Growth

Breakfast with Tiffany: Josiah Humphrey from Appster on their plans for world domination

Adam Turner
Technology Journalist

Adam Turner is a Sydney Morning Herald senior technology columnist who has been writing about the challenges facing Australian business for more than a decade

Adam Turner
Technology Journalist

Adam Turner is a Sydney Morning Herald senior technology columnist who has been writing about the challenges facing Australian business for more than a decade

Find out how generosity, responsiveness and proximity can boost customer engagement.

Most Millenials (born between 1982-2000) are interested in internet, and most people dream of having lots of money, but even before Josiah Humphreys and Mark McDonald reached their teens, they were focussed on both and determined to do what’s needed to fulfil their hunger.

After meeting on the web and then in real life – ‘IRL’ as the kids would call it – the childhood buddies joined forces to found app development agency Appster in 2011. Now in three locations around the world, Josiah tells Smarter Business Ideas of the need to drive innovation, the importance of listening to feedback, and more. 

Breakfast with Tiffany: Josiah Humphrey from Appster on their plans for world domination

Video Interview Transcript

Tiffany Loh: Welcome to Breakfast with Tiffany. Today we’re here with Josiah from Appster. Thanks for joining me for breakfast.

Josiah Humphreys: No problem.

Tiffany: So Josiah, you’re really young – how old are you exactly?

Josiah: I just turned 23.

Tiffany: So how old is your co-founder, Mark?

Josiah: He’s 22.

Tiffany: So how did you guys meet?

Josiah: He was 12 and I was 13 and we met online – it wasn’t eHarmony. It was actually an Internet, like an online marketing forum because we used to sort of sell products online. We started the company when Mark was 18 and I was 19, and now three years later we have 100 staff spread over three locations: San Francisco in the USA, India, and Melbourne.


Tiffany: What exactly does Appster do?

Josiah: We are basically like a technical co-founder; we work with entrepreneurs on app ideas. So someone comes to us with an idea and we help them make it a reality.

Tiffany: How did you fund your start-up?

Josiah: We had some online hustles and we raised a little bit of money there and threw it into the company.

Tiffany: How have you funded it since?

Josiah: We’ve sort of bootstrapped from day one. We haven’t taken any outside funding.

Tiffany: What do you mean by bootstrapping?

Josiah: Basically, any money we earned in the company, we just threw it right back into the company.

Tiffany: How have your clients responded when dealing with you? 

Josiah: Initially they would be sceptical but once they let us talk, especially around the expertise that we have, then people just go, ‘Wow, they know what they’re doing’.

Tiffany: In the three years that you’ve been in business, what have you learned?

Josiah: Mark and I have always been obsessed with getting the right people behind us. We just hired a CFO in India. We have two advisors on board. David Juck, who was the founding CFO of PayPal, and Liz Savage, who was the old chief commercial officer at Virgin Australia.

Tiffany: So what do you think Australian businesses need to do more of?

Josiah: I think, really focussing on driving innovation.

Tiffany: So how have you done it in Appster?

Josiah: We’re really obsessed with feedback. We’re constantly trying to figure out what customers are doing, what customers might want. We also really listen to our staff a lot, to try figure out how we can build a better culture.

Tiffany: So why are you guys still in Australia and not Silicon Valley?

Josiah: Australia, for us, has been a really amazing launch pad and we still have such a strong foundation here.

Tiffany: So what’s next for Appster?

Josiah: We have a 42-country roll-out plan over the next three years, and we’re hoping to hit $100 million in revenue by the end of 2016.

Tiffany: Thanks for joining me.

Josiah: No worries.

Tiffany: You guys are going to dominate the world!

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