From car salesman to SpaceStation king: Gustav Goosen is the CEO of The SpaceStation, a leading digital media sales company in Africa. He is vice-chairman and head of research for the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) SA, and a board member of the South Africa Advertising Research Foundation.
What drew you to the media? The vibrancy of the industry and its people. The pace at which it runs and the requirement to innovate and adapt constantly. The all-round creativity of the agencies, publishers and media sales people involved.
Do you have any hidden talents? What happens in Vegas…
What superpower would you like to possess? Time manipulation.
What is your best characteristic and biggest flaw? I’m practically minded. I’m impatient.
If you weren’t the CEO of The SpaceStation, what would you be doing now? Property development.
What moment do you regard as career defining? The leap of faith from radio to digital when there was no real digital yet.
What have you learnt the hard way? Not all people ascribe to the same principles and ethics, even if they tell you they do.
What is the best and worst advice you’ve been given? Best: Don’t wait for it to happen, make it happen. Worst: Don’t worry, it’ll sort itself out.
Whom do you admire the most? I admire people who succeed, irrespective of who they are, what they succeeded at, or what the reward was. Achieving more than you thought you could or beyond what you were equipped to, that’s admirable.
What quote best describes how you see the world? “When one door closes, another opens; but we often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door that we do not see the one that has opened for us.” – Alexander Graham Bell
What is your favourite holiday spot and why? We break away to the Cederberg every year. Once you summit the Uitkyk pass, you leave the rat race and cellphone connectivity behind. We get to spend quality time with family and friends.
What book do you wish you had written? I don’t suffer author envy.
If you had a tattoo, what would it be of? Tattoos are permanent. The only things in life I can associate with that would be having my sons’ names tattooed.
What are you addicted to? Coffee.
What are you afraid of? Snakes.
What do you regret most? How much I spent on an old 4×4 and how little enjoyment we got from it.
What cheers you up the most? Watching my boys play in a rugby match.
How would your family describe you? Definitely: practically minded; impatient. Hopefully: an awesome dad!
Tell us something not many people know about you. I started work as a car salesman.
What is the most important thing that needs to change in the media industry? Why? There is so much change in media currently and there’s only more coming; to focus on one thing as being most important is very tough. The value of audiences and how to extract revenue from them through multiple revenue streams is probably top of the agenda. Digital has, and continues to, reduce barriers to entry; practically anyone can now be a publisher or media owner. Access to, and distribution of, content (text, video, audio, imagery, gaming, etc.) is readily available via digital platforms, at scale. The luxury of truly unique content and control over access thereof by a dedicated audience is disappearing fast and media owners have had to contend with this fast pace of change.
This story was first published in the November 2014 issue of The Media magazine.
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