One year ago today, I started working at Many Tricks. It’s astounding to think a year’s gone by already, as it seems like it was just a few weeks ago that Peter and I were working on getting the web and support sites up and running. But the reality is quite different, and time has been flying due to everything we’ve done in the last year:
- Relaunched the main site.
- Added a new support site.
- Released one entirely new product (Time Sink).
- Released major updates to four products (Desktop Curtain, Leech, Usher, Witch).
- Released 47 minor updates across all our apps.
- Rewrote help in all apps (except Butler, which will happen with Butler 5).
- Created video walkthroughs for many of our apps, with more in the works.
- Posted 70 items to our blog.
- Managed to get six programs in the Mac App Store, with a seventh (a totally new app) pending.
- Sent 5,057 emails
So much for the numbers…what this post is really about is what the last year has been like for me, personally.
The move from full-time Macworld scribe to member of a two-person company has been eye-opening, to say the least. Not having a corporate paycheck for the first time in my life is scary, but also liberating: Peter and I make decisions based on feedback from customers, and what we want to do, and that’s it.
Not having any sort of set work hours is also very liberating—I was able to take a 30-day trip with the family this summer, and yet not miss any work, thanks to a laptop, internet connectivity, and the ability to do my job whenever and wherever I happened to be.
Another thing I’ve really enjoyed over the last year is the ability to make things happen right away—whether that thing is a bug fix, feature addition, or sometimes even a brand new product. Once we’ve decided we want to do something, it’s not very long at all before the results of that decision are available on our site.
I’ve also enjoyed working with Peter on all aspects of the business. We clearly have a different “eye” for many things, which leads to a lot of back-and-forth as we discuss features, layouts, and color schemes…but those conversations are always productive, and the end result (we think, at least) is something that both of us are proud of, and that hopefully meets the needs of our customers.
Ah yes, the customers…the most important part of the last year of my life. When I decided to join Many Tricks, neither Peter nor I were sure what to expect. The company had been dormant for over 12 months at that point, with no blog posts or product updates during that time. We actually discussed dropping the Many Tricks name entirely, but both of us felt it was worth trying to bring it back to life.
To do that, we had to reestablish trust with our customers and prospects: we needed people to know we were back, we were here to stay, and we would support what we sold. Everything we’ve done over the last year has been in support of those objectives, from creating the support site to posting answers to comments on MacUpdate to responding to every email and trouble ticket in a timely manner.
Now, one year into the effort, things are going well. The Many Tricks name is back, and customers have returned. We still have a ways to go to re-earn everyone’s trust, and I’m sure there are customers who will never forgive the one-year hiatus (which is completely understandable). I can promise, though, that going forward, we’re not going to vanish again (this is my livelihood now!), and that providing excellent customer support is our number one objective.
So a big Thank You to everyone who supported us during our first year “back in business;” without your support for our products (and belief in us!), Many Tricks wouldn’t have survived, and I wouldn’t have made it to this first anniversary.
So now, on to year two…and it’s a big year, as we’ve got major updates planned for many of our programs. This is also the year of the Lion, and we’ll be updating our programs to work well with the latest operating system out of Cupertino. If year two is anywhere near as fun and exciting as year one was, I will be completely thrilled.