For the short version of this story, check out http://angel.co/full-circle-crm
Has it really been over a year since I last posted? Wow. The main reason things have gone quiet is because, somewhat to my surprise, I’m doing another startup, and we’ve been in that mysterious state of being known in the industry as “stealth mode”. And now, it’s finally possible (even advisable) to write about what I’ve been up to.
In some ways, it’s a rather “boring” startup. We must forgo the drama of wondering if we can develop a prototype into a real product, if that product will find demand, if we can recruit an executive team and if we can find a business model that works or a way to monetize the business.
We have a great executive team. We have a product (and believe me, I know the difference between a product and a prototype). We have a simple business model – providing a solution to a business problem that companies are willing to pay for. And we have paying customers.
Of course there’s still plenty that needs to be done, but I think we have a pretty good foundation to grow on.
So what do we do? Our team calls it “Moneyball for Marketing” – it runs on Salesforce.com and provides a way for companies to accurately figure out the value of marketing campaigns, understand their sales and marketing funnels, and market to existing customers as easily as to new leads. I’ve been assured by my co-founders (and customer responses) that these are all good things and very exciting.
As a software developer, I’m much more excited by the product itself. It represents the culmination of another unexpected twist in my career. As many reading this know, I’ve spent most of my career as a developer, author and speaker on Microsoft technologies. Well, about 5 years ago, I was called in by a friend to help write some triggers for a Salesforce.com organization. As time went on, I found myself doing more work on the platform, including some larger customizations and applications, to the point where I was actually doing most of my development work in Apex (the underlying language of the Force.com platform). I still do .NET code of course, but now it includes Force.com/.NET integration as well. I find writing Apex to be a uniquely interesting and challenging experience, and (to be perfectly honest) a great deal of fun.
Full Circle CRM Response Management (that’s the name of the product), is one sweet piece of code. I’ll be writing more about that shortly – there’s more to this story. But for now, suffice to say that I’m quite proud of what we’ve built. It’s reliable, scalable and even innovative (and yes, I do consider reliable and scalable to be as important, or more important, than mere innovation).
And stay tuned. I promise my next post won’t take a year.