I had the pleasure of attending Expensicon in Maui last week. We posted an interview with David Barrett in which he shared the “why” of Expensicon prior to the event, so I thought it may be a good idea to share my post event thoughts with you.
What did I learn?
I learned (Maui) Hawaii is very far from Atlanta. OK, I already knew that, but it took me 3 airplanes and 19 hours door to door to get to my hotel!
I learned that David Barrett had 3 key qualifiers he considered when he initially launched his company.
- Solve a personal problem
- Sell to small businesses
- Make it about money. After all, people will spend in order to save.
I learned that David Barrett launched the early version of his company as a company name “U-Da-Bank”. Don’t quote me on the spelling, but you can take the name to the bank.
I learned that Expensify, according to David Barrett, was initially launched as “air cover” for U-Da-Bank. As it turned out, people were more interested in expense management, so Expensify became the main focus of the company’s efforts.
I learned that a company’s success, like Expensify’s, can be greatly influenced by others. The auto focus camera on smart phones, the App Store success and user enthusiasm all worked to fuel Expensify’s success.
I learned that Expensify has an in-app integration with TSheets, a global strategic partnership with Xero and is a preferred partner with BDO.
I learned (affirmed, really) that building the right team and company culture is critical to success. The Expensify team works hard, plays hard and hosts well. You can’t pull off an event like Expensicon without a great team of people.
Enough about me. What can you learn from this?
- Have a focus (Mission or Purpose), but don’t be unwilling to shift (Pivot) if an opportunity presents itself as expense management did for Expensify.
- Don’t give up. Remember, you never know what is taking place behind the scenes that may dramatically change your business like the auto focus camera and App Store did for Expensify.
- Choose your partners well and invest in those partnerships.
- Choose your people well and invest in those people.
If you attended Expensicon and learned more than what I outlined above, please share your comments in the comment section below. We’d love to hear from you.
Thanks again to Expensify for hosting a fantastic event.