We interviewed Dana Brown, Marketing Director of Xojo, Inc., which develops a cross-platform development tool for people who want to create and deliver software for Windows, Mac OS X, Linux, the web and soon, mobile.


CHESTER: What is the name of your company and what was the inspiration behind choosing this name?
Dana: Our company is called Xojo, Inc. We make cross-platform development tools, so we wanted a name that would truly represent our product while also being unique enough to truly own in our space. Xojo is also an acronym for “X (or cross) platform object orientation,” which our style of development. This means that the language model is organized around objects, rather than actions.

CHESTER: What year was your company launched?
Dana: It was founded in 1996 and when our product first shipped we supported only the Mac platform. Now, we have over 150,000 users worldwide and support OS X, Windows, Linux, the web, and mobile support is coming later this year.

CHESTER: Who is the founder?
Dana: Geoff Perlman founded the company with the goal of enabling ordinary people to create extraordinary apps.

CHESTER: Why was the company founded?
Dana: At the time there was nothing like that made software development easy for the average person the way Visual Basic did for Windows, so initially Geoff wanted to offer the flexibility of VB to Mac users, while offering them an integrated drag and drop user interface builder. It became clear to him that cross-platform development was the future with the increasing marketshare of Mac and Linux. Using Xojo you can develop your application on Windows, for example, and you deploy it for the Mac. The ability to create cross-platform applications enables developers to rapidly develop their applications and also expand their target market.

CHESTER: What are some of the important milestones your company has experienced?
Dana: When we first started out users could only build for the Mac. Now, they can build apps for OS X, Windows, Linux, the web, and soon, iOS and other mobile platforms.

CHESTER: Where is your main office? Are there other locations?
Dana: We actually moved to a virtual office model in 2008. We have had employees working remotely since 1998. By 2008 about half of the staff already worked remotely, so we started looking into adopting the virtual office model. We liked that it would involve a cost savings (rent, insurance, internet, etc.) but also that our employees were happy to not have to commute to work. It gave everyone more flexibility, which ultimately makes us more productive. We currently have employees all over the world from California to France, and one even relocating soon to Australia!

CHESTER: What problem does your product solve?
Dana: Xojo is a software development tool, meaning that you can create applications for the desktop, the web and soon, mobile (iOS) with our tool. Using Xojo, you don’t need to be an expert in programming — you simply drag and drop your user interface and use one simple, straight forward language to program the functionality of our app. We have users at all levels of programming experience – from novices and students to expert-level, commercial software developers.

CHESTER: What is something exciting or innovative that your company is doing?
Dana: We are working on some really exciting stuff. Soon we are launching our Xojo Cloud. You see, traditionally creating web applications has been a painful process. You have to be an expert in a number of web technologies – like HTML, CSS, PHP, JavaScript, AJAX, the list goes on. Using Xojo, you drag and drop your user interface and use our straightforward language to program your app’s functionality. Previously, deploying a web application has been a showstopper for many developers because it requires having expert level knowledge of configuring a server, installing your own security measures, creating backups, and more. Using our Xojo Cloud, which is shipping this summer, you simply click one button and your web browser opens and your app is launched. We have already implemented Department-of-Defense-level security measures, automatic backups and more, letting you focus on developing your app and leaving the hard stuff to us. What’s more – Xojo applications are compiled into machine code (binaries), making them so secure hackers won’t waste their time trying to wade through a megabytes of binary code!

CHESTER: What makes your company different from others?
Dana: Our focus is seeing our customers be successful. We want people to understand that developing software is something accessible to everyone. If you have a great idea for an app, we enable you to focus on what makes your application unique and let us do the rest, as our tool abstracts you from all of the nitty gritty of the platform details.

CHESTER: What will your company look like in 5 years?
Dana: We are going to keep doing what we do – making it easy for people to build applications for all of the important platforms.

CHESTER: Is there anything else you’d like to add?
Dana: With this latest release we are now offering Xojo for free. That’s right – you can create, develop and test your app for FREE! You only need to develop a license once you are ready to deploy!

You can learn more about Xojo, Inc. here:
Website: http://www.xojo.com
Twitter: @xojo
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/goxojo


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