Influencers & Profiles

Diary of an entrepreneur: How Danny Gorog’s road map to success is taking the $9.2 million Outware app empire into new territory

Kirsten Robb /

Don’t be fooled by the big office in the trendy Melbourne suburb of Richmond, the 100 employees mostly under the age of 30 or the meetings held around the barbecue – Outware Mobile is not your typical tech company throwing out traditional business rules and replacing them with beanbags and buzzwords.

Danny Gorog asserts he and cofounders Eytan Lenko and Gideon Kowadlo have always been incredibly measured with their approach to the business, methodically growing their company from day one.

“We have always been very regimented about what we were going to do with the business at a strategic level,” says Gorog.

He says software companies are naturally adept at building strong systems and structures around their processes and Outware simply applied that to all levels of the business.

“We were very considered. We would try to plan out what each of our next short term goals were going to be and fulfil them.”

Even the very beginnings of Outware were well-thought-out. As Gorog and his partners watched the rise of the iPhone in 2007 and realised the potential of the app space, they decided to start with the foundations. 

“We decided the best approach to the industry was to actually go and get some jobs and develop apps for other people. So we learned how to make apps.”

After getting his training in software, Gorog launched the business whilst working part-time in a steady corporate job. Outware soon won its first contract for a horse racing app and began to leverage success on each new project.

But for a boy who wanted to be a dolphin trainer when he was younger, Gorog admits he wasn’t always so measured with business.

He launched his first startup at 25, a computer training company he eventually found “hard to scale”, and later began and quickly closed down an unprofitable eBay ‘drop shop’ website.

“You learn a lot from failing and there’s more risk as you get older, like your family. You have to worry about how you’re going to make money and survive, so it was more measured with this [Outware].”

The measured approach has paid off for the company, with Outware growing on average by nearly 150% in the last three years, turning over $9.2 million last financial year and listing clients like ANZ, Seek and both the AFL and NRL.

Gorog sits down with SmartCompany to talk about why he gets up to work at 3am, how he feels when he sees someone using one of Outware’s apps, and which tech trends he thinks are set to change the game again.

Mornings

Gorog is certainly a morning person, sometimes even a 2 or 3am in the morning person.

He and his partner recently had another baby (making it four kids under 10 years old) which he says is likely not helping his sleep, but believes he is naturally an early riser.   

“I like getting up early; I think it’s the most productive time of day. There will be a few nights a week where I go to bed at 10.30pm and then wake up at 2 or 3am,” he says.

“I just wake up and get a thought in my mind, then that kind of snowballs and I think, I might as well get up and do some work.”

While he doesn’t have breakfast because he’s “trialling a new fad diet” that cuts out the meal, he will pick up a soy flat white before he’s in the office at 7.30am.

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Kirsten Robb

Kirsten Robb is a former journalist at SmartCompany. Previously, she worked at News Corp as a property reporter for Leader Newspapers and the Herald Sun, and holds a Masters of Journalism at Melbourne University.