Featured BizSpark Startup on Azure - WIP APP Limited
Video production that is a joy?
Yes, it's true. With Wispster, our featured BizSpark startup of the day, you get time-code accurate feedback from private collabortors during the production of your video work. Each collaborator can leave their comments on the exact place in the video where they see work to be done, or have feedback to give. And the beauty of it is, it all becomes a to-do list, in the video. What's great about this solution is that it makes one of the most hair-pulling and extremely frustrating processes of co-creation super simple and it does it within the same medium it is being used to perfect. Wow. True innovation.
For the best explanation of what Wipster does for video production work, check out this link.
Here is a link to the app. Or, try app.wipster.io
The rest of this interview is our deep dive about Windows Azure and the experience of building a startup with founder Nicholas Green. The team is launching an Azure app called WIP App Limited today.
Do you build for scale first, or for revenue? How are those things related in your mind?
Well, we don’t quite define it that way. We build for traction above anything else. For us, traction means people want to use what we’re creating; regardless of whether they will pay for it. Before you do anything else you simply need to know that people are interested in what you’re doing. Once you’ve got traction, you build both scale and revenue simultaneously. There’s no point building capacity without the money, and there’s no point asking for money if you can’t supply the service.
How much of what you are building is based on leaving a legacy and how much of it is based on technical challenges, or the ability to make something just for fun? In other words, where do you fall on the seriousness scale? For fun, for profit, for life?
When you’re in a startup fun, profit and life tend to get mixed up in a giant ball of string called blind-ambition. It’s difficult to extract any one of them from the others, but the important we all chose to do this because above it all we want to create something wonderful. We know that the industry that we’re working in has a convoluted way of communicating that could be so much better and easier than it is. We’re taking a broken process and we’re making it a joy.
When did you decide that you were “startup material”?
There’s an idea that startups are like platypuses. They’re difficult to describe, but you’ll definitely know one when you see it. Really the only thing you need to have to call yourself a start-up is passion for your idea and the belief that you can get it done. No one will ever bestow those things upon you, you’ll just either have them or you won’t.
What are some of the challenges you face as a founder or developer at a startup, when it comes to dealing with family life, or socially? Does working on a startup change the way you associate and interact in these areas?
Aside from the sheer amount of space a startup takes up in your life, the biggest challenge is to not waste the time you do get with family and friends by continually talking about your startup. It’s hard to switch off because you’re always processing something in your mind that spills out one way or another. As a group we’ve become much better about making sure each of us is given the space to take time out when they need it. It’s incredibly important.
Can you describe the relationship that you have had with Microsoft in building your startup?
MS have enrolled us in the BizSpark program so that we could get the initial version out into the world with minimal cost. It also meant that we could try out some technologies and scalability situations that would have been impossible without their support.
Why would an entrepreneur turn to Microsoft for help in building scale, a team, or using software?
Microsoft’s Azure platform is adapting and growing at a rate that should terrify the other cloud infrastructure companies. It will give you access to a huge set of capacities for minimal learning and set up time while still letting you work in whatever language you’re already good with.
Tell us about your Azure based solution.
Wipster helps professional video editors share and review their Work-In-Progress videos. The videos are uploaded into the cloud and then clients and collaborators are invited to give feedback. They are given a secure URL to click on so they don’t even need to create their own logins and passwords. Once they are in they can give feedback by writing it on top of the video. Easy peasy.
How is Azure implemented in your solution?
MVC 4, .NET, Razor for providing data connections to the Web App. SQL Azure for the relational data, Tables for big text data that is not structured (comments). Queues for managing background tasks. Soon we are going to be using the Service Bus and SignalR – very excited about that one.
What were the Azure features that prompted you to decide to build on Azure?
Scaling up with the push of a button, it’s a wonderful thing.
What advice do you have for companies that are thinking about building in the cloud?
Learn about the entire cloud eco-system that your company and offering exist within. There is a lot of new developments happening and in the next 10 years computing won’t be like it is now.
To view video product demonstrations visit here: