I got into web development shortly after the dotcom bust and I'm still just as excited about the field over 10 years later. Most of my experience has been in contracting and that can limit how much attention to detail you can apply as you're being directed by others' goals. I love writing software that is a joy to use so we set up a business to write beautiful software with an attention to detail.
Tell me about your app and what it is trying to do?
Influx is a web application designed to work on any device; phone, tablet, laptop or desktop. We wrote it so that gym owners can spend their time making people fitter and healthier not configuring or maintaining software. The goal is to allow gym owners to run their gym from their iPad anywhere, anytime. In fact we have gym owners running their gym from their phone. People are in the fitness industry because they're passionate about fitness, not computers, so Influx is designed to get out of their way so that they can do more of what they're good at. There's plenty of software around that might solve a particular problem-set but we're aiming at a "gym in a box", everything in one place and as easy to use as possible.
Why go for such a niche area?
When I first moved to Wellington I joined a local Crossfit gym and I was surprised at how difficult it was to book in to class with their name brand software. Equally surprising was how much energy it took out of the owners just trying to keep on top of their bookings and memberships with this software. That wasted energy could be used much more productively and so Influx was born.
Have you created apps for other industries?
Booking is a fairly standard problem across most industries but we're focused on the specifics of the fitness industry. We've got years of experience in writing fitness software so that's where we can add most value. Influx was originally based around the small business needs of a Crossfit gym but we're now fielding enquiries from bootcamps and we're about to launch in our first Gym chain for their group fitness classes.
What has the response been to Influx so far?
Fantastic. The emails I get when gym owners first try Influx are always so rewarding. Some are incredulous at how quickly they could get up and running and others just say thanks for making it so simple. The feedback from their members that they love the simplicity and ability to book in on the run is even better. Knowing you've made your clients' lives better by making their clients happy is a great feeling.
What is your business model?
Influx is a monthly subscription with pricing dependent on the number of active members you have. That way costs only grow as your business grows.
Next week: New Zealand has a vast number of one man/woman bands - people happiest working on their own, doing what they do best - piano tuners, software developers, electricians, plumbers, artists. They don't have staff to hand over to during the year so they tend to soldier on for the greater part of it without a break. Most of them at this time are counting down the days to the summer holiday when they get to relax for a change. Tell me your stories, how do you cope with up to a month of no invoices coming in?