If an alien stumbled across Battersea Park during Xerocon 2016, they could’ve easily been led to believe that they had stumbled across a religious festival.
The Xero leadership, all wearing matching Xero t-shirts, took the stage (or altar) passionately spreading the cloud gospel, a kind of incantation. It resembled the megachurches of the American Mid-West.
I’ve mentioned this before: From an organisational perspective, the event was sublime. As you would expect from Xero, their brand identity was all consuming. Xerocon 2016 was a cohesive, tangible whole.
Ducking under the Silicon Valley-esque enthusiasm, though, and you begin to see a company entering its adolescence. The company always laid claim to the little guy mantel, but their grasp on that title has become more and more tenuous as the business has grown. That’s not an indictment of Xero, its growth agenda has been a resounding success.
But there does seem to be a bit of crucible approaching. Partnerships with the likes of Apple, Microsoft and KPMG mean that Xero has very much started to claim its place at the big boy table.
What does this mean for Xero’s traditional heartland? According to Gary Turner, Xero is now allowing the big guys to tap into the small business market - as well as allowing small businesses and practices to scale up. To paraphrase Turner, Xero is lowering the ceiling and raising the floor.
Whatever way it goes, it’s bound to be a fascinating time for Xero and its users as the company emerges from its shell. Speaking to Catherine Walker, Xero’s community manager (known frequently by her social media handle Orange Girl), you actually realise what an insane growth story Xero has been. Founded at her kitchen table, Walker re-mortgaged her house to help fund the cloud accounting enterprise.
In a way, that start-up spirit is whatmade Xero such a success. Now all that’s left to see is if Xero can maintain that spirit.