David is an entrepreneurial programmer based in the UK. He is currently working on software startup, Boxed Ice.
In 2005 David founded his first software company, Olate, producing tools for developers. It was acquired at the end of 2007 by which time there were 4 staff serving customers such as BAE Systems and City University London.
He then worked for one of the acquiring companies, eConversions, where he was Lead Developer on social business reviews directory welovelocal.com (like Yelp but in UK). This was acquired in 2008 by GCap Media (now Global Radio), the UK’s largest commercial radio group.
His latest venture is Boxed Ice, a software development startup he started working on in Jan 2009. The first product is a server monitoring application called Server Density. He recently pitched the company as a finalist at Mini Seedcampfull Seedcamp Week in September 2009. London. I attended and won the
Hello, David, how about we start off with you giving us some background info of yourself?
I started my first software company in 2005 when I was 17. This was acquired in 2007 at which time there were 4 staff and customers such as BAE Systems and City University London.
I subsequently worked as lead developer on welovelocal.com, a social business reviews website for the UK similar to yelp.com, acquired in 2008 by GCap Media, the UK's largest commercial radio group.
I have almost 8 years programming experience and have been on the php.net documentation team, written for a number of websites/magazines as well as publishing a book.
What is the name of your most current venture, and please explain to YHP what exactly it does?
The company name is Boxed Ice. Our first product is Server Density, a hosted server monitoring tool that allows you to quickly monitor the internal performance of your servers, get real time alerts when things
go wrong and track historical problems.
Most of the existing products are targeted at enterprise customers but startups and small businesses don't have the time and resources to be managing a massive monitoring system. Yet it is important to have the
monitoring in place to ensure your website and services respond quickly for users.
Server Density has been designed to be as easy to use as possible so you can get going in just a few minutes.
What special qualities do you possess that you think allowed such to happen?
I get bored easily so am always trying new things.
Tell us about Boxed Ice Ltd your latest start-up, what inspired you to start it and what role do you perform in it?
I needed an easy server monitoring tool so decided to build it and see if there was any interest from users. Everything I do is because it is something I need myself, or think I could do better. Being a user of your own products allows you to get an idea of the best way things should be implemented.
Where do you imagine Boxed Ice Ltd to be in three years time?
I think predictions are a waste of time because they're not based on anything. The mission of the company is "The best people working on interesting projects solving complex problems within the best working environment." so that's what I'm aiming for.
How did it feel to win the Seedcamp Week in September 2009? You must feel very proud?
It was a great week and aside from the €50,000 seed investment, the real benefits were in the contacts and publicity. Going through the process provides great credibility which has helped complete deals that would have otherwise taken a long time, or been impossible.
What else outside of your businesses do you delve into?
I am currently learning Japanese ready for a trip I'm taking over there in April. I play bass in a band and in the past I have done scuba diving, fencing (with swords) and jitsu. I'm also just finishing off a Law degree at University of Birmingham.
How do you manage your time between you business and your other commitments?
I know what I need to do and when it needs to be done, and just slot things in as they come up. I use Google Calendar to remind me of upcoming events and Remember The Milk for recurring tasks. Otherwise I just keep everything in my head.
If there is anything you could change about your entrepreneurial life, what would it be?
Nope, everything is working out quite nicely right now.
Thank you so much, and before we finish we must ask you what pearls of wisdom would you give to other young technology based entrepreneurs of today?
Build your product and get users as quickly as possible. You'll get great ideas and feedback from real users and being able to show people the product in production makes a huge difference.
What should we expecting from you next?
Whatever I might find fun and interesting :)
Thanks David and good luck.
Check out their website.