Matthew Landauer, co-founder of startup bleep.ly talks about the process of getting Push Start support, choosing software platforms and the strtup lifestyle
How did you come up with the idea for bleep.ly?
Together, Matthew and Henare have created open government projects
that have helped hundreds-of-thousands of Australians.
While working on these projects we were astonished to see how
government was responding to the rise of social media. Instead of
seeing it as an opportunity to engage with citizens, government
departments are struggling to bridge the gap between their existing,
risk-averse world and the real-time, human conversational world of
We realised this was a problem for business too as no one wants to be
yet another social media disaster statistic. Bleeply’s simple solution
to this is to add a time delay before sending Twitter updates, just
like live TV broadcasts.
Did you have any idea what you needed to get the idea off the planning stages?
The most important thing to get any idea past the planning stages is
to “just do it”. As we’re both developers, we built a working
prototype as quickly as we could to prove the idea works.
What was involved in securing Push Start support?
It was a two-stage process. In the first stage we had to fill out an
application and make a couple of short videos where we pitched the
idea and explained how we would build a business out of it. From that
we got through to the interview stage where we were fired with
questions in a full-on, exhausting and exhilarating ten minute
interview where we somehow managed to fit in doing a demo of the
Did you look for any other funding or venture capital.
So far, we haven’t looked for any further funding. We will be looking
for investors soon.
How attractive is the offer of mentoring and support given as a successful Push Start candidate?
The mentoring and support is the most important part! Of course, the
small seed investment is beneficial, but it’s not the biggest thing.
Along with the seed investment that PushStart gives they take an 8%
stake in the company and it’s this, in my opinion, that makes the
mentoring and support even more meaningful. PushStart gains
financially from us doing well. So, it’s directly in their interest to
help us become successful. That’s a great added incentive!
When thinking about bleep.ly, did you look at architecture and infrastructure. Did you chose a open source or a propriety system?
The key factors for us is our speed of development and flexibility.
Building any startup you’ve got to be able to move fast. So, using
tools that make your life easier and faster as a developer is
Henare and I have both worked together on projects using a number of
different technologies. Our favorite, Ruby on Rails, is what we
decided to use for Bleeply. Mind you, we’re no Rails zealots. We could
have built Bleeply using any number of technologies.
Open source technologies are definitely our preference. There’s a
fantastic open source ecosystem around Rails as well with an enormous
number of libraries for every task under the sun. Despite only being a
few months old, as a direct result of developing Bleeply we’ve already
contributed back to a number of these open source projects.
We’re using Heroku for deployment. Heroku makes it very easy to get
started and very straightforward to scale. We’re not locking ourselves
into Heroku. Maybe down the line it might become more cost effective
to build up our infrastructure directly on Amazon’s EC2.
How hard is it in time, emotion and money is it to get an idea like bleep.ly off the ground and do you feel the experience has been rewarding?
It’s amazingly hard in all sorts of ways. We work really hard. Neither
have us has earned a salary in six months. And it’s an emotional
roller coaster with highs and lows that can be only hours apart. It’s
totally worth it. Even without any financial gain, it’s amazingly
rewarding – to create and nurture a product and discover your
customers – that’s a lot of fun.
That’s why having two founders is so important. You keep each other going!
Bleeply is Twitter for Business… without the bloopers!
Bleeply is an Australian technology startup focused on creating the
collaboration platform for the creation and curation of content for
social media, making Twitter and Facebook safer and easier for
businesses to use, giving them the tools to communicate with their
PushStart is a new set of community-focused, mentor-driven activities
to help grow Australian tech (Web and Mobile) startups, and the
Australian tech startup community more generally, 365 days a year.
Combining top Aussie tech startup people, seed funding and community
events, we plan to give local tech entrepreneurs help to start, grow & succeed.