How An Aussie Billionaire Went From The Housing Projects To Making Blackmagic Movie Cameras | Forbes

All of 2020 and half of 2021, I was working until 2 a.m. every day because I was writing the code that runs the company,” says Grant Petty, CEO and founder of Blackmagic Design. The 53-year-old billionaire isn’t kidding. He despises outsourcing, so he literally writes all the SQL programs that run internal processes at his 1,500-employee, $576 million (revenue) Melbourne, Australia-based company. He’s also known for starring in hour-long instructional videos for Blackmagic products like the Ursa Mini Pro 12K digital cinema camera. When the pandemic struck, Blackmagic (which manufactures all 209 of its products itself, unheard-of in the hardware business unless your name is Samsung or Sony) needed to share parts among its three factories in Australia, Singapore and Indonesia. Rather than hire someone, or even delegate the task internally, Petty rewrote the workflow software connecting inventory databases. If clubbiness, opaque accounting and exorbitant costs epitomize companies in Hollywood’s ecosystem, then Petty and his defiant, do-it-yourself approach make Blackmagic Design a tear-down-the-walls revolutionary. His 21-year-old business is best known for making low-cost professional cinema cameras, electronic switchers and other specialized gear used in television and film production. It also makes free software known as DaVinci Resolve, used for color grading, special effects and to edit video and audio. Blackmagic’s products are behind some big-budget, Oscar-nominated flicks such as Don’t Look Up and Spider-Man: No Way Home, but its primary customers are YouTubers and budget-conscious independent filmmakers. Over the past couple years, that market exploded as lockdowns caused a surge in demand for professional-quality home equipment.