Meet: Paul, MoDaCo
What's the story behind MoDaCo? Tell us a little about how you got started there?
MoDaCo was created back in 2003 as a place for mobile developers to congregate and discuss software development for the then brand new Windows Mobile for Smartphones platform. Throughout my career I've worked in software development - MoDaCo started as a place for like minded people to vent against some decisions Microsoft had made that were bad for developers. It grew quickly from there!
In recent years MoDaCo has been as much about specialist consultancy work as anything else, focusing on cross platform mobile software development and helping companies bring phone and tablet products to market in the UK. We have also helped clients adopt new technologies to make their businesses more effective (particularly when it comes to remote working).
What inspired you to get MoDaCo up and running?
As well as being passionate about the technology itself, I am - and always have been - fascinated by how technology impacts people and how people interact with devices and services. My background is primarily in development, but throughout my career I've also worked on writing projects. I've previously written for a number of large online publications and some UK magazines. I currently freelance for 'Linux User and Developer' and 'Gadget' in the UK. Being involved with an online community is an obvious fusion of these interests!
MoDaCo's growth was as much about managing groups of like minded people as the technology itself, which has been fascinating.
Aside from MoDaCo projects, I am now working at a small business based in Norwich called ServiceTick.
ServiceTick is a company that uses communication technology - voice, text, web etc. - to connect companies with their customers, collecting feedback in the form of surveys and allowing clients to produce rich reports on the data. What might sound like a fairly dry subject is actually quite fascinating - brands are always keen to know more about how they are perceived by their customers and ServiceTick enables this. New technology is also emerging all the time to help reach these customers.
"In your own career, if the time is right, don't be scared to make a change..."
And what are the biggest obstacles you have faced along the way? How has the changing tech landscape impacted your business?
Probably the biggest obstacles for me have been the ever-changing nature of the business - it's important to ensure your skills are relevant - and really trying to be the best 'people person' you can. When you are active in public forums, have a big social following etc., you will come across people who will try to provoke a negative reaction. All my years of experience have taught me how to deal with that, and made me both a better person in my working life and a better human being overall.
How did you come across Curve in the end? How has it brought you benefit in your working life?
I was referred to Curve by a friend, but evolution of payments has always been a topic of interest for me. While mobile payments (Apple Pay, Android Pay) are very interesting, I don't see the world moving away from plastic cards any time soon. Contactless payment means that we may finally see cash taking much more of a back seat for small transactions, which makes the Curve product even more relevant.
In my working life, I have to juggle all sorts of payments across different accounts, cards etc. and Curve helps me manage that. As a little bit of an organisational freak it means I can slim down my wallet too. What excites me most about Curve isn't what it does today, but what it could do in the future.
Do you have any tips for other entrepreneurs or people in a similar position to you?
A few! Above everything else, try and be a good person. Try and always see the personal side to tech and view things from a different perspective to your own.
In your own career, if the time is right, don't be scared to make a change - if you work hard and do your best, you'll find things will generally work out OK.