DevReady PodcastDevReady Podcast E26 – The FinalCall Startup Journey

On today’s episode, Andrew and Anthony speak with CEO and founder of FinalCall, Paul Arnost. Paul’s interest out of high school was initially as a heavy metal vocalist, proving you can be anything. Shortly after, he worked his way into a career in the banks before starting a career in the tech world.

Over the course of this episode, Paul and the hosts get into many different topics related to success as a startup. Paul explains the concept of designing processes, business agility, and the need to communicate better.

Paul is the founder of a company that helps real estate agencies connect homebuyers to their respective homes while saving them time and money. He goes into the ins and outs of the conception of that idea, some of the roadblocks he hit along the way, and how he was able to find success, even amid the COVID pandemic.

During their conversation, Andrew and Anthony also get into many of the issues that plague tech startups in general, including workflow, project management, and delivery problems. They also list some red flags to look out for in the beginning phases. Paul laments working with many companies who struggled on the delivery front, and he opines that delivery is paramount to making the client happy. If you can just commit to always delivering the product, a lot of the other things will fall away. They also spend a little time talking about investors and how people manage to get their startups off the ground.

Paul signs off with some advice on how to stay motivated as an entrepreneur. The risks are real, and the stress is high, but the rewards are great. Paul has left us his email for anyone who wants to reach out to him.

Topics Covered:

  • Paul discusses his start in Melbourne.
  • Designing processes.
  • MVP versus MMP and Waterfall versus Agile Project Management.
  • What exactly is FinalCall?
  • The effects of the recession on your portfolio.
  • Resistance to the technology in the real estate industry.
  • Red flags to look out for during the dealing process.
  • The challenge working offshore with different time zones.
  • What does the offshore manager even do?
  • It’s hard to stay afloat.
  • Sales, sales, sales. Marketing will not sell the business for you.
  • Don’t be bummed if it doesn’t work out right away.

Key Quotes :

  • “You can have the idea well before the business gets established.” (1:00)
  • “The more information you can come prepared with, the better.” (4:45)
  • “The agile delivery space is where you want to be.” (8:05)
  • “If you know people in technology, pick their brain.” (14:14)
  • “Understand the wider industry, know the key players.” (23:30)
  • “Make sure you understand the market and the incumbents.” (29:40)
  • “My experience with offshore development has not been fantastic.” (51:10)
  • “Having a technical founder means you have someone with skin in the game.” (53:40)
  • “We stopped trying to deliver.” (55:30)
  • “When you interact with the user, you get valuable feedback.” (59:20)
  • “Research, research, research.” (1:01:10)
  • “Being an entrepreneur is a risk.” (1:04:45)
  • “It’s not the idea that investors are interested in—it’s the team. (1:08:15)
  • “If you want to survive in business, you have to be flexible.” (1:15:15)
  • “The average age of a successful entrepreneur is 45.” (1:19:00)
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