This week we are featuring Allan Branch. He's the co-founder of LessAccounting and also a Grasshopper customer.
Could you explain the philosophy of Less?
We believe business software should easy. It should get out of your way, allowing you to get back to work and make money. Being a business owner is hard enough without having your software make it harder.
I’d love to hear more about your path to entrepreneurship. What were you guys doing before you started Less?
I was a freelance designer and Steve was a contractor doing software engineering. We both were looking for each other we just didn't realize it at the time.
I’d like to focus on LessAccounting for a second. In college, I had to take this awful accounting class where we learned Peachtree accounting software. After this experience, I vowed to stay as far away from accounting as I could. How does LessAccounting help a guy like me (who can barely add)?
We like to say all bookkeeping software sucks we just suck the least. Bookkeeping should be easy, after all it's really just adding and subtracting. LessAccounting keeps things simple, organizing your data, showing you where you're at, who owes you money, who you owe money to, and then having a variety of reports that make it easy to understand your business. We also have bookkeepers on staff ready to help you if you have questions and even help balance your books for you. Ask Intuit or Peachtree to help you do a bank reconciliation.
How is Less different from the software out there everyone’s heard of (Quickbooks)? If Intuit called tomorrow and wanted to buy LessAccounting, would you sell?
Sickbooks is great if you've learned it. By learned it I mean spent years banging your head, clicking 17 buttons to discover you're back where you started, and having your brain numbed with repetitive tasks. LessAccounting was designed to bring people joy. That may sound silly for an accounting software, but we've heard time and again that LessAccounting is like a breath of fresh air. Part of bringing joy is making sure we're there to help when needed: Our tech support is free and Steve and I answer many support calls ourselves. The one thing we do differently from everyone else is we take great care in putting the software together, choosing the placement of every element, figuring out how to make clear what to do next and deciding what not to add so we don't end up as complicated as other.
I have to admit I’m a huge fan of Less Conference and the work you guys do with that event. The videos rock. Where did that idea come from?
We've wanted to do a conference for a while and then we just pulled the trigger. It was a blast and a smashing success. We're having LessConf 2010 in Atlanta Georgia May 21-22
There are a lot of people out there who have an idea for a great web app but don’t have a technical background. Got any advice for aspiring tech entrepreneurs?
Find that special nerd like I did, someone that complements you well, not a mirror of yourself but someone that pushes you to be awesome, find your 'Steve.'
Give us three web apps that you can’t live without. Or that every entrepreneur should know about.
That's easy: LessAccounting, LessTimeSpent, LessProjects.
Anything else we should know about Less?
I wear a size 15 shoe, Steve changes his hair color often, I started walking at 10 months and Steve's favorite book is Pride and Prejudice.
Learn more about Allan at Less Accounting or follow him on Twitter @lessallan