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scenestr of the day – Alex Brown

  • Thursday, 22 October 2015 12:30
Alex BrownWhat do you do?
I run the start-up 2ndLease. It’s a peer-to-peer marketplace for people to rent out appliances to each other. We provide a low-cost alternative for people needing fridges and other household items, while helping reduce the landfill burden by extending the life of these perfectly good appliances!

Why do you do it?
On a personal level I was over the rat race that is the corporate world, and after two redundancies in five years I was ready to make the leap and take control of my own destiny. On a practical level I wanted to do something about the amount of waste in our society, and after seeing the number of appliances sitting idle in friends and family homes I knew there was a solution. Shortly after I read an article about the appliance rental industry and the extortionate interest (up to 884 per cent!) they charge, this motivated me to do something.

What do you love about the city you live in?
Brisbane is very much an outdoors oriented city, with places like Kangaroo Point cliffs for climbing, or the very close national parks for some hiking and fresh air. It's easy to get some exercise and clean air in the afternoon without having to travel far, Mt Coot-tha is only about 5km from the CBD.

Where did you go for your last holiday?
I went to Japan in February for some skiing and sight-seeing. Tokyo is an amazing city, each area is so unique. The snow was unforgettable; we had about 1m fall in the week we were there. The downside is I am now very picky about sushi and tempura.

What's your favourite item of clothing? Why?
I have the same t-shirt from a particular local brand in about five different colours. They are comfortable, relatively cheap and I don’t need to think about what to wear each day.

What was your favourite TV show when you were a kid?
That’s a tough one. Being the youngest of four boys, I was force fed 'Seinfeld' from a young age until I grew to appreciate it. It’s not TV, but 'Golden Eye' and 'Mario Kart' on the Nintendo 64 were the other staples in my household growing up.

If you could travel back in time for a day, where would you go?
I’m sure I am going against the grain here by not trying to save the world or environment, but I would probably try to save myself, from myself.

If we were coming over to your place, what would you cook for us?
If it was during the week it would be either grilled salmon or chicken with salad, on the weekends either pizza or burgers from scratch.. That’s all I know!

What's the best lesson you've ever learned?
Planning and practice are great tools but you only truly learn from experience, by jumping in the deep end. Have a go and don’t be afraid to fail.

Tell us one thing about yourself that nobody else knows...
The only movie I remember crying in was when watching 'Braveheart' as a kid.

Are you happy with your work/life balance?
Ask me that in six months. 2ndLease launched in July so it’s been a busy few months.

How do you define success?
Being happy with and proud of the work you do. Quite often (but not always), if you do whatever it is you do well, success will follow.

What's your spirit animal?
I’ve always felt an affinity with the Western Lowlands Gorilla.
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