Startup Spotlight is an ongoing series which profiles Canadian wireless and mobile technology startups.
This month, we spoke with Chris Hobbs, the President and Co-Founder of Two Tall Totems. Two Tall Totems is a premium software team that designs and develops mobile apps, complex websites, and enterprise software. With a design-first philosophy and deep expertise in sophisticated communications and integrated web services, Two Tall Totems has built beautiful and effective mobile platforms for the likes of shoes.com, and many other clients across a range of industries.
Can you tell me how Two Tall Totems was formed and what inspired you to start the company?
We decided to start Two Tall Totems (TTT) when the Apple App Store opened. At the time, the iPhone was a new, magical, device with so much opportunity and we were excited to empower it. Now, we are a 100% self-funded, 6-year-old company and maintain the spirit of a startup. Design means everything to us and we have the technical chops to deliver what lesser programmers might describe as spooky magic!
In a nutshell, our company is all about building dreams. Clients from all over the world come to us with a vision to create a product or service, and we get to be the team that realizes it for them. I’d say it’s the greatest job in the world!
What is your core expertise at Two Tall Totems?
Our core expertise lies in helping others build and design their software. From design and development right up until launch, we support the holistic creation of apps and other software solutions. It’s really interesting work because the projects are so unique and have spanned many industries, including medical, travel, security, and communication. Lately we’ve been having a lot of fun working in the AI and VR/AR realm.
What role has Wavefront played in your journey to date?
Wavefront has been a key resource for us in many ways. Between using the library of devices in the Wavefront Wireless Zone to test and monitor our software, and joining a global market entry trip abroad, we’ve really benefited from Wavefront’s expertise and services. A few years ago we participated in one of Wavefront’s global market entry trips to the States. On that trip, I got connected with a company who has turned out to be one of our biggest clients to date. Since then, we’ve made over a dozen apps for this client which has allowed us to double in size quickly!
In the future of tech, what developments in the next 5-10 years are you excited about?
I am excited about how AI will help us make more “intelligent” choices, especially around the mundane. Furthermore, I consider us to currently be in the Era of the API; Application Programming Interfaces allow developers to add services written by third parties to their own software. This makes our software richer and speeds up development time. I see this trend continuing and we’ll be able to leverage both AI and APIs greatly in our work.
Can you share some of the challenges you’ve faced and how you’ve been able to overcome them?
Business is all about relationships, trust, and solving problems through your product or service. You have to work hard and smart to become an expert of your own offerings, to help your customers solve problems. Once you’ve gained traction with your first clients you need to get out in the community to help expand your customer base. The best way to do this is to go to Meetups and engage with industry groups. Here you will be able to extend your own industry knowledge as well as market your company. A word of advice… always be professional and aim to ensure the people you’re meeting that you can to deliver on what you promise.
Wavefront has played a huge role in our expansion as a company. They have helped direct us to clients and customers. They have also played an active role in the community as a conduit for learning, and expanding our sphere of influence.
Is there anything new and exciting coming up for your company?
Developing games is not in our wheelhouse, but we’ve recently ventured into creating something fun and interactive with a bit of a game-like experience for the holidays. It’s an immersive VR Christmas app called TTT Xmas Magic that lets you integrate your Facebook photos into a personalized, 360 degrees magical Christmas world. You can check it out here on the app store for free!