As I write this, I feel so grateful.
We are a small team that was founded with just 2 people in a basement. Over 1 million people use TeamGantt to get their work done.
Without you, we couldn’t have done it. We are grateful that you have joined us on this journey.
We worked hard for just over 10 years and learned a lot along that journey. Here are 10 things that have helped us, a small underdog, grow steadily over the past decade.
1. Be determined, yet flexible
It has been said that determination is more important then intelligence. I couldn’t agree with this more.
To achieve anything important, you must remain determined about achieving your vision. You must be flexible enough to learn new strategies along the way.
2. Find a co-founder who is a good fit
This is even more important than deciding on what to build or how to market it. These things will change. Your co-founder probably won’t.
It’s extremely difficult to do this alone, so I recommend finding someone with a different skill set and the same values. John and I have very different skill set but we are very aligned on business strategy and values. This has worked well over the years.
3. To start or grow a tech business, you don’t necessarily need a lot of capital.
We recommend that you do as much as possible without investing. We are now 10 years into this journey, and still receive $0 in investor funding. This means that we spend 100% of our time with our customers and 0% on pitching or reporting to investors.
Simpler operations helped us keep costs low. Our first server cost us less that $12 per month. We pay much more for the high-quality servers that we use today. You don’t have to buy fancy servers to start small.
We also found ways to promote TeamGantt without spending any money. There are many free options available these days, including blogging, SEO, social media, PR, and phone calls. ).
Simplifying our space was perhaps the best way to keep costs down. We started in my basement, as I mentioned. We eventually moved to another basement and then to a $5,000 shed in the backyard before finally moving into the office that we have today.
Here’s a photo of us in our sweet shed back in 2013.
4. Do not be afraid to be the underdog
Almost all of our competitors raise lots of money to help them grow. Our competition has always been larger, some of them much bigger. Many times, hundreds to thousands of employees. We now have 21. We started with 2.
We are used to being the underdog, but we use that to our advantage. Our competitors are busy finding investors, hiring lots of people, buying large ads and going through red tape to make decisions. We take quick decisions and work directly with a small, but talented, team.
5. Listen to your customer and create a product that is worth the price.
We are 100% customer-funded, which means that we answer to the customers. If we don’t have something that is worth our customers’ money, then we aren’t doing a good enough job.
Talk to your customers and prospects constantly so that you can understand their goals and challenges. Find creative solutions to their problems. We are always open to discussing project managers, business owners, or other team members in order to find the best project management app.
Our focus has been crucial. It’s the only way that we have been able accomplish so much with such a small team.
It is important to stay focused during work hours. We limit interruptions at home and personal tasks. To help our team focus, we keep the chatter and meetings to an absolute minimum.
Business direction also requires focus. Do we create new products? Do we hit more markets? Do we do 100 different things. We can’t, and we shouldn’t. Sometimes, we have to learn the hard lesson. It is tempting to take on more than we should.