Wednesday, June 18, 2008

One year after the jump

The rule of thumb says it takes two years for a business to really get into full swing.   It's been one year since I (Aaron) jumped to Vancouver and now I understand why it takes two.   Much of our time has been spent learning and refining our product, adjusting our business plan, and building our contacts.  Deploying a real-world product means solving everything from bottom to top, across the full spectrum of business, marketing, technical, customer, and end-user challenges.

Our proudest accomplishment was building a CellMap for a large event called VidFest.  We got VIP passes, got promoted on their web and print materials, and won the PopVox award for Best Mobile Application.

We've been pretty busy building our company in creative ways.  Our office is co-located with Kirby Floral, in exchange for some coaching and web development money.  It's enabled Wayne and myself to meet regularly and accelerate development.

We have a new employee.  Michael came onboard in February as a graphic and new-media designer. He continues to impress with a knack for sales and web development.

Speaking of sales, our funnel of customers is primed and ready to roll. We are starting to attract the attention of some high profile players too.  Our partner Mapformation is including our service in with their base map design offering.  In the next few months we'll see a steady revenue stream emerging from their customer base.  This turns out to be a wonderful way for a cartographer to further establish their relationship with a customer.  If a map design needs updating, there is a real motive to get the original design house to upgrade the CellMap while they're at it.  And, we're on contract to build a little flash component.  Michael's taking lead on that project.

Another significant customer is contracting us to do a large development project on the iPhone, which happens to align with our development goals.  I'm taking point on this project, with Wayne's help on the UI design and mock-ups.

And finally, we've got client of a large organization with many locations around downtown Vancouver, in the late stages of approving a CellMap project and deploying it across their locations and promoting it like crazy.  This is leveraging CellMap's latest support for GPS if you've got it, and remote updates to the map, delivered on request by the user.

Sorry I can't be more specific, but until these projects complete we have to keep details confidential.

We began May as our month to begin sales and really execute.  I'm proud of our team, and what we've managed to do together.  Just amazing work.

To summarize our run of publicity, we: 
- Presented at Angel Forum
- Presented at Mobile Mondays in Vancouver
- Got published in VidFest print materials, and on their website.
- Demoed at Launch Party Vancouver 4
- Won the PopVox award for Best Mobile Application
- Won runner-up, honourable mention at the Pitchies with fundfindr.
- Presented at VanDev
- Got mentioned a dozen times on various blogs, (techVibes, fadeToPlay, rez2cool, etc.)

(Google Alerts is great for keeping track of this stuff!)

Some higher profile stuff is coming in the next few months, and we're pretty excited about where CellMap is going.

Until next time!
- Aaron.

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