Not so long ago, I had the pleasure to talk to Peter Lancaster, the man behind BrandActif - our client, a visual commerce company. We discussed the project, our collaboration and plans for the future.
Dariusz Wylon: Hi Peter, could you introduce yourself, your company and your business goals?
Peter Lancaster: Sure. My name is Peter Lancaster, I run a company called BrandActif. We are a visual commerce company using mobile phones to look at the world around you and our goal is to become the biggest and the best-integrated player, to allow both video packaging and print to become digitally interactive through a mobile phone.
How did you come to work with Selleo?
So we were looking for a Ruby house and we asked two or three different companies on our shortlist to have a look at what we were doing and talk to us and do some sample coding. It has to be said, Selleo came head and shoulders above everybody else, so here we are.
Could you please tell me what was your challenge and how you address it with our developers?
So we needed to completely rewrite what we’ve done. We needed a change of direction, a change of methodology in terms what we were attempting to do. We did a lot of discussions, a lot of scoping exercise to come up with the right strategy, first of all, and the right implementation to get the code done.
I know that you were scaling the team with us. You started with just a small amount of developers and then you expanded. Could you tell us something more about it?
Yeah, we didn’t have any money at all, to begin with, and then we did get funding. We were able to expand the team and now we are scaling quite rapidly as we roll out around the world.
As far as I’m concerned, your product is a combination of a web application and some mobile solution…
Yes. We originally had a native mobile app when we started and then later last year, between us we came up with a way of eliminating the native app and doing everything as a web app and from there that’s changed the entire direction of the business. I’m sure you are aware a lot of people, a lot of consumers don’t download apps anymore, or not very many. We needed to make it accessible on any device, on any browser with a minimum of barrier to download. Now there is no download.
Could you tell us something more about the technology stacks, what technology do you use, especially on the Selleo part.
Can you share any information that demonstrates the impact that this project has had on your business?
We are still at the beginning of the implementation phase out in the marketplace, but in terms of talking to potential clients, some of the world’s biggest brands, when you see a customer’s jaw go: ‘WOW’ I think that’s evidence that what we are doing is right and now we’ve got to scale that up to a large industrial level. And so far so good.
What are the things you find the most impressive about Selleo?
It’s people. At the end of the day, it’s all about people. We have a great team, we run really well, we have a good relationship, we work well together and we’re getting some fantastic results in terms of our application moving forward and doing things people have never done before. It’s pretty scary, we’re right out there on the very very edge, but that’s where we wanna be and so far so good, it’s really working well.
Some people think that with outsourcing there are some risks related to communication or project management, so how do you see it from this side?
I’m in the UK, you’re in Poland, the command of the English language of all of the guys is superb, so I have absolutely no problems in terms of language none whatsoever. In terms of kinda philosophy and attitude we are very much on the same page as well, I think the work ethic is fantastic, so as far as I’m concerned it’s great. Your Team Leader Chris has been with us from the very beginning. At first, he was kinda on his own and Chris was very diligent and understanding what we were trying to do and he believed in us while we were still a tiny little startup on a shoestring budget. He has assembled a really really good team because he knew the intricacies of what we needed and where we were trying to go. The kind of base architecture was put together really really well so we can build on top so he’s been instrumental in pulling everything together and he’s a really really nice guy. We get along really well.
Could you please tell me something more about your future plans, because you said that the company is addressing the global brands?
So we have world domination in our sights and then beyond, of course, like every startup does. So it is a question of scaling and if our plans do come to fruition, touch wood, it’s gonna be a very very big plan. Perhaps an exit strategy that may include some of the world’s big players too, who knows. We’re out in a new space on our own right now and we have to hit the market with some real punch. We are first, we do have IP protection, we’re going to extend that and we’re developing new product and services all of the time. But it really is about time to market and one of the beauties here is that when we need more capacity we can scale with more Selleo team members.
Peter Thank you very much for this talk. I hope you will succeed with all your business plans.