CTOs not the be-all and end-all for startups: Page 2 of 2

Driven by a dream

CTOs not the be-all and end-all for startups: Page 2 of 2

Different from the technology outsourcing companies, AgilityIO does not hope to earn recurring revenue by offering product support. It advises startups to have an inhouse team or person to handle this once it has built the product for them.
 
On average, it takes a team around six weeks to build a product before it is handed over to the client.
 
Also different is the fact that the team at AgilityIO is driven by a dream when working with startups.  “We dream that one of our startup customers will grow to become the next Twitter,“ says Chok.
 
He uses Twitter as a reference because it was incubated by Pivotal Labs, which up to its acquisition last year, had the same model as AgilityIO.
 
Having worked with 50 startups over the past two years and with its teams fully engaged on current projects also give AgilityIO a unique insight into what the hot trends in the startup space are, claims Chok, adding that mobile and the Internet of Things (IoT) are clearly of them.
 
Mobile commerce has been very strong this year, with a waiting list of startups which want to engage Agility IO to develop their products.
 
“While we predicted this 18 months ago and built up our mobile capabilities, the huge spike has left us turning away business. Most startups now want to lead with a mobile product first as they also see it as an ideal segue into wearables and IoT,” he says.
 
Bitcoin is also a hot space, with startups trying to solve the complexity with the cyber-currency and make it easier to transact with.
 
While the future looks promising for AgilityIO, and it plans to increase headcount to 200 from 160 by the end of the year, its ability to scale is limited by the skilled people it can hire. With each batch of people in Da Nang requiring an internally developed eight-month training programme before they can work on customer products, it looks likely that AgilityIO will be turning away more work.
 
Chok is fine with this as he holds firm to its promise of not compromising on the quality of the software it builds. Is he worried about competitors coming in?
 
“Not really. It will be tough for others to scale too. And this is actually a very tough business. It is tough to hire people and tough to retain them after you train them.
 
“We have been lucky that the conditions have been great for us as we built the company up and figured out the right formula,” he adds.
 
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