The BizSpark startup of the day is Threeplicate, based in Italy. You will find below an interview with Dario Solera, co-founder of Threeplicate. All the best to them and congrats for being the startup of the day!
Interview with Dario Solera, co-founder of Threeplicate
Tell us who you are and your role in the company:
I am one of the three founders of the company and I work on .NET-based web applications and services.
What did you do before creating your company?
I graduated at the Politecnico di Milano in 2007 and since then I worked as a freelance developer for an Italian and then a French company. Back in 2006 I started working on ScrewTurn Wiki, which is a widely-used wiki application written in ASP.NET.
How do you feel being the most promising ‘Startup of the Day’ per Microsoft BizSpark?
Very excited. I’m sure that it will bring more attention to our startup and will have a positive effect on our business.
What is your company’s mission?
While we have some mobile development going on, currently we focus on building software that helps people collaborating better. Our latest product, Amanuens, aims at simplifying the collaboration between software development teams and the translators that work in UI localization. You can find more information and an introductory video at amanuens.com.
How did you get the idea for your company?
I always wanted to found a software startup, I just needed an idea and a team. Back in late 2009 I had an idea for a mobile application that I thought was great. The problem is that the mobile market changes very fast and we had to adjust our plans, so we now have a broader range of projects. The original mobile application should be ready very soon, anyway.
Tell us about your funding history. Are you currently looking for funding? If so, how much?
We funded Threeplicate entirely out of our own pockets. You know, we really believe in this journey, so that was an easy step. We’re still running in "cheap" mode for pretty much everything except IT equipment. For now we have all the money we need, but we might have to look for some funding when Amanuens will hopefully gain users and will need more investments.
How many employees do you have? How many developers?
For now it’s just the three of us. Matteo and me work as developers, while Michele works on marketing stuff.
Are you hiring? If yes, what are you hiring and where?
We’re not hiring this very moment, but we’re evaluating to hire an intern to help on the development of ScrewTurn Wiki.
Which platform are you building on? Why?
I stared playing with .NET when I was attending university, and I never abandoned it since then. Besides, we mostly work on the .NET and Azure platform because it’s a powerful technology stack and we’re quite happy with it. On the other side, our mobile development efforts are focused on Apple’s iPhone as it’s the mobile platform that is best suited for commercial consumer apps at this moment. We’re also really looking forward Windows Phone 7 Series as it seems like a great step forward.
Where do you see opportunities today in the Software/internet area?
I believe there is little left to invent in the software industry, but there are countless things that could and should be done better than now. In a way, we can invent new ways of doing the same things we do now. Communication seems to be the area where everyone likes to work. You know, we have a myriad ways of communicating with others, yet no one can replace talking face-to-face, and that’s because communication is not just plain words. I think we should focus on sharing knowledge rather than mere communication, and that’s why we believe that wikis are valuable tools. Localization and internationalization is another area where a lot can be improved. After all, it’s hard to find a product that is sold in only one Country. Localization is too important to be ignored or marked as boring, and it’s also a great business opportunity.
What do you think about the BizSpark Program?
I’m very glad that Microsoft has such a great attention for startups and independent software vendors. I think it’s a good way to make startups’ life easier. Put it simply, BizSpark allows us to save quite a lot of money.
Do you have any advice for young Software entrepreneurs?
I’m still a beginner entrepreneur myself, so I can only give one advice: do it. It’s fun and it’s a way to grow up. And don’t forget you have to solve problems, not create new ones.
Who’s your role model?
I’ve been a fan of Joel Spolsky for a long time. He’s a great entrepreneur and I admire him and his company. Recently Giacomo "Peldi" Guilizzoni, the founder of Balsamiq Studios, caught my attention. His startup’s revenue in 2009 is simply impressive. He really looks like a very smart guy and he’s Italian, so he’s the perfect role model for me. I hope I’ll be able to meet him in person very soon.
What’s the ONE THING you would like readers to take away from this interview?
It sounds more like a sales pitch, but if you’re looking to improve the way you localize your applications, have a look at Amanuens.