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In the ongoing coverage of exploring new startups coming out of Australia, today we explore a promising startup - It is co-founded by Bevan Clark and Guy King of Stateless Systems, Sydney, Australia.

In a recent email-based interview with Bevan, he explained how he is progressing with his venture. This is what he has to say:

Please tell us about your venture/company?
Stateless Systems is a bootstrapped venture focused on building websites and tools that make the Internet easier to use. Our web properties include:

Who are the people behind this and how it started?
Our flagship website,, was built over a weekend at the end of October 2006 - after Guy spent an hour or so hunting through heaps of 'spammy' coupon sites that promised coupons, but didn’t deliver while shopping online. Stateless Systems was founded a few days after Bevan came on board to help grow and monetize the site. Our success with—which now receives more than six million visitors per month—has enabled us to continue building new websites.

How long it took before it was up and running?
It took about a week to get the website up and running, but we’ve been making improvements ever since we launched. The most recent upgrade was creating a closely integrated social network so that shoppers can connect with each other to get the best offers and deals.

What type of customers you are targeting? targets online shoppers.

How many people are using your services? currently has more than six million visitors per month and traffic continues to grow by 20% each month since the site was founded in late 2006. More than eight million people visit Stateless Systems websites each month.

What sort of marketing you are using to spread the word?
Public relations and word of mouth.

How are you measuring the success of your venture? Are there any special mechanisms/tools in place to monitor the progress?
Google Analytics is our friend - we use it to measure visitors to and how they interact with the site.

What is the monetizing/revenue model? Is there any new model, which is being tried?
Our revenue is mostly based on Google Adwords and commission on sales for some merchants.

Which are the main competitors or major players in this market segment?
There are dozens of smaller coupon sites that compete with, but none come close in terms of web traffic. We are successful because we put user needs first.

What are the main technologies used behind this venture?
PHP, MySQL and iTunes.

What has been the easiest to use, out-of-the-box and helpful technology?
Macs, Firefox and Google Docs - forget unreliable PC operating systems, non-standards compliant browsers and expensive office software and go with the free stuff in the Cloud.

Are you using a lot of open-source tool sets for this?

What's your thought on being an entrepreneur? How tough it is to start a venture in Australia?
The Internet is the great equalizer. Anyone can build a website on a shoestring to launch a new venture, and being physically located in Australia is no excuse for not achieving success overseas.

What do you think the government (federal and state) should do to improve the culture of innovation and the IT industry?
Remove the red tape and get the paperwork online already! The sheer amount of paperwork around starting a business and hiring people is soul-destroying for a startup operating on shoestring staff. Oh, and the ATO should really learn how to deal with Internet companies earning revenue 100% overseas.

How often do you catch up with others trying similar things and where do you catch up? Do you have dedicated communities in your city?
We have a bunch of friends in the industry that we catch up with on a regular basis, nothing really organised though because that would take the fun out of it.

Do you have any advice for people who want to start their venture?
1. Place user needs before revenue—The users will follow and that will bring revenue.
2. Question traditional business practices—For example, we use free online services for email, word processing, spreadsheets, presentations and accounting in place of traditional software.
3. Fail fast, fail often—You learn the most from failures. The more you experiment with ideas the more likely you are to find a runaway success.
4. Build something you’d use yourself—Chances are, if you’re fixing a problem that bugs you then it’s also bugging a bunch of other people out there.
5. Sometimes it’s better to know less—It is possible to disrupt established industries by not being aware of the limitations. For example, many thought the search arena was pretty well stitched up before Google hit the scene. Common thinking at the time was search was about as good as it was ever going to be.
6. If you succeed, every man and his dog will copy you - The only real way to fight this is to out-innovate and never look back.

Founders Bio :

Bevan Clark, co-founder and director of Stateless Systems: Bevan has led Research and Development at a Top 10 Australian website and managed e-commerce and web development teams for over 5 years. He completed secondary school and then travelled throughout Asia and Europe including one year of study in Germany, 18 months working and travelling in the UK and the completion of a Bachelor of Business (Management Information Systems). It was during that time, that he became infatuated with the quickly growing Internet.

He began his career at a financial services company's IT department, where he experienced the exponential growth of the Internet over a few short months; He was entirely overwhelmed by the power of the medium, and his fate was sealed.

Guy King, co-founder and director of Stateless Systems: Guy has worked in corporate R&D and Web development. He has more than ten years of intensive experience in Web strategy, branding, interface design/development and programming.

Thanks, Bevan for sharing your thoughts with us. All the best for the future.

For coverage on other Australian startups, innovation, and tech trends, check this out and our coverage on interviews can be found here


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