The Codesign Co-operative Story

Guest post from Cameron Wall, Founder of the Codesign Co-operative - a recent addition to the BizSpark Network Partner family.  

In 2013 after running software development teams for over 15 years, and with the recent rise of agile and lean development methodologies coupled with free cloud based collaborative tools I realised that just about all of my developers and designers had side projects running.

The problem with all of these side projects was that although the ideas were good (in many cases) they were only as good as the discipline that the person possessed. You might find a really well executed and functional application that looked shocking and had a terrible UI resulting in a bad UX. In other cases the projects looked fantastic however the code framework had not been thought through or in many cases there was a great App that had no obvious market fit or defined business model. I thought, how I could come up with a platform that was a fair playing field fostering design and development and also the market and business development, and the Codesign Co-operative was born.

The Codesign Cooperative is for coders and designers to collaborate on software and application development and build innovative viable products and services. We are a community based cooperative where our members can collaborate around projects they choose via a voting process. Members are invited to the CoOp or can apply to be invited and hold equal shareholding and voting rights. The best part about the cooperative structure is that the members get to keep their day job and allocate time to the CoOp at night and on weekends, usually the same amount of time they would allocate to their side projects.

Members collaborate on four types of projects including startup creation, enterprise prototyping, not for profit & community based projects. In a nutshell the CoOp commercialises side projects for individuals and enterprise organisations that are not structured to do so.

Startup’s are born out of projects within the CoOp, all projects are rapidly built to MVP  (Minimum Viable Product), stage and then taken to the market to be validated. Other members of the CoOp are long time business development people that have contacts in many industries and can validate quickly. If a project looks like it might fly it is spun out as a startup and is presented to the various early stage venture funding platforms both here in Australia and overseas, seeking a runway of 12-18 months. This process is attractive to venture groups as the validation and MVP is already in place and also a founding team. Startup projects can also apply or be introduced to the CoOp and the CoOp always retains a small equity stake in all startup’s that are spun out.

The Enterprise Innovation Program has been the biggest surprise however as many enterprise organisations see the CoOp as a vehicle outside of the company where a rapid prototype (MVP), can be produced in a few weeks. For a new product it can usually take 2-3 months and cost $50K to produce a business case which is a document, however with the CoOp they have a working prototype they can present to stakeholders. The fee that the enterprise partners pay is a usually a fixed monthly retainer so in most cases it’s realised in OPEX.

CoOp members can be located anywhere and of any background and we utilise cloud based collaboration tools for all aspects of development, testing and communication. All members of the CoOp can remain anonymous and just about all have been involved in some of the best software application development there is from many large brand names.

The Codesign Co-operative is the first co-operative in the world that benefits the software and application development community and we believe that it is the future of collaborative product development for startup’s and the enterprise alike.

Have any questions? Feel free to reach out to me, details below:

Cameron Wall – Founder

0423 530 318