Sramana Mitra: What kind of customers did you gain traction with?
David Barrett: We did a couple of things. Most of the important things we did were, frankly, just by accident. I would say that the genius of Expensify is not that we have some great insight into the market, rather we knew we didn’t know anything. It’s fine to not know anything, so long as you know that because then, you’re in listening mode. The challenge is when you think you know something and you don’t. That’s a problem.
When we entered the space, we didn’t have any idea about what we’re doing. I don’t know anything about accounting. The most important thing that we did was have this email feature. When you sign-up for Expensify, roughly 30 minutes after the first email, you get a second email from me. It’s a pure text >>>
Sramana Mitra: Then what do you do to fill those gaps? Do you develop content modules to be delivered over the Internet around those skill gap areas?
John Miller: What we are in the process of doing with our clients is identifying the gaps and then, building a goal alignment. We go through a very detailed assessment on both sides. We try to identify what lines of business in their arena are changing, and what are the talent requirements that are going to be needed going forward. >>>
Today’s 227th FREE online 1M/1M roundtable for entrepreneurs is starting NOW, on Thursday, August 28, at 8:00 a.m. PDT/11:00 a.m. EDT/8:30 p.m. India IST. Click here to join.
Today’s 227th FREE online 1M/1M roundtable for entrepreneurs is starting in 30 minutes, on Thursday, August 28, at 8:00 a.m. PDT/11:00 a.m. EDT/8:30 p.m. India IST. Click here to join. All are welcome!
Just when the market thought that all was lost for BlackBerry, Blackberry delivers a quarter that was better than market expectations, and the company claims that the worst is over and they are all set on the road to recovery. Really?
There is a general belief in Silicon Valley that the venture industry is biased against blacks and Hispanics. This week, the media is rife with commentary such as this: Tech creating black, Hispanic underclass.
Sramana: If you were to position this in the context of 2009, when you founded the company, what would the competitive landscape look like? Who was your closest competitor?
Alex Fuller: That’s a good question. We were offering this system to a number of companies but the telecom sector was a key focus for us early on. We were getting our software, which was on Salesforce’s Force.com platform, on the roadmap of large enterprises who were otherwise looking at systems from Oracle, Siebel, and so on.
It’s a testament to the way that the cloud works that we were not required to acquire or manage the devices in the cloud ourselves, so we were able to focus on adding value. We were able to put intelligence into the software and create a layer of functionality and value that we were able to offer our customers. >>>
Sramana Mitra: Who was your co-founder? How did you know him? Why him?
David Barrett: His name is Witold Stankiewicz. He was my first hire at Red Swoosh. After I got fired, within a couple of weeks, everyone else quit. I was what was really holding that team at Akamai. They brought in some other manager and everyone else left.
Sramana Mitra: That makes a lot of sense. What did you tell him about Expensify? Did you tell him the whole complexity around prepaid cards, expense reporting, and banking relationships?