How do you move on from a successful footy career and live to become one of the richest people in all of down under?
Start by delivering booze to parties on a scooter, split a 124-game AFL career between the Brisbane Lions and the Melbourne Demons, and then found an exploding software company.
We delivered newspapers with a bicycle one time long ago, but we neglected the other two parts of the formula. We no longer even have the bicycle.
The Australian Financial Review lists Joel Macdonald as the 22nd richest person in the country. The 2016 BRW Young Rich List places McDonald’s fortune at $36 million, but that figure has skyrocketed since his software company, GetSwift has risen dramatically over the past few months.
Macdonald was trying to get a liquor delivery business named LiquorRun going during his final season with the Dees in 2013, hoping to earn a profit from providing a service to people with a sense of responsibility around their consumption of adult beverages.
That business showed a lot of promise and led to the development of real-time delivery tracking software that has blossomed into a $200 million idea.
“We built it to scratch our own itch,” Macdonald told 3AW Mornings with Neil Mitchell, referring to the venture he launched with former teammates Rohan Bail (71 games, Dees) and James Strauss (24 games, Dees). “We had our own liquour (sic) company and a lot of people needed alcohol on a Saturday night and surprise, surprise it got really popular and we needed a solution to really streamline and optimise that whole scenario.”
The big moment came when an American company took notice and entered into a contract with the three ex-footy players to provide auto parts delivery tracking services to a North American network.
Macdonald credits his footy experience with laying the groundwork for his success. He was at the Lions when they won premierships three consecutive years from 2001 – 2003.