Crossing the Pacific to build an online calling tool

3 min read
6/04/17 10:47 AM


When James first conceptualised Cradle (formerly Talk Like Humans) during his around the world travel he had always imagined that the company would be made up of a distributed team, one that boasts a wealth of different experiences but is united with a common purpose: to create meaningful, longer-lasting business relationships through the power of intelligent call routing and user-friendly design. It’s only fitting since Cradle was created to help people connect to their customers and colleagues more easily and accurately, no matter where they are in the world.

Though our company mission remains strongly intact, we, as a collective, made the decision to move our company’s base from San Francisco to James’ motherland of New Zealand. It was not an easy decision as SF was my home for many years and its sheer entrepreneur energy and vibrant start-up community, were second to none. And let’s be honest, SF has hands down, the best Mexican food on the planet outside of Mexico.

So why did we pull the trigger to trek over 10,000km (6,500mi) across the Pacific?

The Perfect Guinea Pig

New Zealand serves as the perfect test market for Cradle as it allows us to prototype a new product in an established market without too many external forces that are often headache inducing. Being an island country, it’s accustomed to playing the role of an important satellite hub for organisations of all sizes. One primary functionality that we are looking to test and perfect (as mentioned earlier) is connecting a distributed workforce with a global customer base, by using smart routing backed by integration with its CRM. Studies have shown that 70% of employees want to work remotely. This presents us with an opportunity to address two common issues that all of us have experienced at some point:

  • Your finger goes to the “0” key on your dial pad immediately because you can never talk to the right person at the right time
  • You ask yourself, “should I email, text, keep calling?” when you reach the voicemail of someone that you need help from

I am trying something new here…

The Right Economics

Simply put, it is very expensive to start a software business in San Francisco, with high tech salaries averaging USD $150,000. We can build an equally talented and experienced workforce comparably in NZ for much less. And thanks to New Zealand government’s ardent support for the technology sector, we are able to better prioritise our investment into R&D with subsidies and other tax benefits.

Work To Live

Building a successful tech startup requires more than just raw talent, it needs the right amount of pure muscle grease to match. Silicon Valley is not afraid to boast its “80 hour work week”, an admirable quality that has made it what it has become today. We here at Cradle want to build a different type of company, one that keeps a laser sharp focus on the end goal without sacrificing the means of getting there. We want everyone to enjoy all that life has to offer, whether it be the great outdoors (our backyard) or hitting the gong when a deal is closed. It helps that New Zealand is named one of the best places to live and work.

Celebrating a good day at work!

We celebrated our one month in NZ yesterday and we feel right at home already.

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