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Bootstrap First with Services, Raise Money Later: John Stewart, CEO of MapAnything (Part 3)

Posted on Sunday, Apr 29th 2018

Sramana Mitra: Was there a specific channel through which you were acquiring customers? Where were you getting the leads from?

John Stewart: We built relationships at the ground level at Salesforce. As they were selling deals, especially in the small business segment, they needed integrators who were willing to take those deals and roll out Salesforce.

Sramana Mitra: Between the time when you started putting out these four apps on the App Exchange and when you actually identified that MapAnything is the one that is starting to resonate with customers, what was the time window?

John Stewart: We put it on the App Exchange in 2012. By late 2013, it was pretty obvious that MapAnything was going to be a runaway success.

Sramana Mitra: Before we move from there, what were the other three apps? Could you describe the four apps that you put out there and the thinking behind those? Why did you come up with those four apps? What prompted you to do those four apps?

John Stewart: The four apps were a result of things that were requested by our consulting clients. MapAnything is the core application. One other app was an address verification app. Think about type ahead with Google Maps where you start to predictively start to fill values in. Another app was basically a utility tool which lets you attach multiple files at a time. Another app was in security and compliance.

It was just various apps based on demand and need. It’s almost irrelevant because it was only ever a passing interest for each one of them. MapAnything became the driving factor behind the company. Between late 2013 and December 2015, we completely unwound being a services company. We basically used services to fund my software development. As we brought on software customers, we divorced ourselves from services all together.

Sramana Mitra: What level of traction was MapAnything getting? Let’s now focus on MapAnything as it starts getting traction. What did you learn? What was the price point? How are people finding it? What was the trajectory of the growth of that software?

John Stewart: People were not finding it. If you’re going to be a software company, you have to act like one. You have to build up marketing and sales. We certainly had our listing on the App Exchange but that has never been the primary driver of selling our software.

Sramana Mitra: What was the primary driver?

John Stewart: Building out sales and marketing to go actively sell the software like any other enterprise company does.

Sramana Mitra: So you were doing direct selling?

John Stewart: To this day, we do direct selling.

Sramana Mitra: What is your target? Is it the large enterprises that you sell to?

John Stewart: It is now but that was also an evolution. When we first started out, it was smaller businesses and mid-market. It has evolved over time. Most of our customers have wound up with companies over 500 employees.

This segment is part 3 in the series : Bootstrap First with Services, Raise Money Later: John Stewart, CEO of MapAnything
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