SWTulsa Success Story: Geoffrey Simpson


Running a software company was a life goal for Geoffrey Simpson.
As a kid, he had two uncles who were computer programmers. Then in high school, he went to the Oklahoma School of Science and Mathematics in Oklahoma City where he took advanced computer classes.
Then came the computer science degree from Oklahoma State University followed by a master’s in business administration.
Then the job as a software architect.
Geoff had the skills to something really great. He just needed a little inspiration.
Cue Startup Weekend.
Startup Weekend allowed Geoff to see everything that goes into starting a company — from the product development side of things to the advertising, marketing and public relations aspect.
For Geoff, the actual software development part was the easy part.
The challenge was finding all the other people he needed — the graphic designers, copywriters and editors — and then creating all of the marketing materials.
Startup Weekend gets all of those people in one room and then energizes them to work together.
“That’s just something that doesn’t happen every day in business, or in life in general,” he said. “The experience was fantastic — for us to create a goal and then finish it by Sunday night.”
Meanwhile, at Startup Weekend, Geoff learned about Twilio, a service that allows a company to make phone calls and send text messages through coding and programming.
Geoff took what he learned about Twilio and turned it into a real-life product called Diner Connection.
He took what he learned about Twilio, and he and his wife Shawna then started Moxie Software, a custom software and web application development company.
They recently launched their first product called Diner Connection, a web-based program that allows restaurants to better communicate with their patrons.
For one, Diner Connection replaces bulky buzzers. Rather than waiting at a restaurant outside with a buzzer, the restaurant is able to send patrons a text message when their table is ready. Restaurants can also contact customers when their to-go orders are ready and also harvest the numbers and do text message marketing.
And customers can talk back. They can ask how long their wait is or maybe answer whether patio tables are available.
Diner Connection launched Sept. 1. So far, Iguana Mexican Grill in Oklahoma City is the closest customer to Tulsa using the program.
By using Diner Connection, the restaurant was able to open a bar area in its parking lot where customers have a more comfortable waiting area than a small crowded lobby.
The experience of the three jam-packed days last November gave Geoff and Shawna a concentrated view of what goes into running a company.
“I think it’s a worthwhile experience for anyone to try if they’re interested in starting a company,” he said.
“Anyone” can even include 20-somethings from small towns in Oklahoma.