by Raimonds Simanovskis
The First Ten Years, the First Thousands of Customers
eazyBI as a company is turning ten years old today. Unfortunately, we cannot make big parties during this weird time. But we can reflect on what have we achieved, what has changed, and what has remained the same.
eazyBI for sure has been a very successful business and I have overachieved what I have dreamed about when starting it. But we do not have specific goals that we should achieve that would define us as successful. We celebrate everyday work when we improve our product, when we help our customers, when we learn from our colleagues, when we work as a team. We like the process and not just the end result.
I see that for many startups the end goal is "the exit" which typically means that they are acquired by larger companies. They celebrate that and receive a lot of congratulations. But in reality, it means that nothing will stay as it was before and not everyone will be happy afterward. Some employees might not be needed anymore in the new company. Some existing happy customers might not be needed as well, as they will not fit the strategy of the new company. Founders will be disappointed that things move much slower in big corporations. Hopefully, founders and investors got their money but that probably is the only thing to celebrate.
We do not have investors and we do not have pressure for "the exit". We have good enough multi-million revenues and profits and we should not sacrifice our other values to increase the financial results. Our team and customers are more important than that.
As Atlassian is our main partner then we share many of their values. One of the values is "Don’t #@!% the customer" and it has been important for us during all these ten years.
Initially, before our success with Atlassian, I experimented with different data sources for eazyBI. Some of these integrations didn't bring much revenues for us but all of them helped to improve our product and therefore we are grateful to these customers. I checked that our oldest still paying customer is using eazyBI to analyze Highrise data. Highrise is a product by Basecamp that was canceled several years ago. But they have the "until the end of the internet" policy and they still provide the service to remaining paying customers. We follow the same principle – if we still can provide the integration then we continue to serve our customers that use these data sources.
"Don’t #@!% the customer" doesn't mean that you should do everything to please your customers. Because you can't do everything and therefore you won't do. It means that you should be honest with your customers.
We are honest about our pricing. We have a standard public pricing policy that is the same for all customers. We do not make big unexpected price changes. We suggest the right solution to the customer and not the most expensive one.
We are honest about the product development. We do not promise that the product will have features that we have not started to develop. We do not promise the exact date when the new version will be released. But we do listen to our customers and the prioritization of the backlog is primarily done by the number of customers who are interested in the new feature.
We are honest about the support. We help customers to build their first reports but we do not promise to build all their reports. We teach them and help them to become more knowledgeable eazyBI users so that they can do more by themselves.
We will not do something only because customers asked for it. At first, we want to understand why they need it and then we will try to make the best solution that solves that need.
We celebrate every day that we can help our customers to understand their data better. Thank you for trusting us and let's continue for the next ten years (or until the end of the internet).