Hey! Who’re you and what enterprise did you begin?
I began engaged on WebHarvy in early 2010. WebHarvy is at the moment my predominant product and income. It’s a visible net scraping software program utilizing which massive quantities of knowledge could be simply extracted from web sites utilizing a easy point-and-click person interface. WebHarvy’s clients are each customers and companies who require information from the web for his or her distinctive functions like advertising and marketing, gross sales, lead era, educational/market analysis, eCommerce worth monitoring, actual property, machine studying, and so on.
Since its launch, WebHarvy has acquired 1000’s of comfortable clients. I attempt to obtain two predominant targets with all my software program initiatives. First is that it ought to present nice worth for its customers, serving to them in making their work or lives simpler. What involves my thoughts as I write that is the quote “Life is simply too quick for dangerous software program”.The second purpose is to offer good after-sales help to clients by enhancing the software program, answering their queries, and creating content material that helps them use the software program higher.
Past a degree of profitability I don’t attempt laborious to realize any gross sales figures, nor do I hold any targets. I simply attempt to take pleasure in my work and make it possible for every of our buyer interactions ends on a optimistic notice. I suppose this takes care of the remaining. WebHarvy brings me a mean of $7000 per thirty days in income.
What’s your backstory and the way did you give you the concept?
I’m a pc science graduate and coding was my predominant passion throughout my school days. I developed a whole lot of software program utilities and distributed them without cost from my web site. This was in the course of the early 2000s. After school, I labored for just a few main software program firms right here in India. Working just a few years within the trade made me a software program engineer from a rookie programmer.
I used to be a home windows machine driver developer at work and my predominant job was to develop machine drivers for numerous USB gadgets. A number of instruments had been required on this course of and my first product concept (USBTrace) was primarily based on such a requirement. USBTrace is an ideal instance of a ‘scratch your individual itch’ product concept.
I went full-time with USBTrace in 2007 and offered it to a lot of the main tech firms all over the world. This contains firms like Intel, Microsoft, Dell, HP, Samsung, LG, and so on., to call just a few. Inspired by its success I developed one other product throughout the similar area (USBShare), however that was not very profitable.
Time is invaluable. It’s time that we’re changing into cash once we successfully use it. So make the most effective use of your time. Study to be productive.
As my third product, I needed to do one thing totally different. One thing which has a wider audience in comparison with my earlier merchandise which served area of interest clients.
Now I’ll let you know how I obtained the concept for WebHarvy. I used to be doing a little consulting work throughout that point and used to frequently examine the job posts at numerous freelancing web sites like Upwork. I noticed necessities for net scraping duties frequently in new job postings. I took this as a cue and famous to discover this concept additional. I’ve the behavior of noting down new concepts every time it involves my thoughts utilizing on-line note-taking instruments.
A typical false impression amongst founders making an attempt to construct their first product or startup is that they need to give you a singular and progressive concept to achieve success. However the reality is that an concept is simply pretty much as good as its execution. For instance, most of the options launched in a newly launched iPhone would have already been applied first in an Android telephone. However as Apple says, they do it higher, and that’s what issues in the long run.
For each new concept, the very first thing which you must do is to seek for firms and merchandise which have already solved the identical drawback. In 90% of the instances, you must have the ability to discover already profitable merchandise catering to the identical drawback. This could not discourage you. Somewhat, it ought to encourage you to pursue the concept additional. What you must take into consideration is the best way to construct a product which is best than the prevailing ones. For this, we have to analysis the market.
After I researched the net scraping software program market in 2010, I discovered 2 predominant issues. Both, the software program was quite simple to make use of however not highly effective sufficient, or it was very highly effective however too sophisticated to make use of. The highly effective ones had been enterprise-level costly, which small companies couldn’t afford. I noticed a chance right here. What if I might construct an inexpensive net scraper, which could be very straightforward to make use of for most simple necessities, however has highly effective options beneath the hood to deal with even essentially the most advanced net scraping eventualities. My software program ought to allow regular customers to scrape information from the net with out paying for a freelancer and with out requiring them to be taught scripting or programming. Thus was born WebHarvy.
Take us via the method of designing, prototyping, and manufacturing your first product.
The very first thing which I do earlier than pursuing an concept is to do market analysis. I researched and tried merchandise of firms that supplied comparable companies. I documented their strengths, weaknesses, uniqueness, and pricing (form of like a SWOT evaluation). Competitors success is likely one of the main validation metrics on which I rely, for many of my product concepts. The possibilities of success with a brand new product are greater if the marketplace for it isn’t too crowded, however has profitable opponents.
WebHarvy’s Person Interface
I aimed to construct a product that’s pretty much as good as the most effective software program obtainable out there however with a twist. I needed to differentiate. For WebHarvy it was ‘ease of use’. The metric which I used for that is the variety of clicks that customers wanted to carry out to pick out a column of knowledge from an internet web page. The design philosophy which I take advantage of right here is to maintain person interplay to a minimal. If the software program can determine one thing by itself, no have to ask the person for a similar.
It’s the usefulness of the product that can carry paying clients. It’s the approach you deal with them that retains them.
My concept of an MVP is barely totally different from the final perspective. For me, it is extra of a medium viable product than a minimal viable product. I spend a whole lot of time designing the software program by figuring out the core methods and subsystems required, the circulate of knowledge between them, the interfaces which they expose, and the way every little thing is wired collectively. As a result of most frequently, this basis isn’t going to vary all through the lifetime of the software program.
Although I’m a solo developer I make it possible for I write practical specs, excessive and low-level design paperwork, and associated diagrams. This fashion, as soon as I begin coding there aren’t any roadblocks. It took me round 5 months to design, develop and check the primary model of WebHarvy.
As of late, I construct a web site, begin advertising and marketing and seize leads even earlier than beginning constructing the MVP. However in 2010, I developed the software program first, examined it totally, then constructed a web site, and at last began advertising and marketing. It used to work in these days.
Describe the method of launching the enterprise.
Since WebHarvy was my third main software program product launch, I knew that the saying ‘construct and they’re going to come isn’t true. Greater than 50% of the time spent on launching a brand new enterprise isn’t on constructing the product however on advertising and marketing it. The very first thing which you want to market your product is a web site. Being a programmer, I constructed the web site myself. I used a free HTML template for the design and wrote the content material for the positioning myself. Constructing the web site took me solely a few weeks. The product was lastly launched at webharvy. Initially, I used Godaddy to register the area and purchase the internet hosting. However at the moment, the web site is hosted utilizing Amazon’s AWS LightSail. For dealing with on-line purchases I used the cost gateway supplied by MyCommerce.
My buyer acquisition has at all times been primarily via natural search. So, as soon as the primary model of the web site was launched, I concentrated extra on search engine marketing strategies (search engine marketing) to make my web site rank on the primary web page for related Google searches.
I additionally began a YouTube channel the place I frequently uploaded demonstration movies of the software program, displaying how it may be used to scrape information from numerous web sites. Together with textual content material (articles and blogs), we must also consider creating lengthy and short-form movies which might herald a whole lot of high quality visitors to the web site.
It was 2010 and I used to be not very educated about content material advertising and marketing. However the net scraping software program market was not very aggressive then. Slowly, WebHarvy started to rank properly for key phrases like ‘Internet Scraping’ and ‘Internet Scraping Software program’.
Web site Dwelling Web page
I obtained my first buyer inside just a few months after launch. The primary sale of a product is at all times particular. It means a whole lot of issues, together with real-world validation of your concept and the sensation that every one the laborious work has lastly paid off. I obtained a whole lot of suggestions from early clients of WebHarvy. I labored intently with any buyer who was prepared to provide suggestions to enhance the product. It was a win-win state of affairs for each of us since I might be updating the software program inside days as per their requirement and suggestions. Slowly by way of web advertising and marketing as properly via phrase of mouth publicity I began getting a continuing inflow of latest customers.
Since launch, what has labored to draw and retain clients?
It’s the usefulness of the product that can carry paying clients. It’s the approach you deal with them that retains them.
The product should add worth to customers’ work or life. They need to really feel glad and justified for the sum of money which they need to spend to purchase the product. Throughout the preliminary years, I had completed solely 3 issues to draw and retain clients.
- Buyer help for max buyer satisfaction
- Frequent updates of the software program primarily based on buyer suggestions
- search engine marketing strategies to make the product web site rank higher for search
Of the three above, let me stress the significance of the primary level – buyer satisfaction. We provide a 15 day free trial of WebHarvy and 15 days no questions requested refund coverage which is talked about on our product buy web page. If a person isn’t proud of our product, we don’t want his/her cash. We get very low refund requests as a result of we do every little thing we will to assist and retain clients.
Every time a buyer reviews an issue or requests a function, whether it is one thing that we will implement in a day or two, we do it with none delay and supply him/her with a software program replace. This typically surprises them. I like shocking clients. Easy issues like replying to a buyer question inside minutes of them sending it and offering detailed tutorial movies have at all times been useful.
search engine marketing is a crucial a part of digital advertising and marketing. It helps to rank the product web site on the primary web page of search outcomes for related key phrases. I’m no search engine marketing professional, however I discovered the fundamentals whereas constructing and advertising and marketing a number of merchandise that are offered on-line.
The next are some easy, easy-to-implement search engine marketing ideas which have labored properly for me.
- Write detailed, well-researched, long-form articles quite than quick weblog posts.
- Write for the customers, and never for the search engine bots.
- Analysis key phrases earlier than writing articles. You should use Google’s Key phrase Planner for key phrase analysis. Google Tendencies additionally helps you evaluate search quantity visitors for numerous key phrases.
- Don’t stuff your articles with key phrases, however use them naturally in headings. inside paragraphs and alt textual content of pictures.
- Creating helpful infographics for articles will return wealthy dividends. Free on-line instruments like Canva can be utilized for this.
- Embody important meta tags for serps (schema markup) and social media (Fb, Twitter meta tags).
- Create meaningfully and arranged inside hyperlinks between pages/articles in your web site.
- Web site efficiency (web page pace) performs a significant position in its search rank. Google PageSpeed Insights software can be utilized to watch this. An alternative choice is gtmetrix.
If you’re undecided about the best way to enhance search engine marketing on your web site, I like to recommend heading
We additionally get a whole lot of requests from college students, academic establishments, and universities without cost or discounted licenses of WebHarvy for use in analysis initiatives and programs. Now we have a coverage of supporting academic and charitable establishments by providing free licenses every time we will. It additionally helps us enhance consciousness concerning WebHarvy.
Above all, you may be profitable provided that you take pleasure in doing this each minute. Laborious work mustn’t really feel like laborious work however like a whole lot of enjoyable.
Producing high quality content material within the type of articles and movies on subjects associated to your area can be crucial. Now we have an articles/weblog part on our web site the place we frequently write about numerous net scraping subjects.
How are you doing right this moment and what does the long run appear like?
WebHarvy is my predominant focus at the moment and the net scraping market has been rising all these years. As per market analysis the worldwide net scraping software program market is about to develop by 13% yearly to round $950 million by 2026. For a similar motive, there may be excessive competitors on this market right this moment. I’ve a whole lot of new options deliberate for WebHarvy which ought to make net scraping simpler and extra environment friendly for our clients.
WebHarvy has a single level of sale and distribution. We even have affiliate partnerships with a dozen resellers and distributors, however the bulk of our gross sales are direct. Clients primarily discover us by way of search and for a similar motive, we’ve invested considerably in creating high quality content material associated to net scraping.
I additionally plan to introduce extra merchandise in the identical market area. Most of such new concepts come from suggestions acquired from current clients, which is why you shouldn’t waste any alternative you get to interview or discuss to your clients immediately as a founder.
By beginning the enterprise, have you ever discovered something significantly useful or advantageous?
The very first thing which I’ve deduced from my startup journey is that for those who do sufficient market analysis, you’ll be able to enhance your product’s success fee. This may increasingly not apply to merchandise which might be utterly progressive with no competitors. My method has at all times been to make a greater providing in an already aggressive market.
One factor which I remorse not doing early sufficient is content material advertising and marketing. My product was one of many earliest instruments out there for its section. Since I used to be primarily a developer I concentrated extra on the technical facets of the product in its early years. I want I had began producing content material earlier.
I really feel fortunate that I began engaged on this concept throughout a time when the marketplace for net scraping software program was starting to rise. It’s one thing like ‘driving a wave.
Many individuals have requested me why I’m not rising my firm by including extra staff. Constructing a giant software program firm has by no means been my dream. I simply needed to develop good merchandise. I’m a giant fan of Steve Wozniak, the much less talked about Steve who co-founded Apple together with Steve Jobs. Years in the past I learn his autobiography iWoz and the next line influenced me very a lot.
“When you’re that uncommon engineer who’s an inventor and in addition an artist, I’ll provide you with some recommendation that is perhaps laborious to take. That recommendation is to work alone.”
Staying lean additionally helps me much less careworn when the gross sales aren’t doing properly. It provides me the agility to vary when issues aren’t working to plan. If I want to begin engaged on a brand new concept or drop one thing which I’ve already labored on for months, the one particular person to persuade is simply myself.
What platform/instruments do you utilize for your online business?
- WebHarvy was constructed utilizing C# / Microsoft .NET / Microsoft Visible Studio.
- Our cost gateway is by Digital River MyCommerce which handles orders and billing.
- We use MailChimp for our mailing checklist administration and e mail advertising and marketing.
- Our web site is hosted on Amazon AWS and emails on Zoho.
- Freshdesk is our help/ticketing platform.
- Aiveo is used for bug monitoring.
- GitHub for model management.
- Analytics by Google Analytics.
- Snagit & BandiCam are used for display screen recordings for buyer help and our YouTube channels.
- We use Notion, Trello, OneNote for undertaking/job administration and documentation.
- Ubersuggest for search engine marketing monitoring.
What have been essentially the most influential books, podcasts, or different sources?
Throughout the mid-2000s, I used to be a giant fan of writings at Joel On Software program and essays of Paul Graham. I additionally frequented the previous ‘Enterprise of Software program’ discussion board which was the principle place the place most solo software program founders would focus on their product concepts and every little thing associated to constructing and working a profitable software program enterprise on-line.
Whereas constructing my first product, I keep in mind studying the long-lasting ebook Masters of Doom which impressed me quite a bit as a software program programmer. The ebook is in regards to the journey of two Johns – John Romero and John Carmack, how they based iD software program and constructed well-liked and revolutionary video games like Doom and Quake. John Carmack, who now works for Oculus/Meta, was (and nonetheless is) like a programming idol to me. Although I’ve learn different well-liked titles like Zero to One, Lean Startup and so on. nothing has impressed me like Masters of Doom.
The movies at numerous Enterprise of Software program conferences have additionally helped me quite a bit. I like this video from Peldi – the founding father of Balsamiq software program titled ‘Coding is the simple half!’.
I hearken to a lot of the Indie Hackers podcasts and in addition learn their discussions discussion board.
Recommendation for different entrepreneurs who wish to get began or are simply beginning out?
For any person making an attempt to flee a 9-5 job to full-time impartial software program growth, the main focus is every little thing. I had a job whereas engaged on the preliminary model of my first product. It was difficult as a result of I used to place in 3-5 hours on my product on weekdays (after my common job) and the entire weekends. Of Course, it will likely be more difficult if in case you have household and youngsters.
Aside from focus, you must also domesticate the behavior of studying repeatedly. As a result of know-how modifications drastically each 5 years. New programming languages, instruments, and frameworks come up. You must hold yourselves up to date with the most recent developments within the software program market and growth applied sciences. Product concepts often come up if you be taught one thing new.
Above all, you may be profitable provided that you take pleasure in doing this each minute. Laborious work mustn’t really feel like laborious work however like a whole lot of enjoyable. I began this due to my love for programming and never since I used to be good at enterprise. I began my very own enterprise since I loved working alone.
However having mentioned that, additionally, you will have to be taught ‘the enterprise a part of software program’ which will not be your core curiosity. For instance, advertising and marketing. Fortunately, I developed an curiosity in web advertising and marketing (search engine marketing, content material era, and so on.) down the best way. If the talent which you want to grasp isn’t your innate curiosity, attempt to discover some strategy to make it attention-grabbing. The benefit of right this moment’s time is that there’s a lot of content material and movies which helps you be taught even essentially the most boring stuff in a enjoyable approach. Make use of it. YouTube is a free platform the place you’ll be able to both waste your time or find out about every little thing beneath the solar.
And the very last thing which I want to share is that the most important asset which we’ve is time. Time is invaluable. It’s time that we’re changing into cash once we successfully use it. So make the most effective use of your time. Study to be productive.
The place can we go to be taught extra?
To see all my energetic merchandise, head over to this web site.
At present my predominant product.
I might be comfortable to attach with you:
When you’ve got any questions or feedback, drop a remark under!
Founding father of WebHarvy
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