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40 Under 40 winner of the day: Michael Anderson


YouTube sensation Michael Anderson posted the first video on his UnlistedLeaf channel in 2012 when he was still a student at Sacred Heart College. His videos, which usually involve him opening packs of Pokemon cards, have now had more than 500 million views, providing him with an income most 23-year-olds would only dream of.

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Anderson was named the youngest winner of the inaugural InDaily 40 Under 40 Awards in June.

UnlistedLeaf now has 1.68 million subscribers on YouTube and while the daily hits peaked during the Pokemon Go craze of 2016, Anderson’s numbers are still impressive. About 70 per cent of views are in North America followed by the UK, Europe and Australia.

Anderson posts videos most days and also flies around the world to film promotional videos for companies including Pokemon, Disney, Nerf and Lego.

“I’m going to Tokyo on Monday and I’ve just got back from Berlin so I’m doing a lot of side projects for different brands, which is pretty fun,” he says.

“Essentially I’ll fly to these countries, make a video with these companies and then post it to my YouTube channel.”

Anderson has also just launched his first app, a mobile game called Squad Rivals.

We asked the former EB Games Assistant Manager some more about doing business in South Australia.

What do you believe are the strengths of doing business in South Australia?

It’s a tight-knit community and you can easily reach out to someone. There are diverse skill sets to call upon here when you need them. Most of my audience is in America or Europe or the UK – I can do this job pretty much anywhere. Adelaide’s pretty central to everything in Australia and it’s always the perfect weather for filming. We’ve got NBN now so I can upload pretty fast. I also have a lot of connections here from uni and people I went to school with who are YouTubers as well – people who understand where I came from and how this sort of thing works.

What do you believe are the weak points of conducting business in South Australia?

The only downside is not every international flight leaves from Adelaide so I have to fly out of Sydney or Melbourne every now and again but even that’s not the world’s biggest deal. Initially, the time zone was a bit of a shock going from a 9-5 retail job but you learn to work around it. If I need to talk to London I can take calls between 7 and 9pm, which is early morning for them, and if I’m dealing with America I’ll just wake up a bit earlier – about 6am – so I can nail calls through to about 9am. This job is never like a 9-5, when you can make it you do it and you insert your free time in other places during the day.

Do you see your future in South Australia?

I recently bought a house in South Australia so I’m all set up here. Everything I need is here and if I need to be in LA or somewhere else I can be there for a couple of months but coming back to South Australia is always the best part. Adelaide has been my home for a while and I think it will be for a bit more. Being a South Australian and representing on YouTube is fantastic.

How can the state encourage more of its young leaders to stay?

The careers are all changing and especially with the internet nowadays you can stay in South Australia and you can just work from home and it’s a cool little city to do that from. It’s just a matter of teaching those entrepreneurial classes in schools because there are different career options available on the internet that you can take and you don’t need to go to Melbourne or Sydney. You can start out it in your bedroom and then get an office somewhere in Adelaide. But it all starts with education in Year 11 and 12, which doesn’t really have any entrepreneurial subjects at the moment. I recently did a talk at St Peter’s Woodlands where they have started entrepreneurial classes for Years 2 and 3 and it’s already making a huge difference.

More about 40 Under 40

An assessment panel representing the South Australian business community judged hundreds of nominees for the inaugural 40 Under 40 awards, which aim to identify and promote a new generation of local leaders under the age of 40.

The final 40 includes a hugely varied collection of South Australian talents, who are making a mark in fields such as health, technology, the media, property, social innovation, agriculture, finance, the law, and much more.

For the full list of 40 Under 40 winners go here.

40 Under 40 is an InDaily initiative supported by the following partners:

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