Adventures in VC land: Our 2013 pitch deck

Dozens of VC firms reached out to us in 2013, so we sent our pitch deck around the world quite frequently. After a while we started sharing our deck with job applicants as well: We’re such a small startup, and many applicants had doubts about joining us. Access to our deck and our key metrics definitely helped with recruiting.

But we still insisted on confidentiality. Only when I was interviewed by Gruenderszene recently, it finally dawned on me that being secretive is actually quite stupid. There’s no real downside in sharing our numbers more broadly, except maybe for the additional recruiter calls we’ll get. But if just one additional good applicant throws her hat in the ring, that’s worth it. So here we go!

Our Pitch Deck

Continue reading

Static Showdown Hackathon at Small Improvements

11588120473_a8509a2920_h
The Static Showdown is a virtual worldwide hackathon for frontend-engineers. Hacking is more fun together – thus we provide our Berlin office as a central hub during the competition.

The competition starts on Saturday, 8th of February, 1am Berlin time. You then have precisely 48 hours to develop your app. Anything that you can run on a static web server (just files, folks) without writing custom back-end code is allowed. Teams can be made of up to four people. See the official homepage for pricesrules and FAQ.

Continue reading

Learn how we kick some enterprise software butt. At BED-Con 2013.

We’re a tiny startup, and yet we’re able to compete with some heavy weight companies. For instance, our main competitor Rypple launched two years ahead of us, received millions in funding, was led by a team of experienced entrepreneurs and staff, and got acquired by Salesforce last year. We have: No funding, no entrepreneurs, mostly junior developers, and self-taught marketing staff, and we’re not in the Silicon Valley either. But rather than get worried we thrive on this challenge, our customers  love us, and we’re profitable too.

We’ll share our secrets at the Berlin Expert Days “BED-Con” Conference in early April 2013. Here’s a quick appetizer of that presentation:

  • We use few but powerful tools: Google App Engine, Apache Wicket, IntelliJ IDEA, Objectify, jQuery and LESS. That’s about it. We avoid any magic ingredients that cause unexpected massive delays when something breaks (Maven and Spring, JDO and Hibernate, I’m looking at you guys)
  • We only build features that clients actually demand. Nonfunctional is required too (although few people ask for those), and design is rarely asked for but always appreciated, so we make sure to cover those too.  But our core focus is on feature work that clients actually need.
  • We minimize communication overhead by being extremely picky in our hiring process

But that’s just the big picture. Join us on April 4th/5th in Berlin for a rollercoaster ride of how we do stuff, and how your company (not necessarily a startup) can learn from what we learned, and how to apply this to your development process.

Tickets are merely €90 for two days (it’s a non-profit conference) so get involved: http://bed-con.org/