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Martin Halford

Managing Director - Technology



Martin is an executive level technologist with over 25 years of experience in delivering complex software systems and scaling delivery teams across international boundaries.

Martin is a passionate advocate of the "people first, technology second" school of thinking and aims to drive business value by having as much fun as possible with motivated people playing with interesting technology who are solving important problems.

Martin has worked in Australia, the UK and India for such companies as BHP, Lloyds Bank, Computershare, Chelsea Apps Factory and Appster.

Nowadays, Martin is the Managing Director of Technology for beNEXT, a Melbourne-based software development consultancy, which focusses on uncovering innovative business solutions using the next wave of leading edge technologies, such as blockchain and machine learning.

In his spare time, Martin likes to run off big hills with a paraglider strapped to his back.


Talks at YOW!

Tales from the Appster Crypt : How to grow and destroy a $58M company - Business Agility Australia 2019

Appster was the darling of the Australian startup scene. Started in 2011 by two 18 years old entrepreneurs, Mark McDonald and Josiah Humphrey, Martin joined the company in July 2013 as CTO. At the time the company was a small team working in an old distillery tower in Collingwood and a few developers offshore struggling to deliver a modest portfolio of projects. Over the subsequent 3 years, the company grew to 350 people in three countries, with monthly revenues of over $1 million and 50 projects in flight at any one time. At its peak, Appster was valued at $58 million but collapsed into liquidation in December 2018.

This is the story of how the company grew to that size in that time, the things that were done well, the things that were done badly, the lessons learned and, ultimately, the reason the company failed.

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