Tech Start Up Business Lessons

Biarri commenced as a commercial maths start up almost two years ago. In this time we have learnt a lot.
We focus hard on deploying optimisation and quantitative analytics in accessible ways to deliver the power of mathematics quickly and cheaply. Our just launched workbench (www.biarriworkbench.com) is a great example of this – providing monthly low cost rental of powerful maths engines available over a browser.

While we have been building products and models we have also been building a business and have learnt a few things along the way. Below are a few of the business lessons we have learnt growing a tech start up in Australia.

  1. Be in the cloud – because we were delivering our optimisation workbench using the cloud, we sought out cloud services for our internal business needs. Our accounting software, CRM, email and timesheets are all rented from Software as a Service companies. We learnt a lot about what makes a good web app by using these services and we saved a lot of capital cost upfront. Specifically let me say that SAASU (www.saasu.com.au) is a really good accounting system for a small business – much easier to use than MYOB or quicken in my view.
  2. Always push back against one-sided contract terms from big corporates – we find almost always you will get at least what you ask for. In house lawyers and legal departments will always try it on, especially when they are dealing with a small business – push back hard there is always some flex
  3. Not all phone companies are the same – one large Australian telco sells conference calling enabled handsets while their network does not support conference (e.g. 3 way) calling. This is not disclosed up front- we found out when we tried our first conf call. Ask the question, be wary of penguins and remember Skype is your friend.

Hope these few thoughts help. There is more we are learning each day so will stick up some more thoughts soon.

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