How do you go from being fired to a business with 10,000 customers?

In 1996, after getting fired from a software industry job, Curt Finch started Journyx.

Journyx is an enterprise time and expense tracking software business.

Curt has built a profitable multimillion-dollar industry-defining software company.

Journyx has active customers throughout the world from New Zealand to Pakistan to California and from South Africa to Jordan to Israel to Sweden.

In the following interview, Curt shares the story behind Journyx.

Success Harbor: What is your business background?

Curt Finch: George,  I have worked in the software industry from a young age.

I’m now 50.

Mostly I wrote software, from robotics to Unix, in the 80’s and 90s.

I worked at TKG, Tivoli and IBM in the 90’s where we solved some very hard tech problems.

During that time I oozed into management.

Success Harbor: Why did you decide to start Journyx?

Curt Finch: I got fired, basically.

I’d seen timesheet data be worth millions to a small firm (TKG) and we used it to outbid and destroy a competitor.

Since the internet was new, I started Journyx on that concept. Use timesheet data to get our customers rich.

Success Harbor: How would a business use Journyx?

Curt Finch: Journyx automates cost accounting for labor so that you know where your profits are coming from and you can adjust your firm to get more of them.

Success Harbor: How is Journyx differentiated in the marketplace?

Curt Finch: Time accounting is as hard as money accounting.

We take it seriously and do it better than anyone else.

We like it when the problem is complex and our support is better than our competitors‘.

Unlike most software companies, we give you your money back if it doesn’t work for you.

It’s like we sell you a finished home, not just a hammer and nails.

Success Harbor: What is the role of customers in building/improving Journyx?

Curt Finch: At this stage in the game nearly all of our product improvement ideas come from them.

Success Harbor: How did you validate your idea?

Curt Finch: I naively assumed the world was like the last place I worked.

(It wasn’t).

So we had a slow start for the first 2 years until we got the product right.

Success Harbor: How many businesses are using Journyx?

Curt Finch: 1000’s. Maybe 10,000+ if you include our free version that you can download (any company under 10 employees)

Success Harbor: What is your revenue model?

Curt Finch: 2/3 of our clients use our cloud product and pay us monthly. The rest have installed it and pay annual maintenance.

Success Harbor: What is your marketing strategy?

Curt Finch: We sell direct, primarily, but have a few partner resellers.

Success Harbor: What marketing channels are the most effective?

Curt Finch: At this point in our lifecycle word of mouth works best because it’s free and we have zillions of thrilled customers passing on the word.

Success Harbor: What are the greatest challenges you and your partners are currently facing?

Curt Finch: There are many competitors who claim to do what we do (they don’t.) and customers have a hard time knowing the difference from a real software firm and a couple of guys in a garage sometimes at first and don’t have the time to get educated.

People are busy.

Say hi to Curt at journyx.com.

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George Meszaros is the editor and co-founder of Success Harbor where entrepreneurs learn about building successful companies. Success Harbor is dedicated to document the entrepreneurial journey through interviews, original research, and unique content. George Meszaros is also co-founder of Webene, a web design and digital marketing agency.