2014 was a pretty exciting year for Contactually.
There are a lot of qualitative and quantitative advances this year for Contactually. We started the year 15 employees strong, less than a million in annual recurring revenue, and a solid yet buggy product. The growth that the company has seen over 12 short months is nothing short of insane. We’re ending the year with more than 50 people working on Contactually full time, tripling our revenue, a mature product, and a team I have to pinch myself every time I see come in every morning. We have numerous enterprise customers. Lower churn. Repeatable processes.
But the bigger thing is a je ne sais quoi – we’re just a different, better, and overall more mature company. People really use and value the product as a solution, not a tool. We’re more and more recognized as a strong entrant. Our teams have experience now, and know what needs to be done. Nothing that we really can track as a clear advancement, but when you realize that it was still only a little over 3 years ago that this was an idea, it’s pretty amazing.
We raised $2M in capital. Fundraising was one of the bigger hurdles faced this year. We ended up with a desirable outcome, and with our eyes open on what milestones the market needs us to hit.
We moved offices. The office hunt was one of the more stressful experiences I’ve gone through, mainly due to the high standards we set for our work environment. But seeing how the company has changed just by our surroundings has made it worth it.
My role changed as well. As one of the original developers and “product guy” on the founding team, I split those roles with wearing the CEO hat. As the company grew this year, it was clear that not only did I need a more focused mind on day-to-day product needs, the company needed a real CEO. So I became the CEO, and fired myself from everything else. It was a hard transition, but absolutely worth it. I can say professionally I’m a very different person from Jan 1 (and not because I just bought new glasses).
Personally, it was a challenging year with many dark times. The downside of Alex and me pushing ourselves further and further professionally is we were both consistently drained and burnt out. Day to day work life balance was kept in check, but the massive growth the company saw was at more of a personal sacrifice than I’d prefer to do in the future. We had done a heavy amount of traveling in prior years, but realized that 2014 came and went without us taking any real time off work – our “beach week” was spent on the phone with investors and commercial real estate brokers (simultaneously).
Onward and upward.