By Chris Joannou
Startup Grind Melbourne Meets Xero : Picking your battles


When your company is seeing so much success and there are so many options for expansion, slowing down would perhaps seem like a crazy idea to most. The truth for Xero however is that this is not only a smart business decision but one that is essential to their future success. For a relatively small company by tech standards, strategically making each move and resiting the temptation to expand too quickly is necessary to making the moves that they do make – count. Taking on North America is a massive challenge in itself and the company is more than aware that minor mistakes could have a big impact on the bottom line.

Xero’s game like approach to an industry synonymous for being quite boring has allowed them take the majority share of the New Zealand market and now a big piece of the Australian. The product itself is both engaging and a step above any accounting software on the market in terms of user experience. It literally makes ‘doing the books’ enjoyable.

Setting up an office in San Francisco, they are now gearing up to take on market leaders on their own turf. Ramping up means new staff and new faces, and surrounding yourself with a bunch of strangers to cope with growth is something that Xero is not willing to do, so instead they work hard to manage their growth and to pick the battles they believe make the most sense in order to continue on their wild ride that seems to inevitably lead to the top.

Chris Ridd the CEO behind the growth, was kind enough to sit down with us and talk about Xero’s success and their plans for the future. I have to add that they are perhaps the smartest company I have been privileged to interview, as they were also clever enough to see the value in aligning themselves with Startup Grind and are coincidently a major sponsor for Startup Grind 2013 in February!

Enjoy the show.