In 2011 I started a 1 person mobile development studio. Today it is a team of 8 building an off the shelf app solution for event managers

My Mobile Development Studio 4 Years Later

On October 31 2011, a little company called Tasboa was born. The name was a combination of the two places that felt like home to me: Tas(mania) and (Lis)boa.

For the previous two years that I had been living in Portugal I had been working remotely for a great little consultancy from Tasmania called Insight4 who had been amazing enough to employ me while I settled down on the other side of the world.

After stopping to work for Insight4, I created Tasboa with the idea of being a “web and mobile development studio”. Looking back now, I can see how naive I was. No focus, no idea. Just IT consulting in English in a country that primarily spoke Portuguese.

During those initial months while networking I found a group called Beta-i who were running a startup conference called Silicon Valley Comes to Lisbon. I took on the role of technical overseer, in charge of making sure the event space had our wireless and internet needs met.
Doing this for free turned out to be the most profitable decision I’ve ever made.

During preparation for the event, I wondered how I could add value and potentially get more recognition as a developer from prospective customers that were attending. As we were preparing to print off 600+ badges all with the agenda on the back, it came to me, if something was to happen in the days before the event those printed agendas might not be very helpful.

So I went about building a dynamic app with all the event information. This was pretty basic, everything was just a web page with all the content being controlled via a Wordpress system (sorry, my technical side wants to tell you all the gory details).

In the end, I was pretty impressed with what was built in just a month.

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So you might be thinking technology saved the day and SVC2Lx 2011 went off without a problem.Unfortunately, I learnt the hard way that havingtechnology is not the same as utilising technology.

We didn’t advertise the app sufficiently which meant only a handful of attendees actually got the news that there was an app.
Also, during the event itself, part of my role was to manage the main stage, speakers, microphones, computers, slides, etc. So I ended up not having any time to manage the app content. So when things changed, nobody was updating the app…

So in the end we had printed agendas that were wrong and an app that was wrong. There were in fact zero places that had the correct agenda. Yay!

After the event, Tasboa was struggling, there were not enough clients to pay the bills. I had to leave the great coworking space where I had been working, to once again work at home.

Tasboa looked like it was about to be shut down. Then one Friday morning I got a call from a friend, asking if I was willing to fly to London to pitch my “event app solution” to a Fortune 500 company. Naturally I said yes.

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I gathered a team of great consultants (Think Orange and Plugit) and we flew to London to do the presentation. After the most stressful few months of my life, we released our first enterprise version for that company and they rolled it out with us in Copenhagen.

After a few months, people started to be referred to us, all asking for the same system. I knew it was crunch time. I needed to stop juggling my other commitments and jump head first into reshaping Tasboa around this opportunity.

2013 rolled around and the new face of the business was beginning to take shape. I hired my first full time employee, Jan, and together we started work on version 3.0 that would take us toward providing this platform to anyone who wanted it.
By September we had hired a second employee, Vasco, and rolled out our branded and hosted SaaS platform built on top of the new look of iOS 7.

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Now a total of an amazing 2 years on, and we are still going strong. We have another four employees in the team and running over 1000 events a year.

We are launching this blog today with the aim to start sharing some of our amazing stories and some insights on where we see the events industry and our company going in the future. We’ll be blogging every weekend.

Written on Sep 09, 2015 by:

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