The BizSpark startup of the day is Gestone, based in the US. You will find below an interview with Andy Harjanto, founder of Gestone. All the best to them and congrats for being the startup of the day!
Interview with Andy Harjanto, founder of Gestone
Tell us who you are and your role in the company:
I’m the founder of this company.
What did you do before creating your company?
I was a Microsoft Employee for 14 years.
How do you feel being the most promising ‘Startup of the Day’ per Microsoft BizSpark?
We’re happy to be part of BizSpark program. We’re taking advantage of Microsoft technologies, ranging from Azure, Silverlight, and upcoming products, such as Windows Phone 7. It is an honor for us for being a Startup of the Day, It definitely adds our admiration toward this program and company who goes extra miles for a very tiny company, like ours.
What is your company’s mission?
Simply, Getting Stuff Done. Boost information worker productivity in unconventional ways. We view rapid changes in technologies as opportunities, not challenges.
How did you get the idea for your company?
After decades of running small, large software projects, I started an idea of POT (Progress Ownership Transparency). This is all based on my experience, identifying 3 critical behaviors in group collaboration. Back in October, I posted a presentation to slideshare.net http://www.slideshare.net/Guppers/3-simple-habits-of-a-highly-effective-team; It was voted as Presentation of The Day on slideshare.net, and received a lot of positive feedback. I was surprised that people are still thirsty and looking for the right solution in managing their projects. The way we work has changed tremendously, while the tools and process we use today are still stuck in 1990s era.
Tell us about your funding history. Are you currently looking for funding? If so, how much?
At this point, we’re not looking for any funding. We want to reach Product-to-Fit market phase first.
How many employees do you have? How many developers?
I’m currently the sole developer/tester/sales.
Are you hiring? If yes, what are you hiring and where?
No. But I’m looking for a partner who knows start-up marketing very well. Particularly, s/he has gone thru 1-2 product cycles.
Which platform are you building on? Why?
- Azure for running a Web Role and Worker Role. We love the scalability
- SQL Azure storing account information and messages. While Azure Blob for files.
- WCF for communication between Silverlight and Web Service.
- REST/.NET on Azure to communicate to Twitter.
- Silverlight for rich user experience. It also offloads some work on the servers too.
Where do you see opportunities today in the Software/internet area?
This area has huge opportunities. We just touch the surface. In 2-3 years, Cloud Computing will be pervasive; plenty of data will be exposed online as well as mobile. I can’t even imagine the size of Mobile markets when all the infrastructures and application developments are at the peak. Today, it’s already at 4.6 billion subscriptions, it’s mind boggling.
What do you think about the BizSpark Program?
Great program! For a startup to have access to all Microsoft software and an Azure subscription is a big deal to many of us. I really like the direction of BizSpark of moving toward more building community among startups.
Do you have any advice for young Software entrepreneurs?
Actually, I do. Three months ago, during the holiday, I wrote a presentation on exactly this topic - http://www.slideshare.net/Guppers/have-yourself-a-happy-little-startup.
Who’s your role model?
There are a few in different phase of my life. Resiliency is a very important trait in running startup. I learned this from my parents and grandparents; even when they didn’t have much, they persisted, and still be generous to others. When I was at Microsoft, it was a privilege to work with very smart people. One person in particular, was Kim Cameron. He is, now, Microsoft Chief Identity. He’s not only smart, but he has a great sense of business. More importantly, he treats everybody the same; regardless of your title and seniority. He listens to any ideas, always give great advice. Now, I’m a founder of a startup, I met many interesting people. I don’t have someone work closely with me as a mentor/adviser at this point; but I follow closely Mark Suster’s blog (http://www.bothsidesofthetable.com) He has a lot of great advice for entrepreneur. That would be great if I can meet him personally one day, and talk about wide range of startup topics.
What’s the ONE THING you would like readers to take away from this interview?
I love to connect to entrepreneurs all over the world. I also love to connect to businesses who don’t mind to use startup product/services, even during alpha, beta development. In fact, if I could bring them together, I would be very pleased. This is one of major struggles that I found with many startups. If I have time, I would love to develop a free service/non-profit for just that. And you bet, it will run on Azure.