By @SimonCocking

Enjoyable interview with Peter Coppinger, an Irish-man, Technology & Travel.   Founder, CEO and Lead Developer on Teamwork  Behind the world’s most productive teams you’ll find @teamwork Business Management Made Easy.

Your background?

I grew up in West Cork and fell in love with programming at a young age. From 10 years old I knew I wanted to build an international software company that would make an impact!  We started making web applications in 1999 and transitioned to a product company when we launched Teamwork.com back in October 2007.

How was the last 12 months for Teamwork?

Fantastic. We’ve transitioned to a multi-product company with the release of 2 new products, Teamwork Desk and Teamwork Chat. These 2 products complement our hugely popular project management software and most importantly they all integrate together seamlessly. We have been growing rapidly and now have 43 people with plans to expand to 100 soon.

What are you most happy about?

I’m really proud of  the journey we’ve been on and that from mere imaginings back in 2006, we now have our software used by hundreds of thousands of companies all around the world including some of the biggest like Walt Disney.

Anything you would do differently if you could?

Looking back, I would have started the marketing of the Teamwork Projects much earlier. We were probably too focused on product instead of marketing. To be successful you need both. Thankfully we live in an age where the best product can rise to the top.

Where do you hope to be in next 1 – 3 years with Teamwork?

We are looking into some new beautiful premises and looking to scale up the 3 product teams to meet our ambitions. We’ve also got some game changing features planned for our products that we are really excited about.

What are you excited by at the moment in the tech sector?

That’s a hard one but I’m excited about how technology is advancing so fast and the changes we are going to see to society over the next 10 years – self driving cars, amazing ai built into products, the internet landscape will be radically different. It may not seem it day to day but the world is changing around us, we’ll look back in 10 years and talk about how basic the internet used to be. I’m also excited about how education is changing for the better, anyone, anywhere can access humanity’s collective wisdom.

Do you feel UK / Irish / European startups have different strengths and weaknesses compared to US based ?

I do feel that many Irish startups have a strong work ethic and a dogged determination to be successful.

The startup eco-system and support in the US just seems more advanced. We are a little more afraid to give it a go here in Ireland.

US-based startups definitely have access to a bigger talent pool but that also comes with more competition and prohibitive salary expectations.

What tips would you give to other Cork start ups based on your experience with Teamwork?

The biggest advice I can give is to THINK BIG! I’m sick of meeting companies making a product just for Ireland. That’s like making a product just for Madrid. You have a greater chance for success if you make a product that appeals to the world.

Also you don’t have to take investment to get started. You should only take investment if your idea is either:

1. Hit-or-miss and you don’t want to spent too much time on something that may not work

2. One of the first products in an emerging market and you are in land-grab situation. This is unlikely.

Do you go to the Dublin Web Summit, if so how did you find it?

I actually spoke at the web summit telling our story back when they were getting started. We’ve had stands there but I think rather than using it for gaining new users it’s more about brand awareness for us. What I do enjoy is the social aspect; it’s  fantastic and we’ve had customers from around the world coming up to us with big smiles telling us how much they love Teamwork.com. I also really enjoyed the Joel Spolsky talks last year.

What tech do you wish was already invented and available to make your life easier?

I want an internet chip inside my head. OK maybe that’s a bit too far off but I think self-driving cars are going to be ubiquitous in 10 to 20 years and I for one will enjoy being taken to work while doing my morning reading, email and planning with my latté.

Life / work, online / offline, what are your strategies for managing it?

Use Covey’s 4 Quadrants, use mind-maps, keep a journal, make a 5 year plan, get regular exercise, learn every day and beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself.

Team Photo

Anything else we should have asked you / you’d like to add?

I feel we are one of the few companies who have no plans to flip-it.

We want to make the most enjoyable place for software developers and business teams to work in the world. We’re growing to $100m annual recurring revenue – nothing is going to stop this train!

 

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