Custom software company Agilx finds its “sweet spot” in Lincoln’s Haymarket
About 18 months ago SPN profiled Dustin Clonch and Jake McElroy, co-founders of Lincoln technology company Agilx. We sat down with them again to get an update. For starters, the custom software company has moved from the Nebraska Technology Park into space formerly occupied by FUSE Coworking in the Haymarket. How’s that working out “We love…
“We love the new space,” Clonch said. “It has much more of an urban feel, like being in Manhattan, you can go grab a sandwich at the deli.”
The new space features a “software platform,” designed to position developers next to windows that are several feet off the floor. And the floor plan is much different from the cube-centric space Agilx formerly occupied.
“Where we were before was very much like lab space,” Clonch said. “This is wide open, we have great neighbors, one client across the street and another downstairs.”
Having access to Allo Communications’ gig network helps, too.
“If we’re doing a hangout with a bank compliance customer in Central City, will that slow down everything else?” McElroy said. “That’s not a problem now.”
‘Everything else’ includes publishing large software files, a core segment of the company’s business.
“We do a lot of publishing from here,” Clonch said. “It’s crucial that [the network] just shoots it out there.”
Refining the business
So how has the business evolved in the last year and a half?
“Overall we’ve shifted our focus to middle-market companies that have an existing revenue model,” McElroy said. “We help them identify areas of their business that can be improved with custom software.”
Clonch said they have learned that Agilx is the most helpful to companies that have their business figured out. Since we last spoke, Agilx has landed a couple of major contracts with irrigation systems manufacturing company Lindsay Corporation and ammunition manufacturer Hornady.
“If we take this process and use modern software to streamline it, it will increase the client’s bottom line,” he said. “That’s what our sweet spot has become.”
The Agilx team will still lend an ear to a startup with an idea. But be prepared for some candid feedback.
“We still consult with other startups,” Clonch said. “We’ve gotten to the point where we’re very honest with people when it comes to what we think of their idea.”
Internally, the co-founders have paid a lot of attention to structuring their own processes in a way that can scale rapidly.
“What has really allowed us to grow this year is we’re constantly refining our process,” McElroy said. “How we approach customers, how we quote things out, how we go through discovery. It’s really allowed us to deliver the same customer experience regardless of the client’s business.”
Leveraging a portfolio of intellectual property and a better understanding of customer expectations has also contributed to the company’s maturation and revenue growth, projected to cross $1 million this year.
“We have a lot of intellectual property that we should license to our customers annually,” Clonch said. “When we were young entrepreneurs, we didn’t think customers would pay to keep their app running. We didn’t realize that’s what the customers wanted.”
Agilx recently added a tenth team member, with at least one more on the horizon.
“We’ve identified the need for an in-house UI/UX designer,” Clonch said. “Someone who can bridge the gap between abstract and concrete in project requirements.”
McElroy said the best way to communicate business requirements to developers is through wire frames and high fidelity mockups.
“Show them, “Here’s visually what a button will do,’” he said. “That’s helped out a lot.”
“Developers like concrete,” Clonch added.
Rod Armstrong is Vice President of Strategic Partnerships for AIM in Lincoln, Nebraska. He is a regular contributor to Silicon Prairie News.
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