FusionCharts @ TiE 2009The FusionCharts JourneyPallav NadhaniFounder & CTO
FusionCharts @ TiE 2009This is me when I was 3…Thank you Google Image Search!
FusionCharts @ TiE 2009Know me betterI thought dropping out of the college was the in-thing.When I was 17, I was approached to write an internationaltechnology book. But, writing the book itself wasn’t thebiggest challenge!Beer is the second best thing God ever made. The best isunlimited beer.When I’m hungry, I eat. When I’m lonely, I eat. When I’mconfused, I eat. When there’s nothing more to eat, I go buysome more.
FusionCharts @ TiE 2009So why am I here today?Free food!To share my entrepreneurial experience with you
FusionCharts @ TiE 2009What do I do?Run a small ISV – InfoSoft Global (P) Ltd.2 offices in Kolkata12 products30 employees110 countries where we sell12,500 customers (satisfied, happy and ever-growing)250,000 users
FusionCharts @ TiE 2009So what is it that we sell??
FusionCharts @ TiE 2009So what is it that we sell?
FusionCharts @ TiE 2009Our flagship product FusionCharts
FusionCharts @ TiE 2009So what exactly is FusionCharts?A Flash Charting Component for web and desktop applicationsAdds the “wow” factor to your data centric applicationsWorks with all web platforms, scripts and databases4 out of 5 Fortune 500 companies use itPioneered the concept of Flash charting way back in 2002
FusionCharts @ TiE 2009How is it being used in popular sites?Weather.com
FusionCharts @ TiE 2009How is it being used in popular sites?Weather.comLinkedIn Polls
FusionCharts @ TiE 2009How is it being used in popular sites?Weather.comLinkedIn PollsFacebook polls
FusionCharts @ TiE 2009How is it being used in popular sites?Weather.comLinkedIn PollsFacebook PollsGoogle Docs
FusionCharts @ TiE 2009How is it being used in popular sites?Weather.comLinkedIn PollsFacebook PollsGoogle DocsRediff.com
FusionCharts @ TiE 2009How is it being used in popular sites?Weather.comLinkedIn PollsFacebook PollsGoogle DocsRediff.comMoneyControl
FusionCharts @ TiE 2009How is it being used in popular sites?Weather.comLinkedIn PollsFacebook PollsGoogle DocsRediff.comMoneyControlFederal IT Dashboard
FusionCharts @ TiE 2009So how did it all start?
FusionCharts @ TiE 2009I needed money…I was all of sixteenAt that age, you always have a fiscal deficit while managingyour extra-curricular activitiesBeing nerdy had its own financial advantages back then in dot-com boom period.Chanced upon a publisher who paid handsome money forwriting innovative technical articles. That was my “Eureka”moment.
FusionCharts @ TiE 2009Frantic search for right mix of technologies began…After weeks of effort, I froze down on Flash and ASP as theright siblings for the content of my articleFlash meant cool & snazzy; ASP meant all business. Puttingthem together was an unchartered territoryAnd the article was publishedDevelopers liked the concept of what could be done with FlashAnd still better, I got paid for it… handsomely…
FusionCharts @ TiE 2009And the idea for product was born…
FusionCharts @ TiE 2009Always address a pain-pointEntrepreneurship Lesson #1:
FusionCharts @ TiE 2009Brickbats or bouquets, take itall constructivelyEntrepreneurship Lesson #2:
FusionCharts @ TiE 2009And v1 of the product was developedSingle-handedly…
FusionCharts @ TiE 2009Why the name FusionCharts?fu sion⋅ /fyu ən/ [fyoo-zhuhn]ʒ–noun1. the act or process of fusing; the state of being fused.2. that which is fused; the result of fusingchart(s)–noun1.a sheet exhibiting information in tabular form.2.a graphic representation, as by curves, of a dependent variable,as temperature, price, etc.; graph.
FusionCharts @ TiE 2009We put the product up for sale…With little literature, a basic website and just search engine listings
FusionCharts @ TiE 2009Fingers crossed; Palms sweating;Mailbox checked every 5 minutes for sales2 hours gone…. Nothing6 hours gone…. Nothing1 day gone… Nothing3 days gone… Nothing1 week gone… NothingWhat could be wrong?
FusionCharts @ TiE 2009“FusionCharts is not the best thingsince sliced bread”
FusionCharts @ TiE 2009Your product means the worldto you. To the world, it’s justanother product!Entrepreneurship Lesson #3:
FusionCharts @ TiE 2009We needed to get the word out. But how?Ads? Pocket money was meant for higher things in lifeVCs? Funding 17 year olds with plans for world domination?We had to be cheapDiscovered free marketing techniques like articles, communityforums and directory listingsWe built ourselves a new logo and website, enhanced thedocumentation and got ourselves a good tagline
FusionCharts @ TiE 20097 days later…We finally sold a license
FusionCharts @ TiE 2009“On the Internet, no one knowsyou’re small”Entrepreneurship Lesson #4:
FusionCharts @ TiE 2009Sales started picking up…It was post dot-com bust. The era of everything for free wasgoneThe web was evolving. People were experimenting with newtechnologiesCompanies were looking at trimming costs and enhancingrevenue modelsWe were priced very competitively; in fact, under-priced forthe first version with free support and upgrades
FusionCharts @ TiE 2009This was the most critical phase…We needed to cross the chasm
FusionCharts @ TiE 2009More ideas, more needs, more competitionTime for v2…
FusionCharts @ TiE 2009Out came v2… again single handedly…With more chart types, features and enhanced productliterature
FusionCharts @ TiE 2009Now we knew we could make moneyWe were moving up the value chain from developers toproduct managersRevised prices & innovated licensing models. Open source-licensing with no restrictionsCreated sweet pricing spots which didn’t require purchaseapprovalsExperimented with various pricing strategies. Few worked;many didn’tProjected Low Total Cost of Ownership over a long term in wayof free upgrades and support
FusionCharts @ TiE 2009Do not price too low.People tend to believe you getwhat you pay forEntrepreneurship Lesson #5:
FusionCharts @ TiE 2009Marketing never stopsWe always strived to be in the heads of our customers –organicallyHad more money at our disposal to be spent on marketingLeveraged traditional and new age channels. Experimentedwith various mediumsConveyed benefits to users – how it helped them savecost/time and make them look good?Built an ecosystem around our products, which generated a lotof buzz
FusionCharts @ TiE 2009Market your successShared customer success storiesListened to customers. Gave them not only what they wanted,but the way they wanted itPeople loved our product and raved about it. Almost a third ofour sales is word-of-mouth. Happy customers are our bestsales people
FusionCharts @ TiE 2009Sell benefits. Not features.Entrepreneurship Lesson #6:
FusionCharts @ TiE 2009Success finds many takersWe were now a brand – a small one, but a brand nonethelessAllowed us to initiate OEM partnerships with big companiesAdded more products to our stable, enabling us to cross-selland up-sellBuilt bridge products based on core products.Forged partnerships with other companies who also builtbridge products on our core products
FusionCharts @ TiE 2009…and a few unwanted ones too.We were open-source.A couple of companies ripped off our product, changed thesource and started selling under their brand. So, what did wedo?We released the next version of our product, and released theprevious version (which was ripped off) as free product to beused by one and allHelped in multiplying our community and keeping such rip-offsat bay
FusionCharts @ TiE 2009It’s not the big that eat the small.It’s the fast that eat the slow.Entrepreneurship Lesson #7:
FusionCharts @ TiE 2009The EvolutionChange of paradigm – From bottom-up to top-downKept innovating. Given good people enough freedom to enablesoFocused on keeping a small but effective team of people whoare emotionally attached to our productsReleased early, released often
FusionCharts @ TiE 2009Lessons learnt along the wayAlways address a pain-pointBrickbats or bouquets, take it all constructivelyYour product means the world to you. To the world, it’s just anotherproduct!“On the Internet, no one knows you’re small”Do not price too low. People tend to believe you get what you pay forSell benefits. Not features.It’s not the big that eat the small. It’s the fast that eat the slow.
FusionCharts @ TiE 2009Thank you for your timeQuestions?