Jonathan Bixby, the CEO of Strangeloop Networks, was on hand at the BCTIA’s IMPACT series, which took place at the Hyatt Regency in downtown Vancouver Thursday evening, to explain what made his startup succeed where many others have failed.
Bixby described start-ups as the “walking dead”; in that a startup is always outrunning the last round of funding to get to the next milestone (and profitability) as quick as possible. Running fast is imperatrive, he said.
He also pointed to several problems facing startups in the current technological climate. Developers, Bixby said, have become distanced from their code. Using .Net makes it easy to get an idea to market quickly, because the heavy lifting of programming the web has already been done.The web itself has also changed, Bixby said. Web pages have become heavier, but the ways we use the web are also fundamentally different than the ways we used it even 5 years ago. But the main thing, he said, is the “speed of light” issue. No matter how fast a network runs, there’s an immutable barrier (200 milliseconds to China, roughly 100 milliseconds to Europe) that’s fundamentally impossible to solve.
But these three points have hit a critical mass, creating pain points for businesses, which is where StrangeLoop creates value by introducing new efficiencies. Companies have seen that their time is better spent hiring someone else to create efficiencies rather than dedicated an increasing amount of their own time to fine-tune performance.
But Bixby said the future of a smaller company like StrangeLoop is to create value in a commoditized space. He pointed to routers, StrangeLoop’s space, as a billion dollar industry where there’s room for multiple companies to earn reputations and revenue. There are giant players in the space, but by adding value you can still succeed, he said.