Camilla Ley Valentine: I moved into a company called EDS at that time. Now, it’s been acquired by HP. I managed a bunch of projects. A lot of them had to with the transportation industry. Going from there, I went into the company and met Niels and Martin, my two Co-Founders of Queue-it. This was a software and consulting company.
In that company, we’re mainly dealing with very big and complicated software solutions for government companies and ministries. We developed solutions based on EU tenders. I was the Director for Business Development and Software Architecture. I handled the whole process of winning the deals in close collaboration with my two co-foundersr. We worked together in that company for six or seven years.
Sramana Mitra: What was the genesis of starting this company? What was going on in your life or in the industry that triggered the founding of Queue-it?
Camilla Ley Valentin: It’s a bit different than a lot of the other startups that I know because we didn’t start with the idea. We started with the team. The decision was that the three of us wanted to develop a cloud-based software solution together. What had happened before leading up to this decision is that the company that we all worked for was sold to another IT company. We wanted to move on to something else.
A couple of us already left that place in that company. We got together and decided it’s time to create our own thing. What we really wanted to try was develop something that we would sell to many customers on a global scale. In the past, we developed a big, complicated, and interesting solution for each of them.
Almost always, it could only be sold to one customer because the requirements of government and companies are typically very specific. You’re not able to easily sell that solution to other players in the market so we wanted to create something that could be used by many companies, many customers, and many end users. This was the premise. We had a very good working relationship and we wanted to create something of our own. We didn’t necessarily want to create a company of our own.
We could’ve created the product that we want to create in the setting of an existing company, but we ended up deciding that it would be better to start fresh and create our own company in the process of creating this software. We have a process where we acquired structure and also did consulting. We were used to this approach. We have an innovation brainstorming session where we had a bunch of ideas and all the other ones are secret because we also had an NDA where we promised not to reveal any of these ideas.
All the ideas on the list of ideas had a global potential. They all were based on cloud computing as a main enabler. This was back in late 2009. At that time, this was a lot newer than it is today. We thought it was the right technology to put our money in. We analyzed all these ideas and decided that the idea of Queue-it was the best one to move forward. We thought it was relevant at that time.
Queue-it is a queue or a virtual waiting room and it prevents websites from crashing when you have many users wanting to access the same thing at the same time. It was a big developing problem where we had many bad press examples of companies failing to service their users or customers during peak situations. We thought that it would be an interesting challenge to solve in a different way than it had been so far.