Close Encounters of the Client Kind
In early May, the team from Tanda were cordially invited to the recurring BiBs event – Brisbane Interactive Beers.
BiBs exists for the start up and digital community in Brisbane to stay in the know and meet the right people. Each time a BiBs event happens, industry leaders and interesting people get to share some words of wisdom and celebrate all things digital. The pop up events get people out at some of the best hotspots of Brisbane’s entertainment precinct, and this means a great time for TandaHQ.
At this particular BiBs night the topics focused on responsive design in the industry, how to raise venture capital and where the digital scene is headed for us. That last one is particularly interesting to Tanda, being a successful cloud-based software heavily reliant on the growing digital industry. So naturally, Team Tanda made their way to Up on Constance where the event was hosted this time around to hear from some great guest speakers.
Matthew Fairhurst discussed VCs and the do’s and don’t’s in particular detail. Reflecting on his own experiences with his start up company and the successful business app Skedulo.
He started by saying “You have to really, really get in the mode of selling yourself, selling your team and selling your vision of where you want to get to after that raise. That’s a really big mind shift for a co-founder who’s really technical or a designer etc. to get out of the head space and really dedicate yourself to that vision, to define the vision.”
On a positive note Fairhurst highlighted that now more than ever “more options are available to you particularly now where it’s a great climate to raise money.” For start-up companies on the lookout for VC opportunities this is good news. Who doesn’t want to hear the forecast of profit is looking sunny for their market? But what about people, like Tanda, who have been running smoothly with a #fundfromcustomers mentality?
Kris Croucher, commercial director of digital agency Reading Room, had some interesting comments and perhaps answers to this very question. He prefaced by saying “People that will succeed in the digital agency of the future are people that are the Creative Technologist. People highly creative in their outlook, their business and their work understand the role of technology in how businesses work; organisations, charities, not-for-profits, you name it. We’re currently in the biggest levelling of technology in the world right now so its changing everything. People who understand technology and behave in a creative way are the ones who will succeed the most.”
He went on to explain “I actually think physical offices are really important. There’s a lot of talk of people working virtually at a distance. Fundamentally, human beings are still social animals. They work best in small groups.”
The start ups that are local to their clients, know their client’s business well and collaborate with the client, and work together in a very agile business oriented fashion are the ones who produce really great quality work. So as much as you can talk about virtualisation and teams working – it’s bullshit. Small teams that sit together, that are multi-skilled and work together are the ones producing quality work really fast.
His passionate, insightful comments were a great booster for Tanda, who prides the close encounters with the client kind mentality we’ve been practising. In fact, the entire BiBs event was a great booster, to see the Brisbane community thriving and ideas still being shared. Tanda eagerly awaits to find new friends and little gems of information at the next event.
Industry Insights |
Why Brisbane is Australia’s Best City for Startups
Since we’ve started flogging time and attendance software at Tanda, our team has bought over 40 airline tickets across Australia. We’ve been to every capital city and done business at hundreds of locations all around Australia. One thing really hit home: Brisbane is the best place to be a startup. Here are five reasons why: 1. Cost of living This is by far the biggest benefit of being in Brisbane; housing and office space are so much more within the price range of a business that’s just starting. This has allowed us to bootstrap to a considerable size without using external funding. 2. Transport This may sound like a small thing. The best advice we got when we were starting our business was “it takes a lot of shoe leather”, meaning we’d spend a lot of time on our feet talking to anyone who’ll meet with us. Driving around Brisbane is so much better than other capital cities. It’s affordable enough, and nothing is too far away. Despite what philosopher Alain de Botton might say about the Riverside Expressway, it’s one of my favourite features of the city. Because Brisbane’s not that big, we can justify having an office outside of the inner city where rent is a bit cheaper, without feeling like we are out of the loop. 3. BCC Brisbane City Council is making a very concerted effort for the future of the city to be digital. I was lucky enough to receive the Lord Mayor’s budding entrepreneur grant and have heard Cr Quirk talk about the city’s plan for the future and I’m excited about growing a business here. 4. Business community There are a number of great communities around start-ups really getting some traction in Brisbane such as River City Labs and iLab. But the other great thing about the city is how many innovative business people are willing to talk to you and lend a hand – which is particularly good for a B2B business! 5. Talent Brisbane has two great technology courses at QUT and UQ, which makes it much easier to attract and retain young talent to help build and grow our business. It’s a much tougher market for employers in other capital cities, especially those with only one technology-focused university. I’d recommend Brisbane as a great place to start a business for anyone considering starting out. The team at Brisbane Marketing & Digital Brisbane have a lot of support available to you on top of the many other benefits.
Events & Media |
Tanda Open Data Hackathon this weekend – 17th & 18th April
This article is about the 2015 event. Go to hack.tanda.co for 2016’s event details! The Tanda Open Data Hackathon is upon us! Programmers, designers and developers are flocking to Brisbane for Tanda’s first Open Data Hackathon. In a digital era where everything is reachable from the click of a button, it’s no surprise there are now marathons and competitions for the digitally oriented too. Hackathons, e-conferences and everything in between can be a great way to meet new faces in your industry and carve out your own opportunities in the workforce. You can come along as a lone wolf hunting down open data, or bring a pack of friends to brainstorm together. On the first night after pitches, that’s when you’ll have a chance to form your final teams and get ready to compete. Tanda’s Hackathon will be taking place over two locations. Day 1 will see us at our own Tanda HQ for meet’n’greet, drinks and pitches. Then, a fresh start (and a free breakfast) on Saturday morning will begin at Brisbane’s River City Labs. The great facilities at this space will hopefully give all attendants the comfort they need to execute a great pitch. It’s a Learning Experience The main drive of these types of events is that everyone should walk out feeling that learnt something. Whether it’s something a team partner has shown you while trying to create something awesome under pressure, or a competitor reveals a clever trick in their presentation. There’s no point to an idea if you don’t share it. It’s a Networking Opportunity Whether it’s the company hosting the Hackathon or a fellow competitor at the event these are the kind of industry events where you can actually stand out for future employees. Instead of selling yourself in an annoying verbal resume at some cocktail event you can show potential employers your skills in action. It’s a push in the Right Direction Not only will you meet new people, you will receive feedback from the two judges for Tanda’s Hackathon. The first judge will be Tanda’s very own Adam Lyons who spends his time all over Australia helping to implement savvy programs for growth in Australian businesses. Our Guest Judge for the Tanda Open Data Hackathon is Keran McKenzie. Keran has been on the scene helping take start-ups to sky heights for the past 20 years. He’s come up all the way from Melbourne to assess your ideas and test your skills. It’s a chance to help a Great Cause This Hackathon is a “Hack It Forward” kind of event. All proceeds made in this event will go back into student funding for IT, programming, and related student clubs at QUT and UQ. As a Start-Up company ourselves Tanda knows the ideas start with you guys – the students, the idealists, the dreamers and the young entrepreneurs.
Events & Media |
The 2013 Lord Mayor’s Entrepreneurs Grant
Last September, Tanda co-founder Alex Ghiculescu was one of the recipients of the inaugural Brisbane City Council Lord Mayor’s Entrepreneurs Grant. Through this grant, he was awarded $1000 to support his professional development and Tanda’s ongoing growth. Alex wrote a summary of his experiences, which we’ve included below. I used my grant to attend the YOW Development Conference, an annual nation-wide software development conference. Being knee deep in building and maintaining a high tech product, you want to take as much advantage of powerful technology as possible. Sometimes, this means sticking to what you know as it keeps you more efficient. But there’s always a risk in not broadening your horizons and trying out new technologies and ideas, and YOW was a great place to do so. My favourite presentation was the keynote – Jeff Hawkins on machine intelligence. The research he’s doing on computing the way the brain does is fascinating and I’m always thinking of ways to apply it to something less exciting, like efficient rostering. I also really enjoyed Scott Hanselman’s presentation on the future of the cloud, and the programming languages that will take us there. We’re hoping to ride this wave of amazing technological evolution to make our cloud time clocks even more powerful for businesses everywhere. So that was where my grant – but that was only part of the story. Getting involved in this program meant meeting a stack of interesting and innovative people doing cool stuff in Brisbane – the other grant recipients! They’re a very smart bunch. I remember we all met up for breakfast one morning at city hall, along with the Lord Mayor and some other Brisbane business people, and all briefly talked about what our business was doing and why it was cool. Afterwards, I openly admitted that Tanda was by far the least exciting business there (unless you’re really keen on award interpretation and payroll integration – OK I admit, I am). For anyone considering getting involved in this grant in 2014, I say do it. Everyone involved is really helpful and keen to see your business succeed and it’s awesome to see the cool stuff being done right on our doorstep. PS. If you’re still not convinced – we also got featured on the Lord Mayor’s Facebook page and all our friends liked it, so that was pretty cool.