Interview with Wes Worsfold, BitBakery Co-founder and CEO

Interview with Wes Worsfold, BitBakery Co-founder and CEO

Wes is co-founder and CEO of BitBakery, a software company which develops apps, websites and digital solutions. He leads a team of talented software engineers, product managers & designers. When he’s not working at BitBakery, he’s teaching Innovation and Entrepreneurship, volunteering in the community and working to improve his arial photography skills.

 

What sparked your love of entrepreneurship?

My interest in entrepreneurship started at a young age. My parents each ran their own business and they involved me in all aspects of their businesses.

When I turned six, my father let me use two acres of land to grow and sell crops. I decided to grow cucumbers and sell them for pickling and relishes. I decided on cucumbers because they grow quickly and I knew two customers who would take everything I could produce – Bicks and Willie’s.

The first year I did everything myself and quickly learned that was limited – I couldn’t scale. So, in my second year, I hired friends to help me grow the business, which increased my revenue and profit. My efforts paid off, I purchased my first motorcycle at the end of that summer.

These early experiences taught me the importance of hardwork, how to get along with others, the value of money, and how to scale.

 

How did you get involved in software businesses?

I discovered my interest in software development during my first year at University of Waterloo. I really enjoyed creating code, submitting it to be compiled and getting immediate results.

My first commercial application of software was an e-learning management system (LMS) and later in mobile and web applications.

 

What key lessons have you learned in your career about developing a business?

The key lesson I’ve learned is the power of persistence. Persistence allows entrepreneurs to defy the odds even when they seem insurmountable and to persist through extraordinarily difficult obstacles.

 

As a leader, what principles do you embrace when guiding teams?

The most important thing about leading a team is to recognize that each team member is an individual with their own strengths, weaknesses and interests. Your role as a leader is to help each team member achieve their potential.

I believe in small, high-performance teams. Productivity and results only marginally increase when teams are larger than three or four people. Small teams are lean and rely less on formalized processes to accomplish results.

 

What principles does a company need to operate by to last decades?

This is a big question. The simple answer is monitor and adapt to trends, the marketplace and customer interests.

A wise person once told me to “capture a corner on the obvious, and the world will beat a path to your door.” I think this is good advice on how a company can remain current and relevant.

 

What advice can you give to aspiring entrepreneurs?

Aspiring entrepreneurs should start by understanding themselves well – their strengths and weaknesses. They should look for co-founders and teammates to complement their skills and traits.

Next, it’s important to understand the marketplace and their customers – build something that people really want.

Lastly, once you have something to test with customers, don’t hesitate to get to market and be prepared to iterate quickly based on their feedback.

 

How do you harmonize your work and personal life?

Everyone has the same amount of time – 168 hours per week. Being productive in harmonizing work and personal life starts with understanding priorities.

Scheduling time for personal activities such as learning, personal development, exercise, nutrition, sleep and work priorities, is the key to striking the right balance. A great resource to understand this concept is Mike Kirkup’s TedX Talk: There’s only 24 hours, so what are you waiting for?

 

What is it you strive to achieve through your work?

On a personal level, a motto I live by is ‘find a job you love and you never have to go to work’.

I’ve been fortunate enough to always love my work and it’s never felt like a job. For me, work is pleasure.

I strive to create opportunities for others and to find opportunities to improve our community.

 

What resources would you recommend to aspiring entrepreneurs?

Read books and blogs or listen to podcasts – a minimum of 30 minutes daily. Lifelong learning is an important attribute for entrepreneurs. Learning from others is a great way to accelerate learning.

Professional and personal friends – surround yourself with professional and personal friends who are supportive, can call you on your shit, and tell you frankly how to improve.

Mentors and Coaches – they can help you navigate through difficult times. These mentors may include family, friends, or ideally, someone who has more experience and offers advice from their experiences.

 


Jack Mitchell
Jack is a Laurier Business student and is passionate about all things tech


 


Wes Worsfold
Wes Worsfold is CEO and co-founder of BitBakery Software located in Waterloo Region


App Economy Forecast and Trends

“We’re spending 2 hours/day in apps, or one month each year.”

In a recent report, App Annie forecasted the 2018 app economy. The publication celebrates the 10-year anniversary of the Android and Apple app markets. The predictions cover consumer spend, AR, P2P, voice agents and plenty more.

Here’s an overview of Matt Miller’s work:

Update on 2017

      1. As of November 1st, 2 and 3.5 million apps were available
          on iOS & Google Play, respectively.

      2. In October, over 50,000 and 150,000 apps were added
          to iOS & Google Play stores.

      3. China is leading consumer iOS App Store spend.

      4. We’re spending 2 hours per day in apps, or one month
           each year.

Consumer app store spend will pass $100 billion in 2018?

Consumer spend will increase “30% year over year to exceed $110 billion in 2018.” Games will account for most spending. That said, the growth rate of non-game apps will exceed games, forming a larger spending share. This is largely due to subscriptions and economic maturation.

Watch China, India and Brazil

For app stores, the growth rate of Chinese consumer spend will outpace all other countries. India and Brazil will lead time-spent on Android phones. “Increases in smartphone penetration in these markets will fuel future growth of total time spent, which will lead to higher mobile commerce spend.”

App curation, more revenue and independent publisher attention

More apps can mean less discovery. Apple and Google will tackle this issue via more app curation/editorial content. These changes will impact leisure and entertainment apps, while “needs-based” apps (ie. food, banking) are “far more likely to be downloaded based on word of mouth recommendations or focused searches.” This platform will help independent publishers while boosting in-app purchase (IAP) revenue.

More AR!

Facebook, Apple and Alibaba, will drive future AR efforts. They’ll enhance the developer experience and further spur consumer interest (since September 2017, there’s been a surge in AR app downloads). Harry Potter: Wizards Unite, Google Translate, MLB.com At Bat and other apps which layers into the real world are likely to boom and become the entry channel for most new AR apps.

app annie graph

More fragmentation of video-streaming services

Video-streaming services took off in 2017. Consumer viewing increased 85% and 70% for iOS and Google Play, respectively. Their popularity “appears to be driving the installation of multiple apps.” The result will be industry fragmentation, despite higher revenue and engagement. Eventually, consolidation will prevail, forcing some companies to succumb to profit pressures. Consumers will also rationalize about their uses of time and money.

app annie graph of streaming useage

Mobile to dominate retail

“In the US and UK, consumers spent nearly an hour on average in shopping apps each month.” More often, stores will be used as pick-up locations and cashiers will become less common. Mobile will become a core part of the shopping experience.

Restaurant aggregators and DaaS growth

Restaurant aggregators (ex. Grubhub) will continue to develop into underpenetrated markets and sway intermediary users. Delivery as a service (DaaS) providers (ex. UberEATS) will gain market share in premium markets. Rapid-service food providers (ex. QSR) will further partner with DaaS providers. Like video-streaming, this industry will see fragmentation and consolidation.

More in-home voice assistant sales

In 2014, Amazon’s Echo opened the in-home voice assistant market. Since then, Prime Day and holiday sales have skyrocketed. This year, sales will speed up during these dates (and for price promotions). Developer interest will increase, though “use cases (ex. music listening, web searching) will remain largely consistent in 2018.”

App Annie graph of downloads

Simplified Banking

PSD 2 will let more parties “provide comprehensive, app-centric, financial-related services, while providing users with security from government oversight and legitimacy.” Wells Fargo, for example, is launching Greenhouse. This app will take a mobile-first approach to spending analytics. This directive will simplify the banking value chain globally.

Diversification of P2P Parties and Services

Venmo, and similar person-to-person payment apps, have revolutionized the exchange of money. Expect more services from these apps to decrease bank competition and improve engagement. “We expect P2P payment apps to see increased transaction volume due to growth of instant bank transfers and third-party payments, with the latter bolstered by increasing adoption of these services as payment options by retailers and sellers.” As well, messaging and social networking apps, like WeChat, are likely to enter the space.

The Takeaway:

Consumers, developers and businesses alike have plenty to expect this year. Consider these forecasts to get the most from the app economy to aid your 2018 strategy.

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By Jack Mitchell


Jack Mitchell
Jack is a Laurier Business student and is passionate about all things tech