https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/pursuit-scale-justin-kearns/

 

We went live with the first version of Tucr.io in March 2016 and like many successful startups before us, we leveraged Stripe to power our the payment gateway on our software. Little did we know at the time that one day our flexible payment software would feature on Stripe’s website.

In the last two years our fledgling startup has at times followed the text book startup story to a T. We’ve gone from minimal viable product to a validated and very sticky product that generates monthly recurring revenue. We’ve had over €500,000 worth of items and services traded through our platform, seems like great traction right. We’ve taken part in a pre-accelerator and an accelerator, we’ve explored partnerships and I’ve spoken with investors an a number of occasions. In fact we have been text book founders tunnel-visioned in our pursuit of the most elusive startup milestone: scale.

In reality though, our story was playing out much more like something that Paul Graham describes in ‘Do Things That Don’t Scale’. We just didn’t know it at the time. We were “focusing on what we were going to build, plus the unscalable things we needed to do initially to get the company going” while also “going out of our way to make customers happy.” Having awareness of this now and appreciating it is much more reassuring as a founder.

By focus on keeping our customers happy, listening to their feedback, capturing suggestions for features while also getting fresh perspective by completing deep customer discovery in other market ventricles we have been able to create an exciting number of updates to Tucr.io. Some of which I recently demonstrated to a group of business owners.

Payment by installment is our ‘bread and butter’ we’ve carved out a niche here so it was important that we improved the flexibly around installments by enabling scheduled installments. Now users can create a flexible payment schedule and automatically bill their client’s (tokenized) payment details for varying amounts on varying dates or just the same amount on recurring dates. In fact if our users wish they can just let their customers manage the payment schedule themselves. This reassures the client that they have a level of control and so they are more more likely to ‘set and forget’.

Other updates have been coming with a while, such as group payment. This is a natural iteration of payment by installment and we are excited to continue our work with a travel company to roll this out to their customers. Aside from travel their are further really interesting use cases in retail and hospitality for group payment. We have also seen how our customers have used Tucr.io to collect payment in full online so we have decided to simply this process by sending a payment link by SMS. So far so good everyone seems to love this feature.

These updates mark a significant milestone for our company. We are now moving to a phase where we can make our platform more flexible for our current customers while at the same time making us more appealing to new customers across multiple markets. The cream on-top is the timing of these updates coinciding with going live on Stripe which was one of those fist pumping moments that reassures me that we are on track to continuously listen, learn and improve what we do; I spoke about my joy at hitting this milestone recently on the Hot-Desk business show. And as for scaling, well all in good time, the pursuit has only just begun.