In this 'tell us about your tech' interview, Kim Antoniou, Co-founder of Kafoodle, talks about her love for technology.
What is your business’s best tech investment?
It may not be the tech favourite, but first and foremost our best investment is in our people and having a brilliant programming team continues to be invaluable to our business.
Aside from that, the adoption of open source technologies, for example using technologies like AngularJS and Ionic for cross platform development, has definitely been one of our wisest moves. Using this approach has cost us a fraction of the time it would have if we were developing native apps by simply using well understood, mature technologies (HTML5) built upon by well designed, well supported Open Source libraries (AngularJS/Cordova/Ionic).
What are your business’s biggest tech challenges & how do you overcome them?
Finding good people is always a challenge, especially in the current technical evolution where the demand for good and innovative developers exceeds the number of people in the market.
We overcome this by only ever bringing people into the business that fall in love with us as a company and the technology behind Kafoodle. This helps create an environment where the programing team are genuinely happy and can get into a real deep development ‘flow’, enabling them to develop our tech purely for the intrinsic joy of carrying out the individual tasks required to do so.
Aside from that, being a ‘tech startup’ means that time is one of our most valuable and least available assets. Allocating the much-needed hours to keep abreast of the advances in all of the software and libraries we use, the assorted industries we are involved in, and not to mention, researching new technology, can be a bit of a challenge.
What new tech are you excited about?
Having been in love with technology ever since I traded in my old ‘golf ball’ typewriter for my first Dell PC back in 1988, it’s safe to say that I am pretty much excited about it all.
Specifically, I am most excited by new uses for technology that assist with the practical aspects of life. For instance, our team recently created a way to use voice recognition and gestural input in Kafoodle Kitchen. This could make it easier for chefs to create a recipe and in turn make allergen and nutrition information more reliable for customers. I’m excited by tech that makes these kinds of solutions accessible and I’m proud to be part of a company that’s creating it.
Text to speech is another useful tool, and of course we have all the recent developments in the area of wearable tech, which will revolutionise the way we look at responsive technology and deliver an unbelievable personal user experience.
I suppose the short answer is that I’m most excited about the stuff that I haven’t even thought about and that’s the main thing that keeps me interested in this most innovative and competitive industry.
What tech advice would you give to other businesses in your sector/generally?
The best advice I could give is to not spend too much time trying to plan the intricate detail of the project from the outset. Instead, define the outline scope of the product and work in an agile way. In most cases, requirements and needs change as you progress, so working flexibly could ultimately save you a whole lot of wasted time.
Our approach to this has been to work using the industry standard Scrum methodology. This allows us to be responsive to changes in requirement, as well as continually deliver improvements whilst always maintaining a clear long-term roadmap for our product.
Additionally, it is crucial that you continually communicate directly with the end user to ensure you understand not only what they really want, but also why they want it. This is fundamental and will help you to deliver a quality product that’s both well built and ideally suited to the purposes for which it was designed
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