As information and communication technology development booms in Jordan, thanks in part to a growing support network of accelerators and incubators, it’s no surprise that more companies are coming online to provide software development and outsourcing solutions. What Is Next?, a software development startup based in Amman, is setting itself apart with its new product OneClick, an automated application development tool that allows users to create applications from scratch without any previous programming knowledge.
We asked co-founder Emad Ayyash of What is Next? the Wamda Ten Questions:
1) How did you decide to create this company?
We wanted to create something new in the software development field, so we decided to break old-fashioned techniques by creating software that would allow non-developers and inexperienced developers to create applications and build software.
2) Do you see your market as local, regional, or global?
We want to aim for a global market eventually, but we will take it one step at a time.
3) What are your ambitions? How do you plan to grow?
We want to reach a wide market with OneClick. After developing our product, is to seek potential investors who can help us execute our marketing & sales strategy.
4) What were the most important decisions that you made in your company, or what was a key turning point in your approach?
One of the most important decisions we made was to develop OneClick, even if it meant spending every dime we own personally. Getting the chance to present OneClick locally in Jordan was a turning point in our career.
5) What is the biggest problem that you faced (or are facing) in your company, or what were the biggest mistakes you made as an entrepreneur?
One mistake was that we started without an experienced mentor, so we had to reevaluate several of our decision, but we managed to learn from our mistakes. Two other mistakes I can point to were not realizing the importance of a well-craftted marketing strategy, and not hiring an accountant from day one.
6) What is your role in your company? If you have partners, how do you manage your partnership?
I am fortunate to have a great business development manager in my friend and partner Hasan Halabi. He also manages the team & keeping us up to date with the latest technology. I work as the project coordinator, and we both work as software developers.
7) Has owning a company made you financially more secure, or not?
Absolutely not. But when I considered becoming an entrepreneur I knew I would take an emotional and financial risk. So I am mentally prepared for setbacks, and yet I’m very optimistic about our future achievements.
8) How does technology enable your business? What is a technical tool that you cannot live without?
We cannot work without Microsoft software, specifically Visual Studio 2010 and SQL server 2008.
9) What does your family and/or spouse think of your company? Would you advise other people to become entrepreneurs?
We thank god that our families have fully supported us and were on board with us from the beginning. I would advise anyone to consider entrepreneurship, but to prepare for the hard work and concentration needed.There is a lot to learn and a lot to achieve in life so we should all chase the opportunities that we receive.
10) Have the recent revolutions in the region influenced your approach?
The revolutions have given me hope for a new future. I really hope now as a young male in Jordan that I have the chance to be heard and invested in. However, I also think that the future is unclear. We might need many more revolutions before we can fully undo the damage in our various institutions.