Typosaurus: Connor Mulhall
The tech entrepreneur tells us why his web tool's design will make it stand out and how Jurassic Park was the inspiration behind their branding
Name: Connor Mulhall
Company name: Typosaurus
Date launched: 01/04/2015
Tell us what your business does:
The business is an online spell checker for websites. You can paste in a website’s URL and Typosaurus will scan the pages and check them for spelling errors. The tool is aimed at bloggers and agencies who need to publish content quickly while maintaining a high standard of quality control.
It is also available as a Chrome extension which makes the process of spellchecking web pages even easier.
Where did the idea for your business come from?
I worked for in a digital business and the team needed an internal tool to check the content they were publishing. They were fed up with having to paste text into Microsoft Word to check the spelling and couldn’t find an existing solution they were happy with.
We also asked friends who work in digital and found they were having the same problem, so we decided to make Typosaurus public. The branding came from the fact that I’m a big Jurassic Park fan!
How did you know there was a market for it?
We had seen similar tools around but nothing that combined decent design, user interface and free access. These three characteristics will make our site stand out.
What were you doing before starting up?
I was working full time as a web developer in London.
Have you always wanted to run your own business?
I’ve always wanted to create a web tool that was used by people around the world. It was just a case of coming up with the right idea at the right time.
How did you raise the money?
My employer let me set aside some time to work on the project and I was able to get a friend to design the interface for free. Therefore, Typosaurus didn’t cost much at all – just development time and web hosting.
Describe your business model and how you make money:
We are not currently monetizing Typosaurus, as the value for us lies in building a community of loyal users. However, in the future we may roll out premium features or monetize Typosaurus through advertising.
What challenges have you faced and how have you overcome them?
Typosaurus was the first tool of this kind that I had built, so there was a lot to learn on the job. This essentially meant building it twice: once to get it working and again to get it working well!
What was your first big breakthrough?
Our first big breakthrough came after someone submitted an early version of Typosaurus to Product Hunt. It made the homepage, and subsequently crashed the API after hundreds of people tried using Typosaurus simultaneously.
That’s when we knew we might be onto something.
What advice would you give to budding entrepreneurs?
Think big. If you’re developing a tool, make it as good as it can be. Don’t settle for something that half works. Make your code as a clean and as fast as possible, because if you don’t get it right someone else will just come along and build something better.
Where do you want to be in five years’ time?
On a beach, sipping a pina colada and managing a fleet of dinosaur-themed web tools.