Established: Untyped has been around for about 7 years, but Myna itself is less than a year old.
Business Stage: Myna has just under 500 customers and we’re about to exit our open beta.
Located: Entrepreneurs for the Future incubator, Faraday Wharf, Birmingham Science Park
Myna the Product:
Myna is a superior approach to A/B or split testing. It is the fastest way to increase sales and usability on your web sites.
Myna solves a problem for anyone whose business success is driven by their website. When you make a website you have to make lots of design choices. How do you layout the page? What pictures do you use? What tone does your copy take, and what points do you emphasise? Each decision is something you can revisit to improve the effectiveness of your site. Maybe the tone of your copy isn’t right for your audience so you want to change it, but how do you know that your changes are effective? A technique called A/B testing is used to determine which improvements have been effective. The traditional way of doing A/B testing, however, is time consuming and inflexible. Myna is a better way of doing A/B testing. It learns in real-time from your visitors so you get results faster, and it allows you to add and remove changes at any time.
What makes Myna unique:
No other product in the A/B testing space can deliver results as quickly or allow such a smooth workflow.
The Myna story so far:
Myna started as an idea when I was working on my PhD at the University of Birmingham (UoB). It was obvious that a line of research on so-called “bandit algorithms” could be applied to A/B testing, and also that the only people who had done so were companies like Google and Microsoft that could afford to hire their own research staff. I’ve always believed in the democratising power of the Internet and I wanted to make some of this technology available to the rest of us, while hopefully building a viable business on top of it. We started with a blog post to see if there were any interested. The post got on the front-page of Hacker News and stayed there for a whole day. Our blog crashed due to the load and our inbox exploded with emails. We knew we were onto something then.
Untyped and Birmingham:
We were already in Birmingham, having both done our PhDs at UoB. We saw no reason to move. We’re close enough to London that we can easily drop in for meetings, but Birmingham is much cheaper to live, which is great for a startup. It also has all the perks of living in a big city, something we wouldn’t have if we were in the Home Counties.
When and why Untyped moved to Birmingham Science Park:
We’ve been working for years out of Dave’s spare room. With Myna we realised we both needed to get out, receive further mentoring and meet with potential customers. The Science Park’s Entrepreneur for the Future technology incubator was such a great deal we couldn’t turn it down.
Best business lesson learned:
Best business tip we have to offer:
Accept the downs as part of doing business, and don’t give up.
An interesting fact about your business or a member of your team:
Myna is named after the “Myna bird”. This bird is famous for picking up words its overhears and repeating them, just like our Myna picks up on successful web pages and repeats them.