Life moves very fast, even when you’re sleeping

We’re getting ready for the WritersUA conference. It’s been crazy, largely because I’ve never gone thru the process before and so I have been learning like crazy.

I was traveling last week and didn’t get home until Monday. I was on the road and trying to help with show stuff at the same time. It was a lot to manage and I’m glad I’m back.

I have just enough time between now and flying out Sunday to do some laundry, pet the dogs, kiss the husband, unpack and then repack. I’ve still not gotten our tax stuff to the tax lady but that’s going to have to wait until April. There’s only so much that can be done at one time.

Getting what you asked for

Yesterday, we had a meeting for those who are going to the show. Mike and Anthony started sharing some MadCapian history with us. Here’s some fun facts:

  • 3 years ago, MadCap showed at WritersUA. We barely had a product but we had a lot of enthusiasm. People couldn’t get Flare fast enough. With an old technology base and RoboHELP on its death bed, the demand was there for a new product. And the demand continues.
  • In the last 2 and a smidgen years, we’ve gone from 0% to 25% of the help development tools market. And that’s not our number, that comes from the surveys Joe Welinski has done for the last few years. That’s amazing.
  • Revenue grew 67% last year and this quarter is going really well. That’s also amazing, since the economy is uncertain. Clearly people are looking for a way to do more with less. I think our tools do that in a way that no one else’s does.
  • In the last year, we’ve doubled in employee size and had to move to a wonderful and much larger facility. The old space was so full, I didn’t even have a desk – I had a ledge! It was propped against the partition around the area we optimistically called the “kitchen”.
  • Almost 80% of our customers buy maintenance with their products, which is the way to go, by the way. It’s such a value because you get a year of upgrades and some of the best customer support in the industry (some of our customers buy 2 and three year plans). You can actually talk to people who know more about the products than you do. And understand them. Such a deal!
  • Good sales are wonderful but are the customers staying with us? Oh, yes. We have many, many happy customers. Based on maintenance plan renewals, we have over 90% customer retention rate. That’s insanely high. I’m sure the rest would like to renew, but budgets sometimes get a little tight.
  • Customers not on maintenance are strongly purchasing upgrades and our other tools.

So by nearly any measure, we’re wildly successful. People love our tools and keep using them.

I’m proud of us. We started as a scrappy little company with a big idea. We’ve grown to a real company with significant customer loyalty and useful products. Which brings us to…

WritersUA !

I’m going for the first time this year. I’m working in the booth and showing Blaze, Analyzer and other things I’m not talking about until Sunday, at the soonest. But please, if you’re at the show, come by and say hello. I love meeting customers and talking about our products.

We also have many of our staff in the booth this year. So it’s a good chance to meet us and talk to us about what you need and how we can help.

We have events planned:

  • Monday night, we’re holding a St Patricks day Ping Pong competition. (my grandmother was Nannie Milligan, so I really am Irish!) We have some excellent players so if you’d like a challenge… Watch the show daily schedule for the location but I think it’s the Council Suite, where ever that may be located. Even if you don’t play, and I don’t, come hang out and have some fun as well as free beer and snacks.
  • Tuesday night, we’re hosting a reception. I was part of deciding the food and it should be pretty yummy. Pop over and hang out with us there. We’re also giving away prizes, so you could win good stuff, like products and other fun things.

Mike and I are also doing some product presentations, both in the booth and as booked presentations. Check both your conference schedule and our booth schedule for specifics and times.

Finally, before I go

We also have some product announcements. I’m not saying anything but this is going to really upset the competitors in the industry. The stuff we have planned over the next year is going to make your life so much easier.

If you can’t make it to WritersUA, keep watching my blog. I may not have time to update until Wednesday but I promise I will update on Wednesday with all the stuff you missed.

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4 Responses to “Life moves very fast, even when you’re sleeping”

  1. Good Layout and design. I like your blog. I just added your RSS feed to my Google News Reader. .

    Jason Rakowski

  2. Oh I wish, I wish, I wish I were going to be at WritersUA.

    Maybe next year.

    But I’ve been waiting with baited breath for the product announcements…. I’m turning blue!

    Have fun at the conference! Those of us who can’t go will be eagerly awaiting word of the changes afoot at MadCap.

  3. […] Software issued a press release today, and all I have to say is wow! As Sharon Burton of Madcap mentioned in her blog: We also have some product announcements. I’m not saying anything but this is going to really […]

  4. Nice line “Life moves very fast, even when you’re sleeping”… 🙂

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