There is a saying, which goes: “You never step in the same river twice.”
Because the water is always moving, the river is never the same, even if we perceive it as being the same.
Gastown is constantly changing within a flow of innovative thinkers and trailblazers who flock to the neighbourhood willing to jump in at the deep end.
Some of the greatest success stories in business started with one brave person and an idea.
Amin Yazdani – Director of Technologies at A.Y. Technologies Inc. here in Gastown is proof that trailblazers come to our storied neighbourhood to immerse their enterprise into a microcosm that just below the surface, is teeming with creative life force.
We met with Mr. Yazdani to hear about his journey into Gastown and how A.Y. Technologies is uncomplicating the complicated world of app development.
What do you do and how did you get here?
I’m the founder of A.Y. Technologies here in Gastown. We help businesses and startups build a solid foundation for the growth of their business through technology. This can be web or mobile-based applications or any integration services that are software related. I am originally from Tehran, Iran and I moved to Vancouver in 2009. I went to SFU to do a masters and started working immediately after graduating. About 2 years ago, after being part of a few different startups, an entrepreneurial spirit inside me said it was time to start my own business. It was only myself in the company for the first year until we grew to having 8 full time employees. We outgrew 2 offices in 2 years and in March of 2017 we made our 3rd move, settling in Gastown.
Gastown is home to a lot of new startups, especially in the tech industry. We do a large degree of work with startups and the neighbourhood is a thriving hub for emerging business. Our staff want to work in Gastown and when looking to expand our team, new talent is quickly drawn to the area, as it’s such a desirable place to work. Gastown is growing not only as the technological epicenter of the city but also a cultural one. Many of the city’s most successful companies started here and a lot of the best ideas and successful people can trace their origins to Gastown.
Through A.Y’s services, you support entrepreneurs and those with new, often unheard of, concepts and innovative ideas for apps and software. Why are so many of these alternative minds drawn to Gastown and to A.Y. Technologies?
Through the years I have learned, the hard way, how to not do software. I have seen how easy it is for software to tank and fail. When launching a startup, investigation is fundamental to the success of a business in its infancy. My vision was to help support the tech community in Vancouver by guiding startups on avoiding major pitfalls in the early establishment of their newfound tech. It is vital to do this in order to succeed and this line of support is our edge. In order to not do it wrong, you need to uncomplicate it. Software development is a complex procedure and we are able to simplify the process so that the correct decisions are made from the beginning. Our roadmap workshops came out of this. The goal of these exploratory sessions is to reduce the risk of failure. The average financial investment for a startup is from $50,000 and up, often going into millions of dollars. In 2 – 4 weeks, we are able to determine, within a high degree of accuracy, how likely the chances are for failure with the new venture. We slow down the process so that we can get a clear picture of what the client really wants before we begin coding anything.
Where do you see the future heading in terms of technological services and development within Gastown?
I see a lot of startups coming to Gastown. We now have a ton of co-working spaces here in the neighbourhood. Creative people and entrepreneurs want to be close to each other, within the community and to be able to bounce ideas off each other. This group is growing and many of these 1 or 2 person small businesses will grow into big companies. It is an innovative nest where people come to give birth to ideas, raise them, nurture them and foster their growth until they grow big enough and get ready to leave.
Anything exciting that you’re working on right now?
We are continuing a project that involves the creation of a mobile app platform for restaurants and coffee shops. We are working with a number of clients to provide an easy way for them to build their mobile applications and to be able to release these apps in the most cost effective way.