With a background in investing, advising and founding new start ups, Gus Balbontin speaks on digital disruption, business transformation, business innovation and culture. As former ED and CTO of Lonely Planet, Gus shares lessons learned that are thought provoking and insightful.
As an eight year old boy growing up in Argentina, he told his parents he wasn't going to study, he was just going to travel.
By the time he was 17, after what became a very successful small cake enterprise, he won a scholarship and landed in Byron Bay, Australia.
That year long trip to Australia was going to change his life forever. Not only did he meet his now wife and mother of three beautiful kids, he also had a significant epiphany: travelling is a state of mind before anything else.
Armed with the quintessential Aussie 'give-it-a-go' spirit and encouragement from his family, he applied to work at a travel agency. The odds were against him, but on the back of his enthusiasm and travel experience he managed to secure a designer role at none other than Lonely Planet, the most influential travel company in the world.
It didn't take long to start looking through the information and trying to fix and correct processes and systems in order to improve Lonely Planet's products
Fast forward to 2014, eight roles within Lonely Planet, an MBA and hundreds of hours on planes, he is now running Lonely Planet. Gus became one of three executive directors of Lonely Planet and the CTO for 18 months before hanging up the boots and calling it a day.
He has also launched e-books, apps, improved membership in the oldest travel forum on earth by 50% and brought the company from millions of dollars in losses back to its feet.
He has worked closely with some of the biggest companies in the world developing cutting edge technology and products including Google X, Nokia, Apple, Amazon and more.
Gus will blow you away with incredible energy and insights into the transformation, struggles and successes of one of the most loved brands in Australia and the world.