2018, with no signs of the gender gap closing at all. The list featured more women back in 2003 when it launched.
I first met Cyan when I moderated a panel of women in tech around five years ago. I had been using Envato extensively prior to that, but had no idea the platform was Australian and was part of a thriving Melbourne employer, nor that it was co founded by Cyan — one of the quietest overachievers in the local entrepreneurial sector.
That’s changed. Cyan’s since gone on to appear on rich lists (whether she wanted to or not), speak at more events and get quoted more extensively in the media. She’s certainly not your stereotypical tech entrepreneur, with a creative and design background, she demonstrates the power of hard work and succeeding your own way — but has also been open and honest about confidence, imposter syndrome, balancing family life and the need to work smart and look after your health.
She also notes that luck has played a role in the success and longevity of Envato, telling the AFR today that: “The longer I’ve been in business, the more I think what an anomaly it is that we have gotten to Envato’s scale with no external investment.
“We’ve won the lottery of life here, and there’s a responsibility that comes with that.”
The AFR estimates Cyan’s wealth to be $799 million, ranking fourth on the Young Rich List, together with husband and Envato co founder Collis.
It’s a staggering amount. But it’s also an inspiring figure to consider just how big a tech business can grow — albeit one that was started while Cyan and her husband were travelling back in 2006, and has gone on to expand extensively as they have had two children. Cyan’s story also proves how such wealth and success can be leveraged into other opportunities. She’s gone on to found the wildly successful (and delicious) chocolate social enterprise, Hey Tiger, and this year launched the Instagram web page builder Milkshake. Impressively, Envato donates one per cent of its pre tax profits to charity, and in April announced that they were sharing $13 million in profits with current and former employees.
I’m glad Cyan made the decision to be ‘visible’ – not just for women, but for all entrepreneurs considering how they can do business better.
Last year I sat down with Cyan to talk about the future of work, how she remains so effective, juggles family life and more. You can read more on the interview or listen to the podcast here.