The following things kept us busy in April to June 2014:
From a financial perspecitve, Q2 was a great success. We’ve collected revenue in the range of $400k, and our number of paying customers is now 350. So Q2 was 25% better than Q1, and 100% better than Q2 2013. Nice.
Our MRR however took a little dip though since we lost one large client who decided they wanted to move back to a (very very elaborate) paper based process. Losing $5k per month doesn’t show on the quarterly earning report above, but it is noticeable on the MRR chart since the human eye is trained to see changes in continuous lines. Well, that’s the main purpose of the MRR chart, it’s an early indicator of potential problems:
While losing a single client is not a huge problem, we don’t take it that easy either. A proper post-mortem was conducted, but ultimately we came to the conclusion that the process the client really wanted was so involved, we’ll not be in a position to serve them well even in 2 years.
But other than the growth of the MRR slowing down a bit, the MRR is of course still rising nicely, so we’re not worried, and we have just issued several huge invoices for July, so Q3 is off to a good start.
Customer Success & Marketing
We’re working on streamlining our support process, providing evaluator feedback back to the dev team so it can fix support causers. Despite being busy with an influx of sign-ups and support questions, we’ve created new tutorial videos for the performance review and 360 degree features, recorded a full webinar video and updated our slides to keep up with the constantly changing product. We’ve also extended our list of customer testimonials, attended a few conferences – both to learn our ourselves as well as present our software ‘to the masses’ – and held customer events like a Meet&Mingle in Sydney.
Major challenges in Q2 revolved around making our processes as a small team more efficient. To help prospects get started with Small Improvements a little smoother and limit initial support questions, we are exploring an introduction video, a quick start guide and topic specific case studies. Non live yet but this will change in Q3. Also a debate started on how to deal with phone calls. While we like to be available, we cannot always guarantee that someone picks up the phone 24/7. This, in combination with a buggy online phone system, caused disappointed prospects and resulted in a shift to a fairer and better manageable ‘request a call’ strategy. Another continuing challenge is to find a suitable CRM for our approach. The search and exploration of tools will continue.
Q3 starts with a panel discussion on the future of HR in Melbourne and will bear the fruit of our labour regarding new support material.
Development & Product
We were able to launch some really major screens which had been in the pipeline for a while: Our new performance review and 360 review overview screens are now live and truly amazing:
We launched 2-Step verification as well, and Likert-Scales for 360 feedback are – despite still in beta – successfully being used by 10 clients already.
However, Q2 was also overshadowed by refactoring and internal improvements, which don’t make for amazing headlines. For instance, we’ve been rewriting our JIRA and Confluence integrations from scratch. From a technical perspective the rewrite is amazing, since it is more robust, easier to troubleshoot, and will enable us to create new integrations much faster. We’re eyeing Yammer- and Bonusly integrations next. But from the end user perspective not much has changed.
We worked a lot on our internal processes, switching from Jenkins to TeamCity, working on the security layer, making good progress on our new Angularised User Directory, but none of the work is ready for prime time unfortunately. Well, Q3 will see some really cool feature releases, so stay tuned!
Team & Recruiting
We have been able to sign one new full-time employee who will start in November, one freelancer is helping us 3 days a week at refactoring parts of our architecture, and two new amazing interns have started in early July. We lost one AngularJS developer who was poached by Atlassian (shame!) so recruiting remains a top priority. We got pretty close with two candidates, but one had a competing offer from Soundcloud, the other went to Txtr. Yes, recruiting in Berlin is tough, but on the plus side, we feel honored that we are now almost on the same level of attractiveness as some of the really well-known Berlin tech companies.
Although slightly outside Q2 already, we hosted a really nice GrillJS event on July 7, and we’re keen to meet all our international staff in the middle and end of July, which is when we’ll also host our Sommerfest.
Yikes, we’re currently learning the hard way that setting up a legal entity in the US is no easy feat. After some disappointment with our initial choice of law firm, we’re now in touch a new set of people and we’re hoping to bring the project back on track in Q3. But we don’t expect we’ll be done before Q4, so starting to look for an office in SF will have to wait a bit.
We recently had an internal presentation about Small Improvements Q2 results, and we also discussed our current challenges and roadmap considerations. Here’s the slideshow from that meeting.