According to founder Bill Draper, “We believe the time is right for a new generation of products based around an easy-to-use pleasurable user experience at more affordable prices.” So for his money, that is Windows 8. We were happy to help Bill through the BizSpark program.
Enter Gusto. According to Bill:
“Gusto is a new breed of Point of Sale for the hospitality industry. We are redefining the business model and bringing state-of-the-art user experience to a market otherwise known for expensive, difficult to learn and difficult to use systems.
We fully embrace the modern Windows 8 user experience resulting in a fast and fluid interface that is quick to learn and a pleasure to use. Our Azure cloud implementation eliminates the need for an on-premise server computer and database. This substantially reduces initial cost, ongoing maintenance and management and provides real-time enterprise reporting from any device, including tablets and smart phones.
We are developing the best solution the industry has seen to compete with the global leaders in the market, offering a viable alternative to the legacy leaders. We fully support industry-hardened hardware as well as Surface tablets and mobile devices, truly defining the next generation technology for hospitality.”
Microsoft technologies that you are using in conjunction with the development of your application (and if you’re using Windows Azure, please highlight that):
We have fully embraced the modern application approach with Windows 8 resulting in a pleasurable to use, fast and fluid user experience. We are embracing Azure in our modern cloud-based approach to keep initial and ongoing costs below what we believe our competitors can match with their legacy architectures and internal cost structures.
Do you build for scale first, or for revenue? How are those things related in your mind?
We build for scale first. Revenue of course is always important and our goal is to grow rapidly so we believe that requires building upon a solid, scalable foundation.
Do you make reasonable predictions about how you are going to achieve revenue and then test them out, or do you start with a business model and deploy it, to see if it brings in revenue?
We are very experienced in this market and have already begun to prove our pricing and revenue model. Of course any business must constantly be testing their approach and making adjustments as necessary.
What questions do you think a startup non-technical founder needs to answer when considering a cloud architecture for his or her startup, and I am thinking specifically here during the business model generation period?
One key question must be around pricing and cost of sale. For commercial applications in particular a startup must consider their funding strength before diving into a pure SaaS pricing model.
How much of what you are building is based on leaving a legacy and how much of it is based on technical challenges, or the ability to make something just for fun? In other words, where do you fall on the seriousness scale? For fun, for profit, for life?
In order to achieve our goal of becoming among the top global providers of technology for the hospitality markets we must take our technical and business challenges very, very seriously.
What impact or legacy do you hope to make in the market and in the business world?
Our goal is to grow to become one of the global leaders in technology solutions for the hospitality market.
Can you describe the relationship that you have had with Microsoft in building your startup?
Spotty. As a startup it can be very difficult to get and keep the attention of anyone at Microsoft. The organization seems very much geared toward Global ISV’s.
Why would an entrepreneur turn to Microsoft for help in building scale, a team, or using software?
When it comes to developing software for commercial markets Microsoft still has the mindshare and reputation to be taken most seriously.
Tell us about your Azure based solution.
We use Azure cloud services to replace the back-office server that is typical in all legacy Point of Sale systems. Azure provides us with reliability, scale and international reach that we believe will help us grow fastest.
What were the Azure features that prompted you to decide to build on Azure?
Azure is a natural fit for us as we also chose Windows 8 and the Surface tablet as key components of our solution, developed using .NET and Visual Studio.