Elevator Pitch is a regular feature on Lifehacker where we profile startups and new companies and pick their brains for entrepreneurial advice. This week, we're talking with Alan Downie and Matt Milosavljevic from Bugherd.
In 128 words or less, explain your business idea.
BugHerd helps web designers collaborate and communicate better with their clients to track issues. You're developing a website with a client. They're pointing out issues, but replicating them proves tricky. You need more info, and but that takes too long to explain, or your client doesn't know the answer, or have the time. Enter BugHerd. It's like marking up your website with a Post-It note. The Post-It automatically gathers detail about browser, position of the issue, but importantly, your client can detail what the issue is, the level of urgency, and who to assign the issue to. Then it's filtered into a Kanban board to monitor issue status. It's a neat way to make the communication process easier, plus there's integration with GitHub, BaseCamp, Campfire and JIRA.
What strategies are you using to grow and finance your idea?
Since we were part of the US accelerator program 500 Startups and then landed funding from Starfish Ventures, we've had a lot of support and guidance along the way. Our userbase is growing mainly via word of mouth and strategic marketing to the right companies and people — agencies, freelancers, and businesses with in house web dev teams. So far, over 10,000 companies use BugHerd and there are over 25,000 users using it for issue tracking.
What's the biggest challenge facing your business?
Explaining what BugHerd does without actually demonstrating it can be hard, especially since issue tracking is so firmly entrenched in dev, but a video or demo usually sorts that out — people see it, and they "get" it. BugHerd is pretty simple to use; the layout is familiar to dev teams, and clients like the point-and-click functionality.
What one phone, tablet or PC application could you not live without?
A web browser — our choice is Chrome. Everything we do, from email, chat, project management, reading, is via a browser. It's the only application we really could not live without.
Everything in the world is moving towards the browser. For us, the web browser drives everything we use in our day. What else do you need?
What's the best piece of business advice you've ever received?
Alan: Hiten Shah from 500 Startups asked us early on: "Is this 'THE ONE', or another one?". I sort of hung on to that as a reminder that BugHerd is where my sole focus is. 100 per cent commitment. There should be nothing else that will remove your focus and commitment.
Matt: For me it's "Don't die" from Nkki Scevak — persistence and tenacity is the key. Keep on keeping on.
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