2009 RJMetrics Year In Review

I decided to start off the new year by sharing some of the highlights of 2009 and my goals for 2010.

2009 Highlights

2009 was about building a fantastic product that could provide our customers with actionable insights and real value.  We accomplished this with new customer implementations, data collection, and user-driven product enhancements.

In Janurary, we integrated the first outside testers of our hosted business intelligence software. This was also the first month we generated revenue.

In March, we announced compatibility with Postgres and Microsoft SQL database platforms (and integrated our first clients on those platforms).  Combined with our MySQL compatibility, this made RJMetrics accessible to the vast majority of database-driven websites.

By May, we had brought on over a half-dozen enterprise clients and moved out of Bob’s attic into the Waterfront Technology Center in Camden, NJ.  (In line with the move to Camden, we also dropped our first rap video, Business Intelligence.)

In July, we announced significant feature enhancements that have since become staples of the RJMetrics experience.  These included composite charts, growth perspectives, and ranking.  Automated cohort analysis would follow in September.  For each of these major milestones, there were hundreds of small improvements and efficiencies that improved the user experience and overall value of our product.

In November, we were delighted to hire Jeff Shumer, Account Executive Chef extraordinaire.  We will also announce a new engineer joining our team soon.  Both employees were hired using existing cash flow, and we are proud to have reached the hiring stage without raising any outside capital.

Overall, in 2009, we have grown our customer base and revenue substantially. In fact, not only is our company growing, but the second derivative of our revenue is positive, too.  After generating our first sales in Q1, sales grew 107%, 108%, and 109% in Q2-Q4, respectively. The chart below should help put this in perspective.

Goals for 2010

Simplify, streamline, and automate the  client onboarding process

We work very hard to make implementation effortless for our clients, but it’s still a lot of work for us.  In 2010, we aim to cut the man-hours required to implement a new client by half while improving the consistency of the results we deliver.

Empower our users to be more autonomous

We focus on delivering prompt and helpful support, and our customers make it clear that it’s appreciated.  However, some of our power users know exactly what they want, and they could probably get it faster if we took human interaction out of the equation.  This jibes with my lifelong goal of replacing myself with a computer. So, we are going to expose more administrative functionality to our clients.

Add data sources

We currently use data from our clients’ backend databases, Google Analytics, and Twitter.  We’re going to add to this list based on where our customers will be able to realize the most benefits.

Optimize the way our users get information that makes them money and saves them time

I’m very purposefully not saying that I want to add features.  There will be features added, but there will also be features removed.  I don’t care which there are more of.  What I do care is that each incremental change makes our software more awesome.  If that criterion is met, feature counts don’t matter.  If that criterion is not met, feature counts still don’t matter.

Write more

I want to be a better writer, and posting to our blog has unquestionably been the highest ROI marketing that we have done. Furthmore, stating goals publicly makes us more likely to achieve them (hence, the second half of this post).  I am going to post once per week.

Systematize our sales and marketing activities

We’re doing several experiments to determine our cost of lead generation and customer acquisition through different channels. We are going to create a process where our investments in new customer acquisition can scale in a capital efficient way.

Continue Revenue and Customer Growth

There will (hopefully) come a time when our size becomes an anchor that slows our growth rate.  I don’t feel like we are there yet.  If we succeed in most or all of the things I mentioned above, the financial metrics will follow.

One Comment

  1. Kobi
    Posted January 5, 2010 at 9:21 am | Permalink

    Nice Berkshire-style annual shareholder letter. I can’t wait to see what you do in year two.

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