Software solutions do  not have to be complex for the user, but often, they are too complex. It doesn't have to be this way, says Peter Meinl, founder of LeanWork.NET, a BizSpark member company from Germany that has a solution for small and medium businesses that need to run software programs to operate efficiently.

Their newest offering is Currencies, a simple currency converter that works on Windows Phone.

"We believe most software solutions are too complex: Too many features, over architected designs, too many ways to do the same thing. Instead, we build simple solutions with rich user interfaces," says Meinl.

Microsoft technologies that the company is using in conjunction with the development of this and other applications:

  • VS 2013
  • VB.NET, XAML
  • Office 2013
  • MS Sync Framework

 

Do you build for scale first, or for revenue? How are those things related in your mind?

 

Scalability involves fundamental architecture decisions which are hard to change later. We always design and test meeting the specific scalability requirements at the very beginning of a project. Doing this is not costly for us, because we have the expertise and on the other hand don’t waste our time on purist approaches, patterns and overdesigned frameworks. Having to release a breaking release to our customers because the initial architecture was not scalable would severely impact trust in our brand and thus mid- and long-term revenue.

 

Do you make reasonable predictions about how you are going to achieve revenue and then test them out, or do you start with a business model and deploy it, to see if it brings in revenue?

 

We don’t but we know that we should :-)

 

 


Peter Meinl

 

How much of what you are building is based on leaving a legacy and how much of it is based on technical challenges, or the ability to make something just for fun? In other words, where do you fall on the seriousness scale? For fun, for profit, for life?

We build to evolve our skills and make peoples life a little bit better. And we hope to make some profit with this too.

 

What are some of the challenges you face as a founder or developer at a startup, when it comes to dealing with family life, or socially? Does working on a startup change the way you associate and interact in these areas?

Our work/life balances are very unbalanced :-)

What characteristics do you possess that make you an entrepreneur? What makes your startup a startup?

I am a lateral thinker (Querdenker), have solid skills and can work very, very hard.

 

Can you describe the relationship that you have had with Microsoft in building your startup?

I am an MS Partner for many years, used the MS Empower program and LeanWork is BizSpark Member since its foundation about 2 years ago. Having access to all development tools for little money was very important for us. We only used publicly available technical assistance and no marketing assistance from MS.

Why would an entrepreneur turn to Microsoft for help in building scale, a team, or using software?

MS hat the most productive tools available.

 

How is Azure implemented in your solution?

We use Azure to keep data in sync across apps, services and devices.

How did you get excited about Azure?

For us Azure is nothing to get excited about. It is simply a natural evolvement.

What were the Azure features that prompted you to decide to build on Azure?

Availability of cloud products from the vendor (MS) we favor.

What advice do you have for companies that are thinking about building in the cloud?

Think about privacy.