AY Tech Turned 3!
It’s December 31, 2018 and the time is 3:15 pm. 2018 is almost over and 2019 is knocking on our doors and I’m still struggling to put these words together. If you follow this blog, you know that every year I write the final blog post of the year. This is a special time of the year for us, not only because of the new year, but it’s AY. Technologies birthday as well. We turn 3 this year!
Before we look at 2018, let’s have a recap of what happened in 2017: We started the year very strong but we made mistakes and had a downturn. We struggled, looked back at what we did wrong and learned from it. Then we pushed through the challenges to survive and came up with a new product: Craver.
If 2016 was the year of “Growth” and 2017 was the year of “Struggle”, 2018 was definitely the year of “Learning” for us. Things turned around for us after 2017, but we were still cautious and for a good reason. Not only we had a recent experience of downturn, we also had to learn how to run a product company in addition to a service company. It was challenging and required a lot of learning. Here are a few high-level learnings of our year:
Sales & Marketing
The first thing we learned in 2018 was that selling a product is very different than selling a service. Although Craver is still a B2B company, the way businesses purchase products and what they look for when doing that is completely different than the way they think when hiring a service company. This meant that we had to start differentiating the way we approach our sales and marketing. We had to create a new website for Craver and new marketing and sales collaterals.
We learned that providing customer support is also quite different when you are selling a product compared to services. When you sell services, your clients expect you to be there to serve them, but when you are selling a product, specially a SaaS product, the standards are different. This was another area that we had to learn and adapt to. We also had to create systems that allow us to scale our customer support in a way that don’t break the bank.
Early on we realized that if we don’t treat Craver as a project of AY, we will face a lot of problems and struggles. Craver has a very big roadmap, and if we wanted to, we could spend all our time and efforts on it. That wouldn’t leave us any time to work on any other projects. To keep a balance, we decided to treat Craver as a separate project for AY. We even went a step further and incorporated Craver as a separate entity (Craver Solutions Inc.) to keep it completely separate from AY. Not only that helped us to have more focus when it comes to Craver feature requests and issues, but also made sure we are giving equal attention to our other clients and their projects.
Administration & Financials
It’s easy to have a failing product in a successful service company and not realize it. If you don’t clearly draw boundaries between the two, you can continue putting your money in a sinking ship. We didn’t want that to happen to us, so having separate incorporations and financials for each of them was important.
I’m happy to report that we had a successful year at A. Y. Technologies. We released new projects for our clients, new apps on Craver platform, built amazing technologies and grew our team to double digits. We are looking forward to 2019, a new year full of potentials and opportunities.
There were many people who helped us this year by offering us their time and wisdom. I’m so grateful to them and want to thank them all. Here are a few of them (in alphabetical order). I’m sure there were more people and I sincerely apologize if I missed your name here.
Alyssaa Delmars, Amanda Mungal, Anthony DiMarco, Bob Wang, Chin Hing Chang, Dan Lionello, Dave Steele, Erik Kaas, Geoff Livingston, Joe Corea, Mark Cunningham, Mark Liljefors, Matthew McCormick, Mike Volker, Mike Winterfield, Mirek Pijanowski, Peter Craigen, Sasan Pasha, Saul Brown, Spencer Turbitt, Stephanie Sang, Steve Wallace, Tommy Truong