Alexander Stamp is the founder of CloudHerd which has been pitched as the ‘eBay for livestock’. Alexander graduated from the University of Sydney with a Bachelor in Electrical Engineering and interned with a mining company before being accepted into the USU Incubate Program to work on CloudHerd.
I keep banging my head against the wall until they happen, because trying to solve hard problems isn’t an easy process and you have to keep going no matter how hard it is.
Tell us a little bit about your idea and what made you decide to take the plunge and make it happen?
Basically it is about combining livestock management and sales into one product in order to replace physical sales methods and create an alternative to the classifieds style of online livestock sales that exists at the moment.
We decided to take the plunge because we were accepted into USU Incubate and because I couldn’t seem to get a job that wasn’t in Perth. We also believe this idea really has legs so we were very prepared to commit to it.
How do you make money?
1% auctions transaction fee, once we finish the auctions system.
What are you working on right now and what are you most excited about in the next three months?
Well we are working on a number of projects right now to improve site functionality as we move towards a general launch but probably the biggest priorities are the auctions system, the importing functions from different programmes and testing the fully developed inventorying system with our testers.
We’re very excited to be launching the auctions system as this will allow us to start selling people’s livestock animals online!
How do you make ideas happen?
I keep banging my head against the wall until they happen, because trying to solve hard problems isn’t an easy process and you have to keep going no matter how hard it is. We’ve had some issues so far with CloudHerd in that some people who are consumer focused don’t believe in what we’re doing or how we are doing it. That can be very disheartening but we keep going through that and concentrate on the vision of what the business can be.
What does your typical day look like?
8AM: wake up
9AM: answer emails, sort out Twitter etc
1030AM: go into the office
11AM: arrive at the office and spend the day doing a mix of coding, calling and meeting people.
5PM: go and do some form of exercise
7PM: eat dinner
9-12PM: do more work, usually emails
What challenges have you faced when starting or growing a business/organisation in Australia?
There’s some paucity of money basically, I saw a statistic that more is gambled on the Melbourne Cup than invested in venture capital in Australia, but also the entrepreneurial scene is quite small so you have to be careful not to rub anyone the wrong way.. The other problem that links into not having money is there are large variety of legal restrictions and business laws that are expensive and time consuming to comply with. I’d much rather be spending time on making a better product and dealing with customers than attempting to raise money and figuring out what items I have to pay tax on.
What is one idea you are willing to give away for free?
Biometric guaranteed autonomous geolocation service, for automatic alibis.
What people/companies/organisations do you think are doing really cool stuff in your industry, in Australia at the moment?
Taggle is pretty great and they are in the same building as us; some of the genetics work that is going on the industry as a whole is also very interesting and it’s encouraging to see the uptake of new technology.
What about internationally?
We’re sort of overlapping Farmeron and FarmLogs in the management space and we think their products are quite nice. They also raised money, which is great to see that people in the ag-tech space can do that.
What role do you think business can play in affecting social change?
Business can be very effective in delivering beneficial social change, but if they lose site of their primary function as a business then there can be difficulties. The best thing, I feel, about business of agents of social changes is that they are usually something that people interact with every single day and as such are of great importance to people’s lives and patterns of behavior.
Name 3 websites you would recommend to our readers?
AngelList – always a great way to discover upcoming companies and if you have your own start up a great way to gain investor exposure.
Twitter – a free way to connect with your customers and validate some of your assumptions that go into your business as early as possible.
RailsCasts – we have found it to be the premier Ruby on Rails resource.
Name 3 Australians we should follow on Twitter?
Are there opportunities for people to get involved with your idea (e.g. are you looking for funding, interns, marketing help)?
Currently we are trying to fundraise but we’re also seeking a business intern from a rural background to work with us in getting our product out to farmers. We think if we can get a few sales running through the platform then we will have a lot easier time fundraising.
If you have a product partnership or some other form of collaboration in mind please don’t hesitate to reach out to us. We’ve already talked to a number of potential partners and the time has always been well spent even if we couldn’t actually end up working together.
Our readers are smart, creative, talented and good looking. Here’s your chance to ask them anything.
“Where do you think your meat comes from and how do you think it gets to you?” A little bit of a thought provoking question and something that can be applied to many products, but one that is particularly central to our business.
What’s your favourite bar/café/restaurant?
I guess I’m pretty boring in this respect but I actually love Pie Tin in Newtown, NSW. The pie meal is very good value and the slice of pie shakes are fantastic, even though they cost the same as the aforementioned pie meal!
What is your favourite song by an Australian artist at the moment?
Icehouse – Great Southern Land.
We thought it would be cool to crowdsource an annual prize to award to the interviewee’s choice (each person interviewed gets one vote) winner for the year’s best interview. Are you willing to kick in a prize?
I would be prepared to put in a bottle of raspberry ratafia.