Menu
INSIGHT: The importance of developer investment in NZ

INSIGHT: The importance of developer investment in NZ

“It is absolutely essential for us to invest in our developers – in their training, in the tools they use, the work they can do – and at a personal level."

Cameron Mehlhopt, co-founder and CEO of talent casting website StarNow, is a New Zealand entrepreneur who has helped grow a lightbulb idea into an emergent worldwide business.

His advice on the path to success as an online business? Invest in your developers.

The concept for StarNow – which connects aspiring models, actresses and musicians with casting agents around the world - was conceived by Mehlhopt and two friends on their OE after hearing a friend’s struggles to find work as an actress.

Together the trio had a strong web development background, having not long before helped to build TradeMe back home. Leaping on an opportunity they developed a website to connect casting agents with those looking for work.

Nearly a decade on, StarNow is a thriving site with over three million members worldwide; across the UK, USA, Canada, Australia, Ireland and South Africa.

Being a product-led company, StarNow has been built around the philosophy of investing in staff – which Mehlhopt says is crucial for continual growth.

Advanced training is offered to all staff members - from interns and customer service representatives, to testers and web developers. From StarNow’s New York loft-styled HQ in Wellington, the company now employs about 35 staff. Of the full-time staff, developers make up about one-third.

“It is absolutely essential for us to invest in our developers – in their training, in the tools they use, the work they can do – and at a personal level,” Mehlhopt says.

“As an internet business – things are changing every day. Along with technical skills, we need to ensure our people have the ability and the freedom to actively contribute in figuring out the best way for the company to do things.”

As an ex-developer, Mehlhopt knows first-hand the processes required to help them succeed, and the rewards that can result from a successful project with StarNow’s developers key to implementing concepts and turning them in to product.

“Every job that I’ve worked at as a developer I’ve been given a problem, and often it is up to us to find a solution,” he adds.

“It’s really fulfilling to be part of finding that solution and creating a thing that hasn’t existed before. There is a lot of satisfaction in not only building something, but also seeing it out in the world. You’re always learning as a developer.”


Follow Us

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags StarNow

Featured

Slideshows

The making of an MSSP: a blueprint for growth in NZ

The making of an MSSP: a blueprint for growth in NZ

Partners are actively building out security practices and services to match, yet remain challenged by a lack of guidance in the market. This exclusive Reseller News Roundtable - in association with Sophos - assessed the making of an MSSP, outlining the blueprint for growth and how partners can differentiate in New Zealand.

The making of an MSSP: a blueprint for growth in NZ
Reseller News Platinum Club celebrates leading partners in 2018

Reseller News Platinum Club celebrates leading partners in 2018

The leading players of the New Zealand channel came together to celebrate a year of achievement at the inaugural Reseller News Platinum Club lunch in Auckland. Following the Reseller News Innovation Awards, Platinum Club provides a platform to showcase the top performing partners and start-ups of the past 12 months, with more than ​​50 organisations in the spotlight.​​​

Reseller News Platinum Club celebrates leading partners in 2018
Meet the top performing HP partners in NZ

Meet the top performing HP partners in NZ

HP has honoured its leading partners in New Zealand during 2018, following 12 months of growth through the local channel. Unveiled during the fourth running of the ceremony in Auckland, the awards recognise and celebrate excellence, growth, consistency and engagement of standout Kiwi partners.

Meet the top performing HP partners in NZ
Show Comments