Growing a software start-up in the UK

Our business in the UK has covered some distance over the last four or so years where, having doubled our UK customer number every year, we now have more than 22,000 UK companies and tens of thousands of happy British users running Xero.

Our growing presence in Blighty prompted UK software industry veteran Jyoti Banerjee to stop by our headquarters last week to record an interview with our UK managing director, Gary Turner for use in a class that Jyoti lectures at Saïd Business School, University of Oxford on software entrepreneurship.

Here’s a clip from the interview where Gary discusses the challenges Xero first encountered getting setup in the UK.


David Barton
May 2, 2013 at 3:56 pm

Gary – loved how you articulated the xero journey and how small business was ready for it and why. I seem to recall also that cloud technology wasn’t mature, scalable or fast enough until 2005 or so. Is this correct and if so, what specific changes in technology has occurred that made cloud applications feasible. Cheers, Dave Barton

Gary Turner in reply to David Barton Xero
May 8, 2013 at 5:36 am

Hi David, the key technology shift was probably actually in browsers more than the background technology stack. Firefox pushed the envelope after Internet Explorer had held things back in the early part of the last decade, and this in combination with the emergence of Ajax (Asynchronous Javascript and XML) cross browser web app programming around 2004/2005 – a great early example of which was Google launching Gmail in 2004 – prepared the ground for the current generation of web app development principles whereas previously it was pretty hit and miss, with app latency and responsiveness more akin to a traditional web pages than the snappier experience and better overall design available in web apps post Ajax.

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