2018. A year of transformative change. Not because we want it, but because I’m just calling it as I see it. I am nearly positive that this posting will get approximately zero reads…and that’s ok. Because if nothing else, this post reminds me of where the company has been and where we are going. Call it accountability…or maybe even some self-inflicted peer pressure.
What I learned in 2017. While this company has been in existence since 2014 the beginning was easily the simplest part of this journey. Years 2014-2016 were largely planning, learning, benchmarking…many hours of studying and architecting. In those years I was only accountable to myself and old man time. I knew that this endeavor is a race against the clock and that I needed to force each step in the birth of this company. 2017 is where the rubber met the road.
In 2017, we finalized development of our product, COPEX. Were granted a Copyright and filed for our Patent. We released the desktop version in October and then immediately followed with the iOS app. The last quarter of the year slowly saw my role of chief architect turn to salesman and advocate for early adopters. I can tell you from personal experience that this Founder has – to date – held all of the hats at one point. Wearing the hat of the chief architect and the vp of sales…is nearly an impossible task. At least for me. Despite my relentless approach to constantly saying the wrong thing at the wrong time, I am proud to say that of all of the companies I have spoken with, all of the doors are still open for a contract and we even have a few customers.
While I didn’t blog about this, if you know me I repeated this many times and refused to look past this simple metric. The goal in 2017 was to just have 1. 1 Customer. Looking back, I can count 2017 as a win.
Looking forward to 2018, there will be occurrences that will create inflection points for this company. Those inflection points will most likely serve to gain wide attention of our product in very short order. I’m not talking about paid advertising, either. I am predicting a word of mouth movement that will spread very quickly. When looking at what follows, keep in mind, we are a privately held company. There is no VC or massive cash infusion, so our goals and commentary may look different than those set by companies pretending to have a valid product without the revenue to match. By the end of 2018, the high-level goals that I am setting for our company are as follows:
- No Lost Customers. When I say this, my full intention is to only approach and engage with potential customers who would truly have value in our product. If a customer was identified and didn’t sign, it’s because we didn’t educate enough. If a customer signs and then cancels, well then, we didn’t do good enough somewhere – and we’ll have to figure that out asap. We view ourselves as the perfect compliment to the MRP/ERP business critical systems. Manufacturing companies who aspire to or currently hold ISO:9001 or ISO:13485 simply need us. If they are doing ANYTHING else, they are throwing money out the window and its our job to educate this year.
- Move out from contract employees into permanent employment. I think this speaks for itself. With an increasing customer count…This will happen.
- Present at 1 industry conference. Could even be TEDx.
All of it goes out the window if we hit one of those inflection points that I mentioned before….
Happy New Year, and let’s have a great 2018.