The pen that revolutionizes your iPad; developer castigates Australian government over tax system

“Robert Yearsley believes his app and pen solves the problem of handwriting, drawing and collaboration on the iPad – and customers believe in him, already pledging tens of thousands of dollars sight unseen,” Asher Moses reports for The Sydney Morning Herald.

“Collusion, he says, turns the iPad into a useful productivity device for business and education, rather than for just entertainment,” Moses reports. “It includes a high precision pen and storage of files in the cloud, similar to Google Docs, allowing for real-time collaboration.”

Moses reports, “But the Sydneysider, like many entrepreneurs, has incorporated his company in the US after being unable to attract Australian investor interest and accusing the Australian government of being ‘anti-startup.’ ‘Australia’s angels [high-net worth individuals] and VCs [venture capitalists] aren’t asleep at the wheel, they are persona non grata in my book,’ he said. ‘We have a tax system that will punish you for investing in start-ups, and a tax system that wants to tax founders on value they haven’t earned yet. Our only option is to leave.'”

Moses reports, “On Kickstarter, in just a few days he has managed to raise over [$80,000] out of the $100,000 required by June 30. Yearsley says the product will have a price point between $99 and $150.”

Much more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: The iPad already is a useful productivity device for business and education. Any iPad user knows that it’s not just for entertainment. Yearsley would do well to simply promote his app and pen on their own merits without incorrectly and unnecessarily denigrating the device upon which he so depends.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Arline M.” for the heads up.]


    1. Firstly, I’d advise not commenting on something you know SFA about. Secondly, yes life in Australia, a socialised capitalist democracy, is wonderful – high quality universal health care & education, a decent welfare safety net, high wages, by world standards low taxes & a progressive tax system, high quality of living, a highly innovative society, peace-loving, beautiful natural environment, enormous wealth in resources, and blessed with many great beers.
      Australians would not give all this up in what “Question” ignorantly calls “communism” for all the tea in China.
      The only thing we’re cursed with is dim-witted politicians across the spectrum.

      1. Socialized capitalist democracy…….

        Interesting how the left twists words into all kinds of strange new meanings.

        Socialized anything is pure and absolute HELL ON EARTH.

        You are a Libtard – Drone.

    2. Isn’t capitalism wonderful?? That’s the system in Australia that decided not to finance this guy’s dubious product. The free market decided it wasn’t worth putting up the money, not a government-driven system.

      Get over yourself already.

      1. It looks as if he raised a fair amount on kickstarter, not really sure what you are trying to convey? He may wind up doing very well with the product. In case you haven’t noticed we live in a global economy so an idea can be funded in many places.

  1. “Yearsley would do well to simply promote his app and pen on their own merits without incorrectly and unnecessarily denigrating the device upon which he so depends.”

    I don’t get that negativity from his comments regarding the iPad, I think it is his frustration of dealing with a socialist state…I hope America treats his ambition with more respect than Australia, but I doubt it.

    1. It was this line:
      “Collusion, he says, turns the iPad into a useful productivity device for business and education, rather than for just entertainment…”

      Yearsley perpetuates the “iPad is just an entertainment device” meme in order to make his invention sound important. MDN might have cut him some slack, but I saw where they were coming from. Yearsley would have done better for himself by doing what he can to undercut that conventional thinking, not amplify it.

      1. I still disagree, I think it’s more a selling point to potential investors who still think the iPad is merely for entertainment. I don’t believe he thinks that is all it is, otherwise he wouldn’t be creating this new way to use it.

      2. This is more 3rd hand reporting. You’re welcome to go see what’ we’re doing with kickstarter yada yada. I’m working on collusion because i don’t see a primary use case for productivity in tablet computers – iPad included (ie something that is done better by a tablet than any other device). I see this in lecture theaters, businesses and board room. I love my iPad – also think it has heaps of un exploited potential. We’re simply exploring that potential.

  2. Sounds like that clueless assdumb idiot in the White House now. We will be finished with him in about 5 months. Never ever again elect a damn fool with no executive experience, no business experience, and says he is a community organizer. Hussein is an embarrassment.

            1. I suppose that you expected Obama to declare “mission accomplished” and repatriate all of the troops immediately? You show incredible bias combined with lack of reason.

              Just admit it…no matter what Obama does or does not do, you will criticize him. Even when he does something that Republicans previously claimed to favor, suddenly it becomes unfavorable. And some of you wonder why people are not listening to your talking points…imagine that…

            2. Queen Smell,

              Face it, your Dear Leader, Mabomanidagene is an absolute Train Wreck. The worst president ever in the history of the US.

              Get used to the words President Romney.

              Austrailia and Europe deserve every bit of the horrors of Socialism they’ve put on themselves. At least this guy is trying other options.

            3. “I suppose that you expected Obama to declare “mission accomplished” and repatriate all of the troops immediately?..”

              uh Mel, three and a half years hardly qualifies as “immediately.”

    1. Actually, the clueless assdumb idiot in the White House who screwed the country into an economic poop pile was the LAST guy in the White House, George W. Bush. Or have you forgotten.

      The problem with President Obama is that he hasn’t been socialist ENOUGH! Single-payer health care, stomp out Wall Street excesses and send the American Talibans packing.

      THAT’s what we really need.

      And as for the guy who couldn’t raise capital in Australia, maybe it’s because there isn’t a huge need for a stylus for a product that’s designed to operate perfectly without one. Also, he’s not the first to market with an iPad-compatible stylus. Also, ask any small business owner already in America, it’s tough to get credit here, too…

  3. Yeah, I didn’t quite get the “denigrating the iPad” comment. It sounded like he was critical of the anti-business climate down under. If he’s thinking of coming to the USA he better wait until after Jan 2013.

  4. Surely even MDN can see the difference here. Ever sign your name with your finger on an iPad or iPod? Rediculous. There are reasons to have a stylus contrary to the party line. And they would help business. More things could be done with them if the appropriate input devices were available.

    And as for Question’s question? It was progressivism not consertativizm that brought you these products.

    The ideals not the gummint. Somebody thinking it doesn’t have to be this way and clamorous nostalgically for the good old days that never really quite were… But hey. Whatever helps you sleep at night.

    1. Their take has nothing to do with the merits of Yearsley’s product. It’s his echoing of the “iPad is for entertainment” meme, and that it’s his product that makes it suitable for business productivity that he incurred MDN’s wrath. People trying to sell business apps or products for the iPad shouldn’t be repeating that conventional thinking which only engenders doubt. Bad sales technique.

  5. In Australia, workers will religiously follow the union rule and down their tool at 5 pm sharp! This rule also affect small time traders and so you find it would very difficult to find a food outlet after 7 pm. Fortunately, Australia allows immigrants to fill in this vacuum. Migrant food outlets are striking rich in areas where indigenous Australian small-time businesses fear to tread.

  6. Hi all,

    From the ‘horses mouth’ – as mac daily news is getting things 3rd hand – (and fairly wrong as a result) direct sources are available and awesome! Looking at our Kickstarter page or website would be helpful.

    1. I’m critical of the Aussie Tax system as it pertains to startups. It discourages investment, and makes it extremely difficult to manage ESOP / founder equity. Two things that are essential to getting the ball rolling. Regrettably it is far better for a globally focused startup from down under to shuffle off to California. Most do. It needs to be fixed. The tax issue has many knock on effects that feed into the VC and PE space which are almost inwardly focused: For a small country we have lost about 1B market cap in the last 2-3 years between Atlassian, Big Commerce, Caggle, Freelancer etc. Most of that equity wont ever be reinvested into the Aussie tech scene – and the exodus of talent just keeps rolling offshore. All these companies took foreign investment over local investment. There is a reason for this. I am poking people to do something about it, which earns me the right to speak up / out about the issue.

    2. Collusion has not sought investment AT ALL. This was a deliberate choice. We have however been approached by several PE and VCs – all from outside Australia. My comments on this were that… if US investors can identify Collusion as worth doing businesses as well many other Aussie startups from half a world away, why cant our local VC community? The sense of urgency and opportunity that permeates the tech startup space in in Oz has NO symbiotic relationship with a similar focused investment community that is typical to the success of Silicon Valley. That is a damn shame.

    Further we have been (by design) entirely bootstrapped (call it a drought tolerant approach to commercialisation:). We decided to go directly to the customer via Kickstarter as a method to build a stronger product and company with a far better risk profile than your typical early stage tech startup. We’ll be profitable in 4 weeks, before we ship our first unit – that in startup land is different. It’s somewhat of an experiment, that so far is going well. My hope is that we can ‘prove’ this as a viable model for other tech startups. Happy to take questions.


    Robert Yearsley.

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