He said that Austin was a better fit for the company than Silicon Valley. 'The West Coast is way too competitive - just a crazy atmosphere. We wanted to be away from that noise.'
Another speaker at the conference, Hamish Hawthorn, the ceo of incubator ATP Innovations, also cautioned start-ups about Silicon Valley, warning that it was the venue for a war for talent and start-ups would have to compete with 'the big boys.'
They were better off located close to their customers, he said.
However David Jones, a serial entrepreneur and co founder of companies including Streethawk and ThreatMetrix warned that unless Australian companies based their US operations close to US venture capitalists, they should not expect to secure any US funds. He said he had personally been told by a US investor that he never put money into a company that was more than an hour's drive from his office.
Besides securing funds for growth Mr Harper said that one of the key lessons for any start-up was to have a very close understanding of the business, especially the customer acquisition costs, lifetime value (particularly when selling a software as a service solution) and the churn rate.
He said BigCommerce's typical customer was male, 40 years old, based in the US, ran a bricks and mortar retail business, contributed $41 a month to BigCommerce revenues and stayed a client for 32 months.