Three years ago on Sep 26th 2012, we launched to the world. When we started working on SupportBee 2011, we had some radical ideas for customer support. A customer support software that worked just like email - for both agents and customers. An interface that updates in real time, enabling collaboration and a pricing model that encourages everyone in the team to help and learn from customers. An open source app platform that allows anyone to write apps that work natively without worrying about hosting them. It’s exciting to see that some of these ideas have been widely adopted now. A lot of new age support software now stay invisible to customers. Interfaces that update in real-time are more common. It’s a great validation for us and it’s great for the world in general!
Customer support space itself is more active than ever before and for a good reason - companies no longer need to be convinced about the need for a great customer service culture. They want to find the tools and resources to improve their service game. In the last three years, as we worked closely with about a thousand companies - our customers, companies that tried SupportBee but chose not to use it and companies that outgrew SupportBee, we learnt a great deal about the domain of customer support. We learn that customer support is a complex domain and a simple to use software must somehow embrace and tame this complexity, not ignore it. That's the next frontier for us and here are the top three things we want to accomplish in the next one year
We want to use our domain knowledge to fill in the gaps in our software - improve the existing workflows and build some missing components (for example contacts management). We’ll have a lot more details in an upcoming blog post.
We are a small team (three people!) with big ideas. Ideas that need a bigger, stronger team. Just like our software, we have learnt a great deal about people in the last few years. We have had the privilege of working with many talented people. Some were a great cultural fit and some other really smart people who couldn’t thrive in our environment. Thanks to them, we understand our culture a lot better now and we are ready to scale up the team again. We’ll ppost some jobs on our Angellist in a few weeks (our new favorite platform for hiring!) but in the meantime, if you are excited about being part of our journey, write to us!
Great companies and software are all about people. Our best ideas have come from our users. They have been our best testers and they have notified us of issues many times before we could spot them. We recently hired Jonathon to work on growing and strengthening our user community. We’ll introduce him and his ideas in a blog post soon but in the meantime, if you have any ideas for him, you should tweet to him at @jonlumpkin1.
In the last few years, I have learnt a great deal about shipping software and building teams. Scaling a product/business is exciting and challenging. It’s also counter-intuitive, atleast to a programmer like me. As a first time CEO, I have had my fair share of mistakes and learnt from them. As part of our community effort, I will be launching a new blog soon where I am going to write more regularly about our journey as a company and my (slow) evolution from a programmer to a CEO!
I would like to close this blog post by thanking our customers, previous team members, advisors and everyone else who has helped us get here. Today we are profitable and we can re-invest in our growth. Coupled with our experience and renewed enthusiasm, it’s an exciting place to be! To celebrate the anniversary Nisanth hosted a small dinner with some old team members in Bangalore, Jonathon went out to dinner and a Baseball game in Philly and I went for a run and meditation on the beach in Playa Del Carmen! Life as a distributed team is good :)