5 minutes with… Xplor CEO Mark Woodland

The most important gathering of startups on the planet. Bring yours.

Mark Woodland is CEO of Xplor, an Australian software startup that launched in 2012. Xplor helps teachers and childcare providers stay connected with parents throughout the day.

The app not only helps parents become more involved in their child’s education; it cuts down on administration work for teachers.

Mark is bringing Xplor to Web Summit, so I asked him about the Australian startup scene, his favourite whisky and Xplor…

Where did the inspiration for Xplor come from?

The goal of Xplor was to develop the technologies necessary to make education truly collaborative and to get teachers out of the administration office and back into the classroom, teaching children.

Once we solved the administration problems faced by service providers and teachers we found costs were cut and collaboration was taking place amongst teachers, parents and children. Parents were involved with their children’s learning and excited about it.

You say that Xplor is “occasionally magical”. Where does the magic come in? 

We use ‘magic’ to describe two core elements of the Xplor experience: how it feels to use, and how using Xplor makes us feel about ourselves.

Xplor is magical because the experience of using it is so rewarding. We’ve described the appeal and innovation of Xplor rather succinctly, saying: ‘Its automatic.’

How it works isn’t important; a magician never tells how he does his tricks.

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What’s more important: praise or constructive criticism? 

As Jon Wooden said: ‘You can’t let praise or criticism get to you. It’s a weakness to get caught up in either one.’

Be it praise or criticism, everyone is entitled to their opinion, but I am a passionate defender of my company and product, and deeply want to see it succeed.

What’s the best thing about the Australian startup community?

Who doesn’t love Australia? Great weather, great people and even great whisky.

On a serious note, the digital economy is going to be one of the major sources of growth going forward for Australia as we come off the back of the mining boom.

It is exciting to be part of a growing industry and we are proud of the contribution we are making to Australia through Xplor.

Your Twitter bio says you’re a whisky drinker. What’s your favourite bottle, and how do you drink it?

Hands down my favourite bottle is The Macallan Ruby. I drink it neat.


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