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BoS2015 - Peldi, Balsamiq - Rookie CEO Grows Up. Reluctantly.

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[Note: During this talk Peldi asked for part of the talk to be private to only those attending the conference. I did not take notes for this portion of the talk.]

2008 – The 1st Plan
Started in 2008. Original business plan was to just be a plugin into Atlassian Confluence. No desktop, no SaaS. (Desktop is still the best seller in 2015).

Plan didn’t work:

Had to do desktop
Randomly chose price of tool based on what a beta customer said
In 8 months, grew rapidly to 3,000 customers
Had to ask wife for help
Had to hire programmer
2009 – The 2nd Plan
Decided to start hiring people, but no more than 6 people. Got to 6 people and decided he was satisfied and wanted the company to stay exactly the same for the next 2 years.so

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BoS2015 - Peldi, Balsamiq - Rookie CEO Grows Up. Reluctantly.

  1. 1. Rookie CEO Grows Up …Reluctantly Giacomo ‘Peldi’ Guilizzoni - Business of Software 2015 - @peldi #BoS2015
  2. 2. 0 5 10 15 20 US$0 US$1,000,000 US$2,000,000 US$3,000,000 US$4,000,000 US$5,000,000 US$6,000,000 US$7,000,000 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015* Revenue Profits Employees
  3. 3. All according to plan, right?
  4. 4. This talk will expose how I truly don’t know what I’m doing
  5. 5. 2007 The Initial Plan
  6. 6. Web Office Plugins No Desktop No SaaS
  7. 7. That Didn’t Work Out • Had to do Desktop • I took it to 3,000 customers (8 months or so) • Had to ask my wife for help • I woke up thinking I was going to die
  8. 8. 2009 The 2nd Plan
  9. 9. That Didn’t Work Out Either • Customers just kept coming • Your dream vs what the market wants. • “Natural size” of a company • Looking for a new vision… • I just want to code! • Hire a CEO?
  10. 10. Sep. 2010 A 3rd Plan Appears… At this point it was cameras off, and Twitter silence. This section of the talk will not be available on video and slides unable to view, you had to be at Business of Software Conference USA 2015 to see it. This section was spent discussing every aspect of an acquisition bid for Balsamiq.
  11. 11. 2012 A 4th Plan!
  12. 12. That Was Exhausting
  13. 13. Hmm… Literally creates worlds for a living Sets all the salaries
  14. 14. http://bit.ly/balsamiqpolicies
  15. 15. http://bit.ly/balsamiqpolicies
  16. 16. Late 2013 5th Plan!
  17. 17. http://bit.ly/balsamiqpolicies
  18. 18. http://bit.ly/balsamiqpolicies
  19. 19. http://bit.ly/balsamiqpolicies
  20. 20. http://bit.ly/balsamiqpolicies
  21. 21. http://bit.ly/balsamiqpolicies
  22. 22. http://bit.ly/balsamiqpolicies
  23. 23. I even gave in to business cards!
  24. 24. The “B” Word
  25. 25. do you think the company is the right size?
  26. 26. It’s Working Pretty Well, But Still… • remote working is hard • hard to see if someone is underperforming • decisions without all of the stakeholders • loneliness • “the office" • culture evolution is hard on people • becoming boring • revenue growth slowing down • maybe…competition (finally) appearing
  27. 27. 2014 Oh, and another thing…
  28. 28. 2015 Right Now
  29. 29. Right Now • I’m MUCH better, thanks for asking • We’ve hired 4 people this year (2 dev, 2 support) • Balsamiq Mockups is finally maturing • Native versions coming together • Another somewhat painful year of transition ahead
  30. 30. Current Set of Worries • fear of getting comfortable • reaching 20…will we have to come to grips with “the m word” soon? • maybe standard organizational models are not that bad? • heads down too long, not doing enough inspirational leader thing? • don’t really have a 5-year plan • have I reached my limits?
  31. 31.
  32. 32. @peldi #BoS2015 peldi@balsamiq.com

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