Open Beta

Why are we alone?

07/01/2014 Comments

When we decided to take the step from a small utility into a fully-working product, one of our first thoughts was "we need an investor!", mostly because Aptugo required a lot of development hours and we wanted to do it right. Every new feature we included for the initial version added a few hundred hours to the stack. And all of that while we had to pay the usual bills.

Everybody knows an angel investor is a sort of Indiana Jones (usually, without the whip) they exist to take risks in the quest for something both parties really believe in. We knew we had the idea, the proof-of-concept, and the will, so it was going to be a piece of cake! WRONG! Turns out investors aren't really looking for a great product, but for a bunch of stuff that doesn't make sense at all from the point of view of someone who builds stuff instead of investing on stuff.

One of the key phrases investors use "We don't invest in the product, we invest in you!", charming as a tap in the back and a "You're special" whispered into your ear, I decided to start preparing myself for the big speech. I had a lot of time, as they don't wanna see the product at the speech, but how much you think it is going to make in the first year, and how.

Then I started to prepare the "exit strategy", basically: How you get away once the investment has reached enough attention for others to invest in. Then the powerpoint presentation, with nice charts always pointing upwards, and marketing strategies, and even more sales projections. Everything, of course, from my imagination. if you have not power to conduct a serious market analysis, nor the skills to come up with a great marketing strategy, nor the sales pitch required to convince thousands of persons to start using your product, what do you have? We just had a great product, but they didn't want to even hear about it.

So, after 1 month lost of building 40 pages of just blah blah and no development for Aptugo, we decided to go with the Kevin Costner way: "If you build it, they will come", went back to the garage days (even when we never left the garage, we had a document that said we would be making half a billion in 2 years, we felt really important!)

So, in short: Why are we alone? because we believe in our product. A LOT. We know what it does, and how it does it. We're not a fancy form designer "with a twist", we are building next generation software here and anyone is welcomed to join, but by playing with our rules, which turns into our sort of mission: 

We are in the software development business, and we develop with quality, if we make a dollar is because we deserve it, not because we are good tricking our customers into pay us.