Welcome back to another cohort of unsexy.tech founders and their stories — as usual, we have a real mixed set of experiences and lessons.

We’ll hear about a very engineering-centric culture having to make the move to a design-first mentality at Element.

Then we have the story of what you notice as a non-tech founder, from Qflow making waves in construction tech.

And finally, an example of the winding road to product/market fit from The Bot Platform and how you balance listening to customer demand with following your instincts for what you do and don’t want your business to be.

Unsexy.tech in the time of Coronavirus

These interviews took place at various times across the last few months, with Covid-19 looming large in the background. I think it paints an interesting context for how “unsexy” tech companies are being affected by the virus.

Early on, there seemed to be natural hesitance and delays while everyone scoped out the situation. But quite quickly, this switched into an interesting acceleration.

Ultimately, one of the key characteristics of B2B tech is that it helps larger established companies become more efficient, save money and do more than they were previously able to.

In normal times, this is a “long term strategic priority”. Meaning in practice, it often takes years, while the tanker slowly chugs along.

But in the context of Covid, it’s remarkable how quickly we have seen the kinds of companies who use our clients’ technology suddenly realise how little was actually stopping them make the move to these better ways of working.

It seems that “nobody got fired for buying IBM” becomes less relevant when playing it safe could still leave your business ravaged and your employees exhausted and frustrated.

I feel we’re seeing a huge phase of acceleration for the adoption of the best B2B tech. Remote working and asynchronous collaboration have stretched the limits of the old ways of operating. And in doing so, it has intensified the appeal of the new ways.

Although it comes at a terrible price, I do feel we’re entering a new time of opportunity and potential for the “unsexy” tech behind the scenes that really makes the world go round. And that doesn’t mean Zoom — it’s usually technology at a much deeper level than most readers want to read or talk about.

And that means I’m more pleased than ever to be hosting some of those stories here with the depth they deserve for just the readers who need them. If you’d like to be featured in a future piece, please do drop me an email.

And even so, if you have any feedback or thoughts about all this, please do get in touch and let us know how we can make unsexy.tech even better for you.

Wishing the best of luck and health to our readers and their families at this challenging time.

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About the Author


Max Tatton-Brown is founder and MD of Augur, the entrepreneurial communications partner for "unsexy" tech.

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