During the 2012 ITEXPO in Texas, there were a number of collocated events at or near the convention center. Broadsoft CEO Michael Tessler gave the keynote speech at one of those events, StartupCamp6. In his keynote speech, he recounted the challenges he faced in Broadsoft’s early days.
Today Broadsoft serves 18 of the top 25 largest telecommunications carriers. Mr. Tessler always had a vision of where he wanted Broadsoft to be, in both a technical sense and a business sense. In the keynote speech, Mr. Tessler said, “When we started to look at the industry in the early days of VoIP, we saw a lot of hardware focus, but we knew that eventually the industry would move from the transport layer to the application layer…We always imagine ourselves as being in the app layer, so we tried to focus on the app and the end user and what would work well for them.”
Back in 1999, no one was talking about SIP. It was a big risk, but a risk Tessler and his partner, Scott Hoffpauir, felt they needed to take. But, those risks should also be measured against how much capital the company has. Ideally, a startup would go slowly until the product or service really catches on, then speed up as soon it does.
Although it’s been 14 years since Tessler and Hoffpauir started iKnow, which was renamed Broadsoft a year later, Mr. Tessler still feels the same excitement of being a startup. “Every day at Broadsoft is a startup day,” said Tessler. “We are still learning a lot in the changing industry. Every day is a new challenge and we are all having a lot of fun.”