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The huge amount of attention that my "Profitable, in 3 weeks!" post has received so far tells me that there's a thirst for financial results of small bootstrapped startups in the interweb, so here's another milestone report:
Less than 6 weeks from launch, Balsamiq Studios reached USD 10,000 in revenue.
Here's the breakdown, week by week:
You see 7 columns there because I launched on a Thursday, but the chart shows weeks as starting on Monday.
Mockups for Desktop accounts for 98% of my sales and 89% of the revenue. Hopefully after yesterday's licensing change sales of Mockups for Confluence will pick up some and contribute more.
Saying I am happy with this milestone is a big understatement, the feeling I have is more one of incredulity than anything else...if it's a dream, don't wake me up. 🙂
I'll post another financial update here if I reach $100,000 in revenue (I wish) or if things go dramatically south. I sure hope it's the former! 🙂
I have a very long TODO list for Mockups and for Balsamiq in general, so I'd better get back to work and keep the momentum going!
P.S. Some people asked me why I share my financial data so openly on the web. My short answer is: why not? The long answer could be the subject of another blog post: it has to do with gaining the trust of prospective customers by making Balsamiq Studios an open, honest and approachable company you'd want to do business with.
UPDATE: I wrote this post yesterday, but today was another record day, with 2 Team licenses of Mockups for Confluence and 4 licenses of Mockups for Desktop sold. So now the revenue is at $11,488. Also, I had an exciting thought: could Mockups be the highest grossing Adobe AIR app to date? That'd be cool.
Hello there. As usual, I'm a little late with the weekly update (I might have to find a different name for it). This has been a busy 2 weeks. First off, ConnectNow shipped as part of Acrobat.com. I have never worked harder on a project before, and I am extremely proud of the reception it's getting in the blogo/twitter-sphere. The ConnectNow team at Adobe is a spectacular one and I will always be proud to having been part of it.
On a related note, today is my last day at Adobe, after 6 and 1/2 years to the day. I know I brought this upon myself by leaving to start Balsamiq and relocate to Italy, but I can't help being sad about not being able to work with all the amazingly talented people there day in and day out. Everything I know about making software and caring for the end user I learned there - Macromedia's "Experience Matters" is one of my deepest beliefs to this day. It was an amazing 6-job-titles-in-6-years ride, and let me tell you it's fun to be able to shape the future. 🙂
Balsamiq-wise, it's been a busy two weeks: as always, Twitter is the best way to know what I did when. Next Thursday (June 19th) is launch day, so most of my efforts have been on cleaning up the website and contacting bloggers who might be interested in covering the launch. We'll see what happens, I am really curious how much attention a single person with a laptop and a small idea can get these days, we shall see.
I have a couple of small bugs to fix and have to redo the Mockups intro video, but other than that I feel ready for the launch. I expect it will be a crazy few weeks after that, fixing bugs and responding to feedback as fast as I can. I am already planning a 1.1 release for mid-July, just in case. As long as each build is better than the previous, things should be ok. I am just starting so hopefully people will be understanding if I mess something up... 🙂
I am also closing down my private beta program today, as I have nothing more to hide. We can move all conversations to GetSatisfaction. To the beta testers: THANK YOU! Your feedback has been invaluable. Please keep it coming, you guys are the Balsamiq Mockups experts now!
I think that's it for now, wish me luck!
Hey there, sorry for not posting this last Sunday. Basically the update is that I haven't be carve out some uninterrupted time to focus on Mockups development this week. The move to Italy (next Thu, can you believe it?) is seriously keeping us busy, plus saying goodbye to all of our friends here is a bit emotionally draining.
That said, I was able to dedicate little bits and pieces of time to more market-y activities:
This week and the next are going to be nuts. I am looking forward to this move being behind me, I can't wait to have a few hours to fix some bugs and finish the JIRA plugin!
A couple of beta testers have asked me why I don't host Mockups on balsamiq.com as a ad-based or subscription-based niche Web 2.0 app.
First let me get the "advertising-based" part out of the way: ad based business models for startups make me laugh. Ad-based business models only work if you have MASSIVE traffic numbers, so all the startups that say "we'll be ad-based" really mean "we hope a big player will buy us". Luckily I feel like that insanity is drying out. Not to mention that ads are annoying, look unprofessional and get totally tuned out unless they are useful to you (i.e. you are in the "I'm looking for answers" mode). Ok rant over.
As for subscription-based, my short answer is: I can't afford to.
Lots of startups today don't realize that hosting a web app on your site is a lot of work:
That said, I have lots of ideas of what a community site powered by Mockups could be. Interface architects giving each other feedback on UI's usability, a rating system, templates, designers iterating on designs with customers through my site, etc. Maybe one day...but now I can't afford to.
So what should you do if you really want to use mockups but don't have Confluence/Jira or another Web Offiuce platform? You can use the Mockups Live demo version, export your mockups as XML and email that to your friends/customers. They'll be able to import the XML, see your mockup, tweak it and send it back. I know, it's not ideal, but it works. Working that way is not a lot of work for you and not a lot of work for me. I think that's a fair deal.
Next time: why don't I sell Mockups Desktop for $30 a pop?
Doing my homework in preparation for launch:
Btw, I'm not sure about when to have the "launch day" yet, it will be sometimes in the 2nd half of June.
Update: I found some more links on the subject that might be useful:
Hi there, quick update. This past week:
Other than that, I have been spending more and more time on "the big move".
I have noticed a slowdown in the amount of feedback I receive from you guys, should I worry about it? Are any of you actively using Mockups to help with your work?
Until next week, Peldi
Man things are hectic around here, there are boxes everywhere! I just sold half of my personal belongings to my friends, crazy mixed feelings abound. Anyways, quick update:
I don't have a TODO list for next week yet, this big inter-continental move is definitely keeping me busy. I'll see what I can do a little bit at the time.
Until next week,
Hey there, here's what happened in Balsamiq-land since last week's update:
The combination of these three mean that I am officially open for business!
If you'd like to try the Confluence plugin go here, download the trial, install it and start playing with it for 30 days. If you then want to buy it, the process is painless and starts on that same page.
Other things I did:
On a personal note, my one-way flights to Italy are exactly a month from now, so I'll have to scale back the Balsamiq efforts a bit and step up the "pack to ship / pack to store / try to sell / give away / throw away" efforts for the big move.
P.S.I'm still having a lot of fun with this, EULA and all. I can't wait to do this full time! 🙂
Hi there, I'll try to keep it short this time
- I finally got around to writing the licensing, serial-key / 30-day-trial code I needed. I was dreading it, but it ended up being kind-of fun to write.
- I have a few critical bugs to file in the Confluence integration story, but after that I think I'll be ready to post a 30-day trial downloadable plugin to the site. So exciting, getting close!
- I added the serial key code to the MockupsOnAir version, so it's fully functional only to license holders and not everyone.
- I added a couple of pages and refined some others. This is more of a way of life than a TODO item...anyways the site is pretty close to being ready to launch I think.
- I signed up for Google Webmaster Tools and submitted my sitemap to Google...boring stuff but it had to be done.
- I got my EIN (tax ID)
- I opened a small business checking account
In other words, Balsamiq Studios LLC can now legally accept payments, whoo-hoo!
- fix the remaining Mockups+Confluence bugs
- add my plugin to CruiseControl to publish my builds live auto-magically (gotta learn some tricky ANT+Maven stuff)
- set up my site with e-junkie (bad name, great payment processing service)
- add more pages to the site
- redo the introductory video using the confluence plugin version
- meet with a small business CPA and get set up with his favorite bookkeeping software (I did research into it, and all I have to say is YUCK!)
Thanks for listening and keep that feedback coming! I am especially interested in hearing what you are using Mockups for and how it's working for you. And if you are not using it, why not? 🙂
Let's see, what did I do this week.
Beta and others:
Ok I think that's enough for now. Oh and I also worked full-time at Adobe and prepared some for the big move to Italy. No big deal. 😉
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