Pop Quiz, Monday with Andrew Crimston

The Pop Quiz, Monday is a fun little exam that we love to give to savvy business owners. The examination is not a surprise after all since the interviewee already knew about the questions in advance. However, we can always pretend and have fun with the scenario of a young entrepreneur sitting in class nervously biting on their pencil. They are ready to take a pop quiz on a chapter that they were supposed to read the night before. Instead, they played Metroid all night on their SNES (Oops, this was me in high school). The real purpose of the pop quiz is that this is a fun way to introduce business tips from real-world experiences that you can not learn in a classroom. We want to thank our entrepreneur for being a good sport and volunteering their time to answer a few questions to help our community grow from their knowledge.

I want to introduce you to our guest today who will be taking our Pop Quiz Monday.

Can you please tell everyone your name?
Andrew Crimston

What is your job role?
CEO. I am the founder of the company and inventor of the WASHBOX technology.

Tell us about your company?
Geosentinel is a global leader in the provision of sustainable tool wash solutions for major construction projects. All finishing trades like painters, plasterers, and tilers on a construction site need to wash construction chemical products like paint, plaster and adhesive from tools during the construction process. We developed the WASHBOX system to fill a need in the industry to handle this liquid waste responsibly and productively. WASHBOX saves water, reduces waste and improves productivity with its mobile, self-contained automated functions. We started in Australia in 2006, have been used on many major sites in Australia such as Barangaroo, Docklands and Darling Harbour, and are the leading provider of outsourced washout systems in Australia. In 2018 we have installed our first system in the US, with more projects to follow in the UK and Asia in 2019.

What do you love most about your job?
I love being a change leader. Overcoming obstacles and working with the best in the business globally is very rewarding. I love the engineering and design aspects of the role as well as the marketing and business development side. It’s very rewarding to come up with a physical solution to a problem, promote it and have it accepted by your target market.

What motivates you to get up every day and go to work?
I am motivated by the challenge of dealing with legislators and regulators, and the largest construction companies in the world, to help drive major change in global green building processes. I know that we can be responsible for significant water use savings and waste reduction around the world. We are on a constant mission to find those key individuals around the world that have the desire to make a difference, and come up with new strategies to change a global industry. It’s awesome!

How do your co-workers inspire you?
I love that they share my vision and constantly remind me that we are doing a worthwhile and valuable thing. They are passionate about what we are doing, and are there for the highs and lows that you inevitably get on this type of ride.

How do you have fun at work (team building, pranks, etc..)?
We are a very small team working on this together for more than 10 years. We know each other pretty well and are all pretty low key individuals. We just get on with it! When we travel internationally together, we educate ourselves on the local nightlife and occasional whiskey bar.

What are some of the challenges of your job?
The frustration of dealing in a legislative environment that supports our technology, but where a lacklustre compliance regime allows irresponsible behaviour. Dealing in an industry where there are surely some dinosaurs that just won’t accept there is a better way. Managing the development of a global technology business on a self-funded budget.

What are some lessons learned from a past project that you can share with us?
In my experience, things always take longer than you think and cost more money than you can imagine. It takes massive resources to design and deliver a complex product to market, and the design process is never complete. Good and reasonable funding is more difficult to get than you can imagine. There’s nothing like being rejected by a prospective funding provider because you have a good profit and business model. It seems that almost all the available funding these days is geared towards the “moonshots,” the billion-dollar enterprise and the VC’s and private investors would rather lose tens of millions overnight on a “moonshot” that back a quality business with an established market that will make solid returns.

What advice would you give to someone who is starting out in your industry?
Be prepared for some challenges. Be prepared for setbacks but don’t lose sight of what you believe to be right. if you believe it, you are probably not the only one. You’ll find one more believer who will become your first customer, then another, then another and in time you will start to see the change you think is inevitable take place. Make sure you hang around long enough to see the change, cause its an amazing thing!

Thank you for taking our pop quiz today. You get an A+ for effort. You can learn more about our interviewee and their business by visiting them on the web:


Author: Ricky Singh, MBA

Editor of The Startup Growth.

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