Brisbane bots set to reinvent the software game
Dr Eban Escott’s company, WorkingMouse has hit triple digit growth for the last three financial years and now he’s preparing to share his Codebots technology with the world. Here the CEO and Founder talks fireworks moments, why Brisbane, Australia is THE place to be and helping humans and codebots to #GSD.
You founded the company WorkingMouse — tell me more.
WorkingMouse is a team of developers, designers, testers, and growth hackers. We’re a software development startup specialising in cloud-based solutions for web and mobile. The Codebots platform (Platform-as-a-Service) is our secret recipe for building and deploying awesome software and will be publically available early 2018.
How did you get the idea for Codebots?
Codebots started after years of building software for myself and knowing how difficult and time consuming it was. I knew that building software was inaccessible for the majority of the world and knew there had to be a better way.
What’s it like for your customers when they use Codebots?
When customers use Codebots they experience what I call the ‘fireworks moment!’ For example when they see that LampBot (our most popular codebot) can write 300,000 lines of code in only one minute. Codebots do the heavy lifting and then the humans do the next stage — which is the truly creative and complex work. For example, a designer will make the bots’ coding work beautiful. Ultimately the customer gets to keep the intellectual property — they own all of the code that the Codebots write.
What are the benefits of maintaining a Brisbane base? Why did you want to stay local?
The benefits of basing my company in Brisbane, particularly the local scene here in St Lucia, is that Brisbane is home to some of the top universities in the world and they are right at our doorstep (University of Queensland and Queensland’s University of Technology). The talent coming out of those universities is unbelievable and from an HR perspective you couldn’t ask for a better team.
What did the Advance Queensland funding mean to the company’s development?
The Advance Queensland Ignite Ideas Fund has given us the ability to dedicate resources towards our research and development and be able to move a lot quicker in bringing forward our Codebots’ launch to early 2018. The other thing is it gives us is a level of confidence that the state government is behind the local scene and that they want us to do well and to continue to expand, resulting in more jobs.
What has been your greatest challenge with developing the company so far?
Probably two of the greatest challenges: First was getting my pitch right. The best form of investment is paying customers so I had to learn to simplify the pitch. I had to create a pitch that was able to connect with someone quickly, initially I was presenting a one hour powerpoint based on the thesis of my PhD which drew a lot of blank looks and sometimes snores! Now I’ve got the Codebots pitch down to 20 seconds. Second challenge was HR. We have an amazing team but there is the natural cycle of turnover and trying to attract the best talent to the business with the right skills that is within your budget is always a challenge.
What do you consider the company’s greatest achievement and why?
It’s the little things. My greatest achievement is seeing the look I get on a team member’s face when I set them a challenge and they have accepted the challenge and the smile on their face when they complete it and get the results they were looking for. Another great achievement is the company’s culture and the ability to lead by example.
How would you describe your company’s culture?
My company describes the culture as friendly. Personally I describe it as a place I want to be at. The values for our business are initiative, urgency and thoughtfulness. It’s all about the small things like each person saying good morning as they enter the office and again good night as they leave.
Your company is forecasting significant growth in the next three or so years can you please explain how this will manifest? And please elaborate on how many additional employees you envisage hiring in this time.
Over the last three financial years we have hit triple digit growth each year. Over the last three years we have grown from two to three to 37 employees. If we continue this level of growth over the next few years we should be looking at over 100 employees.
How do you like to spend your downtime?
To be honest I don’t really have any. If I do, I spend time with my three beautiful daughters and I love to race and fly drones.
Who or what inspires you and why?
I think the people who inspire me the most from an entrepreneurial point of view, are the people who are slightly ahead of us as a company. Looking at their strategies and how resilient they are to get to the point they are. Aspiring to do better and continuing to grow.
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