2007 Recap

Our Company / January 2, 2008 / Alykhan Jetha

Another year has gone by and what a crazy year it has been. In what looks like “all of a sudden”, the Mac became the platform of choice for great many more people that I would have ever imagined. All kinds of typically Microsoft fans within my family and friends circle started talking about the iPod, the iPhone or the Mac. I had to refrain from saying “I told you so like 3 years ago…”, I just nodded in agreement πŸ™‚

At Marketcircle, we accomplished at lot in 2007, here a few key milestones:

  1. We grew our staff by 100%. We now fluctuate between 22 and 26 people (we hire some temp help from time to time). We also outsource a bunch of non-engineering work. We’ve had stages of growth and running the company at each stage is very different. First it was me, then it was the 4 of us of a long time, then it was the about “6-9” of us, then it was like 25 of us all of a sudden. I didn’t code much at all in 2007 (sad is some ways) and I think I’m getting better at this leadership thing – although I have lots and lots to learn. It is simultaneously exciting and nerve racking, but admittedly lots of fun.
  2. We shipped Billings 2 and 2.5 to much acclaim. Billings 2.5 has gotten much acclaim with a “Business Software of the Year” from MacUser, Macworld Eddy, a Golden Cube, as well as MacLife’s Editor’s Choice. I was happy to read this description for the Macworld Eddy’s:

    Marketcircle adroitly walks the line between packing the time-tracking and invoice-creation tool with features and keeping it easy to use.

    Billings also made it into the β€œ35 Absolutely Essential Mac Apps” list.

  3. We shipped Daylite 3.5 with Sync Services. It was so much work, we should have done a few UI tweaks and called it Daylite 4. We didn’t because we promised Sync Services support in 3.x. It was an expensive promise to keep. Shoehorning a multi-user data set into single user sync services was a lot more work than we planned for. At one point, we had absolutely all engineering resources on Daylite 3.5 going at 110% with support, sales, docs and admin folks doing QA. The team pulled through, got this puppy out the door and made a lot of customers happy.
  4. We shipped Leopard compatible Daylite 3.6. We began work on Leopard compatibility in early 2007. Other than DMI we didn’t think it would take us that long. We wanted to be ready within one week of Leopard shipping, but we asked our customers for a 6 week window based on past experience. Good thing, because we needed those 6 extra weeks. We had to make some significant changes under the hood for security reasons. Apple’s security team mandated some changes or Daylite simply wouldn’t run on Leopard – period. And people think that Apple is lax about security – ha. We got a lot of flack for not being Leopard compatible in those 6 weeks, but I’m happy that engineering and QA held to their guns and released when it was ready – it’s a solid release.
  5. We moved to a bigger and much better office. We where so packed in the old office that we couldn’t add people even if we wanted to. The old place was a veritable sardine can at the end. The new place had to be a certain way and fit within our budget constraints. We wanted a place that was cozy and warm, provided for working privacy while giving us great “stand up” collaboration when needed. We also needed meeting and mingling spaces and the entire thing had to reconfigurable (too a degree). Everyone really likes the new place and we’ve seen some great benefits already.[I was going to post some pictures, but they turned out somewhat fuzzy – I’ll have take some new ones and post those later.]
  6. And a bunch more.
    • We where honoured to be part of Apple’s WWDC campaign.
    • Billings joined Daylite in retail distribution and is available in most Apple stores
    • We shipped (and open sourced) iPhoney which helped a lot of developers prepare their web apps for the iPhone.
    • I am undoubtedly forget some stuff…

I’m also proud of how a lot of our people have grown. They’ve become better at managing, better at customer service, better at sales, better at engineering and much more. I was away for a good 3 to 5 months and I could only dedicate 5-15% of my time to the business at best (my wife pulled through and gave me an absolutely adorable, amazing, cute as button, can’t live without, gorgeous daughter), yet we accomplished so much. It’s good to know that I’m not needed so much for the day to day stuff.

I’m looking forward to 2008 and to helping make the Mac an even better small business machine.

Until next time…

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