286: How FreshBooks Navigated Around Technology Constraints To Reinvent Itself
FreshBooks is a cloud-based accounting software service designed for owners of the types of small client-service businesses that send invoices to clients and get paid for their time and expertise. Despite the incredible success of the Canadian startup, an expensive and lengthy tech upgrade looked inevitable
Making changes to old technology platforms is hard, its the reason why so many IT projects are destined to fail. Equally, one of the biggest reasons we are witnessing more and more airline outages is because new solutions are built on top of aging technology.
Most businesses do not realize this until it’s too late. However, Mike McDerment CEO and Co-Founder of FreshBooks had the foresight to see what would happen to his business in ten years if he did not act now. McDerment knew it would take a radically new approach to avoid problems in the future, so he created a secret (but very real) company within a company to completely re-platform their product as well as up their game.
The inspirational story behind FreshBooks captured my attention. In the beginning, the first three years of the business was run from McDerment’s parents’ basement, but recognizing that his business would need to adapt to be compatible with future technologies is a story that we seldom get to hear.
As a result, today the company now has paying customers in over 120 countries. If you look at just North America, no one except QuickBooks Online has more paying subscribers than FreshBooks, making FreshBooks the #1 cloud accounting solution designed exclusively for small business owners
Mike is the co-founder and CEO of FreshBooks, the world’s #1 cloud accounting software for self-employed professionals. Built in 2003 after he accidentally saved over an invoice. Since then, over 10 million people have used the cloud-based accounting software to save time billing, and collect billions of dollars.