Junkee Media CEO Neil Ackland reveals the worst day of his career
Neil Ackland, CEO of youth publisher Junkee Media, made his name as co-founder of brands Junkee, Punkee, AWOL and inthemix.
But there was one day which he remembers as the worst in his career, and which saw him named the “Friday Fuckwit” by triple j.
Ackland was talking on Margie Hartley’s new podcast series Fast Track, the episode available on PodcastOne today.
The incident in question was the launch of a new ticketing company, QJump, which raised $1.5 million in capital to revolutionise online ticketing and take on the dominance of Ticketek and Ticketmaster.
“We were very lucky to be in a situation to have secured one of Australia’s biggest festivals at the time, which was Splendour in the Grass.
“We secured them as our launch partner, which was pretty big and pretty terrifying.”
Tickets went on sale for Splendour, which at the time had a capacity of 17,500.
Over 70,000 went online to get tickets.
“The whole system completely crashed. What proceeded to happen from there was absolute chaos.
“The day that followed was one of the worst days of my life, it’s fair to say.
“That day, triple j made me the Friday Fuckwit on air, which pretty much just topped off the day.”
That failure made him really question his future and ability to overcome adversity.
“I remember thinking, I’m never going to recover from this, my career is done, how am I going to come back from this?”
The most challenging moment was also a high one, at least on a personal level.
He came home that evening and burst into tears in front of his wife.
She took the opportunity to reveal she was pregnant.
“Probably the worst day of my life ended with this very high moment. And it cut- through.
“It just cut-through everything and I just got straight back to the very core of what is really important.”