Jonny Hendriksen, Glaciers, Listing Companies and Trust

About 4 years ago I was fortunate to meet an amazing human, a generous entrepreneur and now great friend by the name of Jonny Hendriksen. He moved to Japan at end of his teens, learnt Japanese and after losing his brother decided that he needed to live his life for 2, so he did.

In his mid to late twenties several ventures in while holding experimenting with new ideas around the emerging internet and juggling several humbling jobs such as bellboy at a Tokyo hotel, he met another guy at a BBQ became best friends and they shook hands to share everything they created from their on, that guy is Tim Williams.

Some months and early years of hard work on in their late twenties in 1999, at the dawn of the internet they became the 1st westerners to list a company in Japan and before they knew it they were on the Tokyo stock exchange with 20 odd million bucks in the bank, it was game on, and the next level of the journey had begun.

They built a successful internet company and exited, and done it in a challenging environment to say the least as the trail of dot com destruction surrounded. Several years later, they did it all over again and built a company which is listed today (Value Commerce), has some 700 people, and has sales of around 12 billion Yen (Approx $NZ 120 million).

I’d known Jonny for just a short while and he knew I was running around NZ and the world learning how to make videos and start 90 Seconds, when he asked me if I could come down and make some videos for his friends and stay over at his place, which was a country retreat with a bunch of pads on it. I said absolutely mate.

A week later and I was waking before dawn with my crew and lifting off at sunrise in a 6 person chopper skimming the earths surface through the southern alps of New Zealand… Through Braided rivers, giant glaciers, eventually it was the afternoon and I found myself alone under a hoody in the solitude of the cold southern alps some 3,500 feet up cooking myself a sausage on a BBQ. It was a perspective I’d never experienced.

Jonny always gave me advice when I asked, and when things got really tough with other ventures, cashflow, mistakes, compounding mistakes… I needed a voice of experience I could trust speaking directly into my brain, I would call, he would answer and I would take quick action. That got me through a whole stage of tough stuff, you learn what someones really about when they help you unconditionally through the tough times. And you think of them when things are going good, and you want to bring them in.

Update: Today I’m really happy to say that Jonny & Tim are new partners and investors in 90 Seconds. It’s early days in our relationship together, but with the trust and history behind us, the experience of Jonny and Tim globally and in Japan, and the path that 90 Seconds is moving on, this will be a space worth watching with many more fun and successful times to come!

Flying through Glaciers with Jonny in a chopper and BBQ in the alps