I’m regularly asked how things are going at Mitingu and generally my reply is “it’s the best thing I’ve ever done”, because in terms of my work life it is! We’re always looking at ways to do things better and give our customers the best experience possible, so “the best thing” will just get better and better.
Being a start up in the events technology sector is great fun. Like any new business just starting out, we have lots of ups and downs, but staying focused on our goals and objectives makes getting through the tough periods so much easier. Reading books written by successful technology entrepreneurs like Delivering Happiness by Tony Hseih of Zappos has also been a great source of inspiration.
Mitingu has been around since February this year and we have come on leaps and bounds, working with some fantastic people and businesses. I thought I’d write a regular update to let you know about some of those highs and lows, our goals, aspirations and how we plan to get there. I’ll keep it short and sweet as I realise we all live in a busy world.
Feb 2014 – Sept 2014
“Follow your dreams, they know the way”
We started out with all the excitement, dreams and aspirations I believe anyone starting a business must have. We had to find the right people, not just with the right credentials, but who shared the same ideas and bought into our customer focused culture. It took a while, but we have a team leading the business that I am now proud to be part of.
When it came to the actual product, we started with a huge list of features that we thought would be great for event organisers. We then did a lot more research and managed to take loads of those features off and agree a “core” list of features that we felt were essential and that would be released as phase 1 of the product. We held a brand strategy workshop (sounds very grand, but it really was eye opening) and it helped us to focus on what we were, a delegate registration and engagement platform. That helped us chop a lot of the features on our list that weren’t directly related to this.
We also had to deal with funding. How would we do it? Would we be able to self-fund, need investment or maybe a combination of both? Would we want investors to buy into our ideas and be an active part of the business or just someone who invested and wanted to see an agreed return on that investment? It has to be said at this point that we did have an ace in the pack…one of our founders (hello Jon Baker) is a software developer! This gave us a huge headstart and a massive saving on initial product design and development. He was, is and will always be a huge influence on Mitingu and that’s only a good thing as he is hugely talented and a privilege to work with. As much as that helped, we still had bills to pay, so we decided that we would self -fund initially and review regularly (keeping on top of the money coming in and out is such an important, but regularly overlooked job). By June we realized that some additional funding and expertise would be really useful in helping us get to first base (we decided to go down the route of getting an investor that would also add valuable input into the business), so Andy (Jordan) was the perfect fit and in July joined us as a shareholder and partner in Mitingu.
Where we are now
We’ve been in BETA since July and we’ve had lots of live users putting the platform through its paces. There’s been no major issues, lots of great feedback that has helped us made it even better and we are set to come out of BETA on November 31st.
I’ll be keeping you all up to speed every week from now on, sharing the good times and the lessons learnt along the way.
One last thing to say is we’ve received amazing support and feedback from our customers and our friends. Our families have been super supportive and made this whole journey worth all the effort to date.
Thanks for reading and have a great day.