Interview with Vaughan Rowsell: CEO Vend

This weeks SaaSStar doesn’t only have the coolest moustache in SaaS Land, but possibly the coolest Online Point of Sale Software on earth! (Yes! SaaS Makes pretty much...

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This weeks SaaSStar doesn’t only have the coolest moustache in SaaS Land, but possibly the coolest Online Point of Sale Software on earth! (Yes! SaaS Makes pretty much everything Way cooler than it used to be, even POS). Vaughan Rowsell is Founder and CEO of Vend. If you’ve not heard of Vaughan or Vend yet, take note. They are making waves and could be the next big SaaS. Here’s what Vaughan had to say to SaaScribe:


Hi Vaughan, Can you tell us about why you Started Vend?

I was looking for a big problem to solve for a big industry. Given my technical background in product, I was looking for a chunky product opportunity that could serve a massive market. I had some retail experience in the ecommerce space and so it didn’t take me long to spot the opportunity in bricks and mortar retail. Old antiquated software that needed to be dragged kicking and screaming into the 21st century. So I built a prototype online POS and gave it to retailers and the feedback was overwhelming. So I ran at it. Fast! Never looked back.

Do you ever lose sleep at night thinking that you might go down in history as being partially responsible for the death of the cash register?

Ha, no. They have been dead for a while and just didn’t realise. I am doing them a favour by helping them find closure.

Vend isn’t your first Startup. What one thing have you learnt from the previous Startups that you’ve brought to vend?

You learn a lot from failure. You rarely get it right first time, and the best thing you can do is to try things. Sometimes you can research and theorise things, but it’s by actually doing stuff that you learn the most. Try stuff, fail, try again. As long as you are learning as you go then you are on the right track. There are so many well read experts with opinions but have never actually tried stuff out the hard way. Sometimes to discover the most innovative ideas you need to break away from the trail well trodden. Not all the time mind you, but challenge the status quo now and then.

Peter Thiel and Christoph Janz are two of your Investors. How has it helped Vend, having such big name VCs behind the company, beyond the money?

Well having great people look at what you are doing and deciding they want to back you gives a lot of credibility. It helps others in the industry cut through the BS and identifies you as someone to watch. Customers don’t care so much. Actually not at all. Mostly for industry credibility. How do you measure that? I don’t know.

Whats your top tip for SaaS Founders just starting out?

Don’t be afraid to try things out, accept you don’t have all the answers, but have ways to find the answers. Surround yourself with smart people who can do some of the heavy lifting, and then trust them. These don’t need to be people you put on payroll either. Investors, advisors, fans and friends. Lean on anyone you can who wants to help. And talk to everyone you can. Constantly sell the story of why what you are doing is so amazing. This will help you find these amazing people to lean on because they will “get” what you are doing and want to be part of it.

What Can we expect from Vend in 2015?

We are rolling out the most awesome platform to power small to medium retail businesses, from POS to ecommerce to CRM to loyalty to analytics to lead generation. You name it. Vend is the platform helping retailers become more successful. Globally.

by Alex Theuma @alextheuma

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