This time of year, a lot of summaries of the past year is written. I think the need for summarising stuff is deeply human and and looking back from time to time can bring lots of insights. So I, like many others, are taken the end of the year as an excuse to do just that, summarising and looking back. In a coming post I will do the opposite, look forward and paint the picture we see for the coming year.
Roombler, as a company, has existed for almost exactly 2 years now. We have made it a point to stay self-funded during the initial product development phase. This has most certainly made development slower than it could have been. Most of the design and technical development has been made by 2 persons, myself and David (one of the other co-founders). But actually, this has been a very conscious decision. We have a clear view on what we want to achieve, and it is far easier and much more joyful to chisel out the foundation with a small core of highly motivated individuals working together trying to give life to our vision.
Building a product like Roombler is a continuous, never ending, effort. We will never reach a point where we can say that we're done. But we will always hit important mile stones. And 2015 was a year full of reached milestones.
We let our first customers go live at the beginning of 2015. This was a very big step since from the moment we did this, we went from an ever green, ever happy, problem free development phase into actually running stuff in production. We are forever thankful to you, the early customers that has been with us from the beginning. You that has endured bugs and strange behaviours, that have given us insight into what works and what doesn't, what is important and what isn't.
We attended an accelerator called TINC. Me and Niclas spent 4 weeks in Silicon Valley together with 10 other companies. We learned a lot about the the Silicon Valley mindset and about the how and why some of the fast growing companies on earth comes from this small geographical area. We met a lot of very nice people, some of them founders of companies that will be very successful and that I think we will keep in touch with for a long time.
We released our app in the app store. This might seem obvious, but like just letting people use Roombler in a live context, releasing the app in the app store had big consequences. Apple has a review process that is applied to each and every update of the app. This review process takes between 1-10 days (really there is no upper limit). This means that we have to very careful when updating the app. Any bug released in the app will stay there for many days until the fixed version has been approved by Apple. Just another thing to build a process for.
With a few months left of the year, we opened up so that anyone could sign up and start to use Roombler. During these months we've had signups from all over the globe, from Europe, from India, from the US, from Cambodia, from Canada, from Vietnam. We have seen lots of different use cases. We have customers with just a couple of vacation rentals, we have customers that run small hotels with 5-10 rooms, customers that runs bigger hotels with 20-35 rooms and so on. We have one customer that is located on an island in Cambodia and that only has 2 hours of internet access a day. This works, thanks to our extensive offline support. Every accommodation business is different and we're very happy to see Roombler is able to help in a wide range of scenarios.
We recruited our chief of growth, Per Nilsson, and he started working with us during the autumn. He has spent these last months of the year to draw up plans and trying different routes to find ways to spread the word about Roombler, what we are and how we can help people run their accommodation businesses.
Since November we're now three persons in the tech team. We managed to recruit Johan Svahn, a seasoned developer that has many years of experience building everything between pacemaker control software to to business apps. This will greatly increase our ability to roll out new features, which is very exciting.
There you have it. A short and far from complete recap 2015. We have take huge steps towards realising our vision and we're now in a position to really ramp things up. We're really looking forward to 2016 and we have lots of exciting plans. Those plans will be outlined in a future post. Stay tuned and enjoy the holidays.