We’ve had some interesting questions raised about our growth plans. It’s important for prospective interns and employees to appreciate where we have come from and where we are going. It may be interesting to our users too.
I was nine months into my career as an equity research analyst at Arbuthnot Securities when I quit at the end of July 2008 to set up Clear Books (having spent three years prior to Arbuthnot at KPMG). It was a big risk all in pursuit of an idea.
It wasn’t a complete risk. Fubra Limited, joint partners in Clear Books, would provide financial support in the first year to give me the opportunity to pursue the project and still pay the bills. Fubra would also contribute to the development of the project as and when they could spare their own resources. The first year flew by.
Fubra has contributed significantly to the development of Clear Books. Steve has done an amazing job with design work and jQuery wizzardry. Andrew has been key in, amongst other things, getting the Fubra Payments system operational and developing the Clear Books’ API. Jonathon has been working with external APIs such as our excellent online VAT filing direct to HMRC. Harry has created much of the imagery. Dana, Robert and Anna have chipped in with front line support and SEM. Mark and Dawid, Fubra’s system engineers, ensure that Clear Books is operational and ready to scale. Fubra’s directors, Brendan, Paul and Joe, have been ever present throughout.
This infrastructure that Fubra provides Clear Books gives us a solid foundation, however, Fubra has many projects on the go so it is not a dedicated or permanent resource.
Up until October 2009 Clear Books was for the most part developed, marketed, supported and run from a spare bedroom by one person (me – Tim). This was the prudent approach in order to keep costs down to the bare minimum. In November 2009 we moved into our first office to house the team as we expanded for the next leg of the journey.
Here’s an iPhone snap of the original office setup in my spare room (desk unusually tidy)!
It’s a bit of a contrast to Fubra’s imposing office:
Prospective interns & employees
I took the unusual stance of being completely open about our subscriber numbers. I wanted to record and show our growth story (and Clear Books is at the very beginning of its growth phase).
We are interested to hear from people who buy into our growth story. Do you see the potential of 1,000 paying users in a year and 10,000 in three? Are you prepared to make sacrifices today in this start-up phase to help the business grow faster so that you can benefit with the business as we scale in the future?
If so then please find out more.