On the future of our personal CRM

On the future of our personal CRM

As this long winter is finally ending and the sunny days are starting to become more frequent, I’d like to give an update on our company, our progress and what’s next.

We’re about to celebrate our third year in business and by all means, this past quarter has been the most exciting. We’ve finally reached a revenue level which allows us to break even! This means we can continue to offer our services indefinitely.

Revenue and vision

The real number is still very small: we expect to generate around 5’000 $ this year, which is fortunately more than enough to cover our infrastructure costs and pay ourselves very minimal salaries on a part time basis.

On a more personal basis, we’ve finally achieved my initial vision for a personal CRM: a smart assistant that helps me find people I should reach back out to and makes it easy to manage my contacts.

This personal CRM is also the first company I’ve managed to take from idea to sustainable business, which is a personal achievement I’m very proud of.

Future challenges

Our initial plan was to raise a small seed round this summer to accelerate growth, we had already found a great investor but we won’t go through with this plan, here is why:

While there are a few competitors out there, the personal CRM market is very small and growing very slowly. There are some inherent challenges with this product such as the inability to integrate with all communication channels and the low time investment people are willing to commit to such a product which reduces the personal CRM market to smart, busy and rich people who care about people and communicate mainly via Gmail, of which there are only so many.

Relationship management apps aren’t viral apps that people share happily and real usage is relatively low for its price tag: people don’t worry about who they’re losing touch with more than once a week.

All these factors make the personal CRM business quite a bad one, which is a good news for us because long term competition is low. We can safely expect all venture funded competitors to shut down in the coming years and at the same time we can expect our revenue to keep growing slowly and steadily.

I’m personally one of the most active users of our app and will do everything in my power to keep this app alive, which is the best guarantee you can get. If we had shareholders, they would want us to shut down the business, but we won’t, because we decide. And we want this business to keep going because we need it.

Nevertheless, it will be a few years before our small team of 4 will be able to make a living from working full-time for nat.app, which is why we need secondary revenue streams.

Upcoming roadmap

We will not build any big new flashy feature for our relationship management app this summer. The reason for this is that we can’t expect a positive return on investment on any new feature. We’ve reached this good-enough product quality where most improvements would just be marginal nice-to-have’s.

Instead, we will make sure the app keeps working smoothly and scales as new customers join us and will spend the summer on other products and ideas we’ve had in mind for a while. (This is also why we stopped the personal onboarding calls in favour of a self-serve onboarding).

One such product is a Chrome extension which allows people to send voice messages per email. It is an exciting product because it has a large existing market and literally no competition.

To summarise…

  • We’ve reached out initial goal of building a sustainable business
  • We will keep working indefinitely on our personal CRM because you and I need it.
  • We will build secondary products to grow our revenue and allow us to transition faster from our current day jobs to working full-time on nat.app & co.

Thanks for supporting us in this journey!

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