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Zoomstra’s Look Back at 2012

December is a great time to look back at the year and spend some time thinking about the great new friends we have made, the transformations along the way and the progress we have enjoyed as a business.  The team at Zoomstra wanted to share our year in review to give you a glimpse inside of our start-up….

March 2012 – Welcome Zoomstra! 

On March 1st we launched the first production version of Zoomstra along side with our first commercial customer Parallels.

April & May 2012 – Customer learning front and center

Our first commercial customer launched a program using Zoomstra to provided partner enablement worldwide. An embedded SurveyMonkey survey captured partner feedback with a resounding 100% recommendation rating. We were delighted to say the least.

After our initial release, we focused on learning as much as we could from our initial customers and hundreds of trial users. We heard the good, the bad and the ugly about our baby and we loved every minute of it (okay, maybe not every minute of it, but we heard what our customers were saying).  When people have strong opinions about what your software needs, you know they are using it and want to keep using it!  So we listened to the customers and put together a plan to significantly re-design of several pieces of the product.

July 2012 – Beta2 introduces the new Workbook builder

In July we introduced a much improved Zoomstra Workbook builder. This lets you aggregate a wider variety of content from the web, from your computers and from your head.

August 2012 – Giving back with the PR guide for Start-ups

During the second round of beta we learned a lot about our messaging and about getting exposure for Zoomstra.  We focused our efforts on getting listed across as many beta sites and start-up sites as we could find.  We captured the sites, the processes and curated some of the best content into a Zoomstra Workbook that we make available to anyone for FREE! Get access by clicking here.

September 2012 – The importance of good plumbing & the Zoomstra API

The more that our customers and partners used Zoomstra, the more we heard of the needs for a published API. Customers wanted to integrate with Zoomstra for automated provisioning, subscription management and more.  We felt that this was an important aspect of our future growth so we quietly focused on making sure that the inner workings of Zoomstra were rock solid and efficient.  We then began creating our API that we released to our partners in September.

October 2012 – Founder’s Workbook companion to The Startup Owners Manual goes live

The well known authors Steve Blank and Bob Dorf teamed up with Zoomstra to add an online companion to their hot selling book and new age guide for entrepreneurs - The Startup Owner’s Manual. This created a model for other content authors to follow while offering their how-to guides and training companions for a fee. And just like that, zWorkbooks.com was born!

November 2012 – Keeping it simple for participants

In November we focused on making it easier for participants to get into workbooks and ways to keep them coming back. Participants told us that they wanted the delivery of new workbook content directly to their inbox with a simple click to automatically grant access to the available information. We gave them what they asked for! As of November, Zoomstra workbooks have weekly reminder notifications and one-click access to make it incredibly simple to get access to workbook content.

December 2012 – Salesforce Integration V1 complete-ish

Customers kept asking us for the same thing: Salesforce.com integration. It was like listening to a broken record. We knew it had to happen, but kept putting it off because we lacked  experience on the Salesforce platform.  Luckily we found a great developer that was able to help us out and get the first version of  our Salesforce.com connector completed in short order. This connector will allow companies to add Zoomstra Workbooks and Zoomstra Collections directly to the detail record of a Lead or a Contact without ever leaving Salesforce.com. We’re wrapping up beta now so stay tuned for the launch.  We have a few more steps to complete in conjunction with Salesforce to offer this connector on the AppExchange.  If you would like to be notified when the Salesforce connector is available please drop us a note.

Thank you for a successful 2012 and giving us a great outlook on 2013! 

Starting a B2B software company isn’t the sexiest of all ventures.  It doesn’t land you on the front page of Tech Crunch, it doesn’t get you into the hottest Tech Incubators with all that free press.  But what it does get you is access to a market that is willing to try new solutions and pay for those solutions that prove they solve real problems.  As a bootstrapped company, finding the early acceptance has been key to our ongoing progress.  We thank the thousands of people who have been using Zoomstra, providing feedback and helping us shape the next generation of our solution.

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More Stories By David Abramowski

David Abramowski is a technologist turned product leader. David was a co-founder of Morph Labs, one of the first Platform as a Service plays on AWS. He was the GM for Parallels Virtuozzo containers, enterprise business, and most recently he is the leader of the product marketing team for the IT Operations Management solutions at the hyper growth SaaS company, ServiceNow.

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