008 – Making OSS Mega Projects Happen with Ashley Neale

While it might sometimes feel like OSS mega projects just happen, there’s usually a lot that must first play out up-stream, long before us technologists get the chance to design and build. First someone must spawn the idea, then be able to persuade a bunch of other people, exciting them with the possibilities of the idea. In many cases, this happens on the customer-side with OSS projects. The internal team sees the need and collects the support (and sponsors) to bring an OSS project (and product?) to inception. The customer-side team then typically asks OSS vendors / integrators to compete for the project implementation [The Red Ocean for OSS vendors].

However, our guest in this episode, Ashley Neale, takes us into his world where he’s constantly seeking ways to do things differently, to do things better for the customer [The Blue Ocean]. Ashley talks us through his experiences of conceptualising, pitching. persuading and closing a mega project worth well over $100m. Even better than that, he then describes the challenges, pitfalls and scars that he overcame whilst leading the delivery of that project, building an OSS/BSS almost from scratch.

Ashley then takes us on his career journey from an IT course at uni, to helping Engineers to sell, through to his current role developing strategic markets for Vocus. He also shares his big-picture perspective on what we can do better and where the big opportunities still lie in the OSS industry.

For any further questions you may have, Ashley can be found at: https://www.linkedin.com/in/ashleyneale/

Ashley promised to provide references to further reading in this podcast. Here it is in all its glory. Some brilliant titles amongst them:


The Challenger Sale – Mathew Dixon

Pitch Anything – Oren Klaff

Psychology of Selling – Brian Tracy

SPIN Selling – Neil Rackham

Lead Generation for the Complex Sale – Brian Carroll

Cracking the Sales Management Code – Jason Jordan & Michelle Vazzana

Understanding Business

Good to Great – Jim Collins

Great by Choice – Jim Collins

Built to Last – Jim Collins

The Hard Thing About Hard Things – Ben Horowitz

How to Design a Great Customer Experience – Fred Wiersema

What’s your customer’s problem? – Fred Wiersema

Lean Startup – Eric Ries

Understanding People

Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance – Angela Duckworth

Tipping Point – Malcolm Gladwell

Blink – Malcolm Gladwell

Outliers – Malcolm Gladwell

David and Goliath – Malcolm Gladwell

Think Like a Freak – Steven Levitt & Stephen Dubner

Superfreakonomics – Steven Levitt & Stephen Dubner

Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind – Yuval Noah Harai

Extreme Ownership – Jocko Willink & Leif Babin

12 Rules for Life – Jordan Peterson

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