Sramana Mitra: How do you get things off the ground?
Camilla Valentin: We made a business friend. All three of us had many years of business experience. We had some idea of what was needed. This was our first own startup. We found some good templates online that we applied to generating the business plan and started the architectural design of the solution in parallel. It was not overly comprehensive, but we covered most of the things that we found later that we needed to operate the business.
We also committed each other legally to doing this. Over the time of a couple of months, we contractually made more and more commitments between each other. We started with the NDA that I mentioned before. Then we moved to a letter of intent and then we finally created our shareholder agreement and our mutual employment contract.
Sramana Mitra: What is the financing? Did you put your own money?
Camilla Valentin: Before we started Queue-it as a software company, we started a consulting company where we sold our own resources. We were quite experienced business people in our local town in Copenhagen. It was possible for us to engage with a number of consulting clients relatively easily and thereby funding the initial development of the product. Queue-it was launched as a software product before the company became Queue-it. We developed that product in parallel with this consulting.
Sramana Mitra: How much time did you do the consulting services business before you launched the product?
Camilla Valentin: I can understand why you’re assuming it. We had been in parallel because we didn’t stop doing the consulting until six months into the first company.
Sramana Mitra: I know exactly what you’re doing here. I’ve written a book on this strategy on how to launch startups using services. It’s called Bootstrapping Using Services. We teach this as a methodology in bootstrapping.
Camilla Valentin: Queue-it was also a company in July and the product was launched three months before that.
Sramana Mitra: When did you start the company? When was the company incorporated? When did you start working together as a team in this company? What was the date exactly?
Camilla Valentin: The consulting company, which was not Queue-it, was founded on January 1, 2010. Then Queue-it was founded on July 1, 2010.
Sramana Mitra: January 2010 is the consulting and then Queue-it was incorporated in July 2010. You didn’t do Queue-it and the consulting from the same entity but from two separate entities.
Camilla Valentin: Yes, and no. We developed Queue-it as a product while we were in the consulting company. I don’t know how it works from another part of the world but in Denmark, it’s perfectly fine to develop a product in a consulting company.
Sramana Mitra: Yes. That’s perfectly okay. You can do that anywhere in the world. I was just trying to understand. Queue-it, not a separate company but as a product, was launched in July of 2010. The company that you were consulting as well was developing Queue-it was launched in January of 2010.
Camilla Valentin: Yes. The product was launched before the company Queue-it. The product was launched in March and Queue-it as a company was launched in July. That’s why Queue-it was spun-off as a separate company. So the product lived in this consulting company for a couple of months and then it had customers where there was a proof of business and then it was spun-off into a separate company called Queue-it in July.