Monday, 25 May 2015

Startup Stories 2015 - BussFuss

Our 5th Startup Story is Irish App Buss Fuss

The story of how your company got started?

Bus Fuss started as a simple idea many years ago, the first concept was probably back in 2010 or even earlier. Back then real time passenger information was in it's infancy in Ireland and although the data was starting to be created it was still very inaccessible. Although I have a background in programming it took me a long time to do anything with the idea as I lacked the specific knowledge to build an app from the ground up.

As the months passed and I was still stuck using an unreliable bus service to get to work every day, my frustration at not having easier access to real time information, as well as basic journey information, began to wear on me. It was at this point that I finally decided enough was enough and sat down to start work on what would become Bus Fuss. A few short months later Bus Fuss 1.0 was born, I haven't looked back since and my only regret is not having started work on it sooner.

How you funded the startup?

This venture has been entirely self funded since the beginning.

Developing a Team, who are the key members?

At the minute this is still a one man operation but as the complexity of the original Bus Fuss app has started to grow and with the branching of the app from the Android Play Store into the Amazon Appstore to run on Android, Kindle and BlackBerry devices, not to mention some further apps that are currently in the pipe-line, the team will need to expand.

How Partnerships have worked to help grow your business?

To date there have been no partnerships as such but I'd love to talk to anyone interested in forming one. I suppose you could say the biggest partnership I've had is with the Twitter community through the @Bus_Fuss account. There's a lot of great people out there on Twitter and other social networks and they've all been really supportive of Bus Fuss even since the early days. Tools like Twitter are really great to get instant feedback on an idea and for gauging people's reactions, if nothing else you can see how frustrated people are at not having better access to this type of essential information.

How the economy has played a role in your business starting?

With more and more people feeling the crunch, owning a car is being seen as something of a luxury more so than a necessity as it was in the past. Between tax, insurance and fuel costs it can be hard for the average person to justify the expense. As a result there are more people than ever starting to use public transport, many of these for the first time. These people are understandably finding it difficult to navigate the nuances of public transport, this is where Bus Fuss hopes to help, it aims to be a one stop shop for timetables, fare information and real time information not too mention the inevitable complaints when buses don't arrive as expected.

How you see Ireland's Tech scene for home grown startups?

The tech scene here in Ireland is one of the most dynamic and vibrant of anywhere, the ideas that we have out there are mind blowing and from what I've seen it's only going to get better. The rest of the world can see that and this is why large international tech companies continue to invest here, they know that we have the infrastructure and more importantly we have the knowledge and the drive to take on any challenge. Even without these larger companies, one of the great things about technology in general is it doesn't take massive resources to get the ball rolling, a few guys huddled around laptops for a couple of months can build something that is truly ground-breaking, I've witnessed that first hand from people I've been lucky enough to know. We really need to do everything we can to help these types of ideas germinate and continue to thrive.