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Chris Cardell

Interview with Adam Brimo (Mijura)

PriorityCentre is a web based task management system for small to medium sized businesses and teams.

I interviewed Adam Brimo, Mijura co-founder to find out more. This interview is the sixty seventh in a series of DW interviews. Big thank you to Adam for the interview!

How would you describe Mijura’s flagship product, PriorityCentre, in under 50 words?

PriorityCentre is the best way to know exactly what your team is doing. Easily manage all your tasks and meetings, share files and collaborate naturally. It’s simple to get started, more organised than your email and it grows with your team.

Where is Mijura based?

Mijura is based in Sydney Australia and Prashant is currently working out of Seattle Washington.

What made you decide to start working on PriorityCentre?

I previously worked on a project at a large investment bank and I found it increasingly difficult to know exactly what I was supposed to be working on at any given time. There were multiple managers, each with different ideas of what was important.

One day I came up with the idea or organise my work based on priority. Whereby each person would have a single list of all their tasks in the order they need to complete them, with the task at the top being the one they are currently working on. The idea stuck with me for a few months before I decided to leave my job, develop the software and start a company.

How did you come up with the name?

Names are always difficult to come up with and this one has a funny story. We were racking our brains for a few weeks to come up with a name that people could pronounce, that was spelled the way it sounded and had a domain name available.

Then I found a business name generator on Google and plugged in the structure of the name I wanted. After clicking generate for a couple hours we saw ‘Mijura’. The name stuck with us and we decided that if we couldn’t think of a better name in one week, we’d choose Mijura.

What technologies have you used to build PriorityCentre?

PriorityCentre is a multi-tenant cloud application written in Java using the Play Framework (like Ruby on Rails but in Java). We use MySQL for data storage and the application is hosted on virtual private servers in Australia (and soon the United States with Rackspace) while we store files with Amazon S3. The frontend of the website uses quite a bit of Javascript with the jQuery library.

How long did it take to put together PriorityCentre?

We started developing PriorityCentre in February 2011 and launched a public beta at the end of May/early June the same year. During the beta we acquired a number of early users and continuously improved the software. We ended the public beta in August and launched the current version in October.

Who do you see as your target audience?

We see PriorityCentre as work/task management for the other 90% of people. There is a great deal of project management software for technical projects but very little for professional services, consultants, accountants and general office staff. Those are the markets we are targeting although we’ve seen it used successfully for managing software projects. We use PriorityCentre to manage the development of PriorityCentre as well.

Do you have any new products in the pipeline? Where do you see Mijura in 5 years time?

We aren’t actively developing any other products as yet although we have some ideas. We’ve created Mijura out of a belief that so many jobs can be improved with the use of simple and quality software. PriorityCentre is a very general product and over the next few years we hope to see it used in many more large and small companies around the world.

Has PriorityCentre got the feedback and growth you expected since launch?

Whenever you launch a product you hope that the whole world will use it overnight. That didn’t happen although we’ve been pleasantly surprised by the companies and places that PriorityCentre has been used. We’ve had mining companies in Canada, financial services firms in the United Kingdom, and a software company in Brazil.

The feedback for the public beta of PriorityCentre was fairly critical of the design and usability. Based on that feedback we redesigned the product and now we’re hearing that it’s really easy to use and navigate. Listening to our customers’ feedback really improved the product.

Who would you say is your biggest competitor?

Notepad, MS Outlook and stickie notes are the main ways people are currently organising their tasks and meetings. Our challenge is to let those people know there is a better and easier way.

Congratulations on your 2011 Choice Magazine Consumer Activist of the Year Award! You are famed for your Consumer Activism at Tell us what impact your report had.

Thanks! Immediately before starting work on Mijura, I started a website to raise awareness about the network issues that Vodafone was having in Australia. The website ended up taking off and it resulted in a lot of media attention for the problem. I collected over 12,000 complaints through Vodafail and using textual analysis I was able to identify the main problems and locations where people were having trouble. In the report I delivered to Vodafone and the regulators, I explained the problems and how Vodafone could solve them. In February 2011, Vodafone announced a number of changes that were largely inline with my recommendations.

What are you most excited about at the moment?

I’m always excited to wake up in the morning and improve PriorityCentre, help customers and promote our business. We’re going to start our first major marketing campaign in a few weeks so we are currently preparing for that.

What one piece of advice would you give to other young founders?

Now is the best time to start. Many people spend their life waiting for the right time or saving enough money but at the end of the day you just have to take a chance and do something. You could spend a few years working 9-5 for a large company, learning very little and looking forward to your annual holiday – or you could dedicate your time and energy to creating something new. Regardless of whether you succeed or not, you’ll learn and develop far more than you ever could have imagined.

Can you convince the reader to start using PriorityCentre in under 50 words?

Do you know what your team worked on 3 months ago? How about the minutes from your meeting 3 weeks ago? With PriorityCentre you’ll always be in the know and never lose track of your work, it’s easy to get started and comes with a 1 month free trial.

Finished reading? Check out Mijura!

This entry was posted on Tuesday, February 28th, 2012 at 12:02 am GMT. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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