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App Delivery Platform-as-a-Service - How we revolutionized the app development market


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Last week I gave a talk about the lessons learned during the exponential growth of our company the last six years. I was invited to to talk at the Appsterdam meetup in Delft about "growing pains". In other words: what lessons did we learn when our company grew from 3 to 100 employees. I enjoyed the preparations as much as the actual talk, as it forced me to step back and think about the things we did and did not last years.

I covered lessons learned in four categories: company, culture, product development, and product evolution. Attempting to cover all these subject automatically means that you stay at a high level. However, I think I was able to share some valuable experiences from the trenches.

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App Delivery Platform-as-a-Service - How we revolutionized the app development market

  1. 1. App Delivery Platform-as-a-Service How we revolutionized the app development marketJohan den HaanCTO, Mendix@JohanDenHaan
  2. 2. 1000s of users100s of successful deliveries100+ employees13 million dollar raised last year6 years in business1 vision0 failed customer projects
  3. 3. 1. Why Mendix?2. Product3. Lessons learned: company4. Lessons learned: culture5. Lessons learned: product development6. Lessons learned: product evolution
  4. 4. Why Mendix?
  5. 5. Software is becomingubiquitous…
  6. 6. “It’s not the strongest who survive,nor the most intelligent, but theones most adaptable to change.”- Charles Darwin
  7. 7. Applications need toevolve continuously
  8. 8. 68% of all new software projects are NOT successful 32% 68%
  9. 9. HOUSTONwe have a problem!
  10. 10. What companies need?1. Apps that perfectly fit their business2. At the moment they need them
  11. 11. Evolve Capture App DeliveryDeploy Develop
  12. 12. Evolve Capture Improve each step of the lifecycle to be able to respond to change fast App DeliveryFrom one working app version to the next Deploy Develop
  13. 13. Product
  14. 14. Mendix Apps Platform
  15. 15. The only way to successfully createapplications truly fitting in thebusiness is to create them in closecollaboration with the business
  16. 16. source
  17. 17. The best way to really improveapps is to engage with users
  18. 18. Revolutions in the entire App Delivery lifecycle Capture Social Productivity Develop Model-Driven Development Deploy Model-Execution-as-a-Service Evolve User Engagement
  19. 19. Social Project Collaboration Capture requirements, manage backlog, plan sprints, incorporate ongoing feedback & collaborate
  20. 20. Mendix Business Modeler Build & integrate custom business apps easier and 5x faster using visual modeling!
  21. 21. App Store More than 100 apps and counting in ourCommunity AppStore
  22. 22. Enterprise Cloud Platform 1 click deploy & manage Deploy apps into the cloud in a single click Central dashboard to monitor all apps and manage IT governance
  23. 23. Gather feedback directly in app
  24. 24. Process feedback
  25. 25. Lessons learned:company
  26. 26. Focus on building a global startup:think about scalability andinternationalization from day 1
  27. 27. Be prepared for different company growth stagesStart up 1 room, prototyping, searching for the right market, early adopters.Ramp up >10 people, hiring is key, time-to-market.Delegation >20 people, team leads / managers, “departments”.Professionalization >50 people, coordinate communication, knowledge transfer, support.Expansion >100 people, forecasting, alignment, strategic positioning, competition.
  28. 28. Business-IT collaboration is a keysuccess factor: do not becometoo technology-oriented
  29. 29. Your team is themost importantsuccess factor
  30. 30. Having your own Appsplatform can be risky:bookkeeping… let’sbuild an app for that…
  31. 31. Lessons learned:culture
  32. 32. Your company cultureis a competitiveadvantage whichcannot be copied
  33. 33. Autonomy the desire to be self-directedMastery the urge to get better at stuffPurpose the need to make a contributionThat’s what motivates highly-skilled people
  34. 34. What do traveling home, wetnotes, and dedicated researchdays have in common?
  35. 35. Do not alwaysrun. Stop once ina while to listento your brain!Relaxation willunleash yourbrains fullpotential.
  36. 36. Social productivity is boostedby the use of Sprintr: socialactivity streams and projectmanagement combined
  37. 37. Lessons learned:product development
  38. 38. Focus on qualityDon’t settle with mediocrityDo not release a feature if it doesn’t feel good“Impossible” is not an argumentSo many interesting things to do... focus!
  39. 39. small, focused teamsthat release early and often
  40. 40. Drink your own champagne:close to users, early feedback
  41. 41. Build a platform: open your APIs, build acommunity, make delivery of “content” easy
  42. 42. People do not likechange: if youdisrupt a field, beprepared forresistance
  43. 43. Lessons learned:product evolution
  44. 44. Do not growR&D into anivory tower:involve users,make givingfeedback easy
  45. 45. An effortless feedbackmechanism will amaze you…
  46. 46. Handling large amounts of feedback Put effort in documentation and training Tap into your community Avoid interruptions: it’s difficult to re-enter the zone
  47. 47. If Id asked my customers what theywanted, theyd have said a faster horse.- Henry Ford
  48. 48. Product management is more than handling feedback…Product vision Market trends Marketing Sales Research & Development User feedback
  49. 49. 1. Why Mendix?2. Product3. Lessons learned: company4. Lessons learned: culture5. Lessons learned: product development6. Lessons learned: product evolution
  50. 50. It has been a fun ride…and we have just started!
  51. 51. App Delivery Platform-as-a-Service How we revolutionized the app development market Questions? Searching for a great job? Looking to become a partner?Johan den HaanCTO, Mendix@JohanDenHaan