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Bootstrap First, Raise Money Later: RJ Metrics CEO Robert Moore (Part 3)

Posted on Wednesday, Feb 17th 2016

Sramana Mitra: You got some little bits and pieces of revenues and customer validation going. What’s the next major milestone?

Robert Moore: I mentioned that we were working out of my attic. What I didn’t mention is we didn’t have any air-conditioning in that attic. We started in October 2008. It was all well and good until about June of 2009 when it was 110 degrees. We really needed an office that we could work out of. At that time, we were probably bringing in something like $600 per month in monthly recurring revenue. We looked around and found an office nearby in Camden, Jersey that we could afford. We took that. That really was our first real recurring expense.

It was at this moment when a fire was lit within us and we started to realize, “If we are able to sell this to 10 companies at this price, we ought to be able to sell it to a hundred.” We started getting more aggressive about sales. I started spending an increasing amount of energy working on customer development and customer success, and making sure that our existing customers were happy and were referring us business. That’s when we started to see this snowball network effect. That was the network effect of having really happy customers. That allowed us to grow to the point where we could afford to start hiring employees.

Sramana Mitra: How long did the two of you continue in this Camden office?

Robert Moore: 18 months. We were in Camden before we moved to Philadelphia.

Sramana Mitra: In that 18 months, how many customers did you bring in?

Robert Moore: We probably went from five customers to 40 or so in that 18 month period.

Sramana Mitra: What was the pricing?

Robert Moore: Our pricing varied anywhere from $500 to $5,000 a month and probably averaging about $1,000 to $2,000 a month.

Sramana Mitra: Talk to me about the product. Obviously, the kind of product that you’re talking about does need to interface with other data sources. What data sources were you covering at this point? When you went to market with the early product, what was the minimum viable datasets that you needed to interface with?

Robert Moore: The first connector that I ever built was MySQL. To this day, it’s the number one connector that gets used throughout the product. We now have over 30 different connectors. There are places where data lines have diversified quite a bit, but our bread and butter from day one has been back-end databases. Despite the many third-party SaaS tools that a given company uses, everybody always ends up with some kind of customer back-end database where they have very critical key data that is custom and specific to their business.

Our most popular connectors are the database platforms. It’s MySQL, MongoDB, Postgres, Microsoft MySQL Server. Then you get into the SaaS tools. The first SaaS connectors that we built is Google Analytics. It’s still, today, the most popular SaaS connector. We do a lot of business in e-commerce. About 70% of our customers are e-commerce companies like Magento, Shopify, BigCommerce. They are the next set of most popular connectors. Then you get to start in customer retention, CRM, and customer success—Salesforce, Zendesk, Desk.com.

This segment is part 3 in the series : Bootstrap First, Raise Money Later: RJ Metrics CEO Robert Moore
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