Weather Hold

That non-smiling guy from Burble

Burble Software

Posted by Blue Skies Magazine on Wednesday, February 15, 2017

“I wasn’t smiling in the photos you put up of me and I’ve caught loads of shit about it. Can you put up another one of me smiling?”

No Franz, we can’t compromise our journalistic integrity all willy nilly like that. If you answer some questions we might consider posting some photos you do approve of …

Who is this guy Franz?

How many words do I get? Father, Husband, DZO, Software Engineer, AFF Instructor, sport jumper when I’m able and paddle boarder to decompress. I’m passionate about what I do and love solving problems. I don’t beat about the bush, I think that’s an English trait. I’m all about treating people as I hope to be treated.

What is Burble and how did you come up with it?

Burble is the engine that runs your drop zone. It handles reservations through to manifesting and reporting the key thing is it’s all connected. BurbleMe allows sport jumpers to self manifest, organize loads, see transaction history, check in, call for help when landed out by sending GPS coordinates to manifest. About the only thing it doesn’t do is sell beer—yet!.

I was a programmer in a former life and then I bought a drop zone which I soon discovered didn’t have decent software options. After a couple of failed attempts at paying companies to write a solution I realized I was going to have to come out of retirement and form my own team of programmers to produce a real solution.

PD New Beginning

What is the biggest challenge in doing business with skydivers and drop zones?

Two main challenges:

  1. Getting Burble to cope with all the different ways drop zones want to operate without compromising the experience for the majority of users. Generally I only add stuff that the majority of users will benefit from.
  2. Some drop zones struggle to see good software as an investment that should make them more money and save on costs. Sure you can use a cheap booking system designed for hair salons but what does that actually end up costing you in a poor customer experience and wasted man hours?

What is the most fun about doing business with skydivers and drop zones?

The positive energy is awesome. When I get a thank you from a DZO or manifestor for making their lives easier that makes all the long hours totally worthwhile. Honestly, I enjoy solving problems with elegant solutions; I get a kick out of that.

What’s next for Burble and Franz?

Geeky exciting stuff. Statistic visualization for DZOs to better understand their market, their marketing and the performance of their business. A CRM for Burble to make it a lot easier to stay in touch with customers. A POS for gear/merch sales. Gear management. Payments on BurbleMe. There’s also the now infamous never ending Burble Wishlist which is always being chipped away at.

Franz does smile.

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