Today is a very proud day for me because I can finally say that Own Web Now Corp gave back in a really big way. One of the best things you can hope for in the IT business is that people love your products. Following that, one of the best feelings is having those same customers go to their peers and tell them to go sell your products and services. On the very top of that IT satisfaction pyramid is when you start working with your clients to provide solutions to their clients, when you see how your work helps people achieve some pretty remarkable things.
When you look at what you’ve created, and when you see what others are able to create because you’ve given them a few more hours in the day, or a little more money, or a little less frustration, you can’t help but to try and do more. Two years, almost to the day, I outlined the vision of truly partnering with my peers and designing the next generation of SMB IT management software. After all, with very few exceptions, we all sell a service yet we are managing our businesses with software that is geared at providing value only to the service provider, a bloated and crippled CRM product with some billing export features. We can do better than that, can’t we? But where is the incentive?
Over the past two years I have been able to team up with my partners, my clients, their clients, people that have never heard of OWN, resellers that have been with us for a decade, and design something that extends our value as a service provider to our customers. I bankrolled the project without OWNs help, wrote about 99% of the code, and got actual partners in designing this software – people ran their business on what was experimental code, people gave feedback on how to improve it, people sent me tshirt pictures from all over the world. I could not be prouder of what has come out of it.
I do have many regrets as well – I wish I didn’t do all this by myself, I wish I initially hired a bunch of people to work on it and provide better support as we went along. I am mixed on my regret because I believe we really would not have come up with the product that it is today without it being squarely on my shoulders – so while I am happy with the result, I do wish to most sincerely apologize to all my partners that missed opportunities because they trusted that I would produce something that would work for them in the long term. Again, this has been a true partnership for a lot of us, both good and bad parts of it, not onesided by a long shot. My biggest regret was not recognizing the volume and scope this project would encompass – I honestly expected maybe 100 people would sign up. Perhaps 500 tops. So I never bothered to write activation scripts, never created advanced signup forms, never really thought there would be a whole lot of people that really saw it my way. By the time I processed 2,800th portal by hand and had to go to ARIN for more IP addresses I finally gave up and shut the doors. But they are opening up again, and yes, it will be free for a while.
So what have I done?
I will keep it simple – I have designed the software based on the requests of my partners and I have coded in every feature requested and then some.
How’s that? 🙂
I have staffed and trained the helpdesk, and you will even have a phone number to dial for sales and support assistance. I have written a lot of documentation, videos and going forward this will not be a development project, it will be professionally supported and managed software.
Further announcements on the Shockey Monkey mailing list, the new web site is scheduled to go live in a week or two. In the meantime, everyone will be upgraded to Shockey Monkey 2 and put on the new infrastructure. Oh, and if you’d like some eyecandy, here are Shockey Monkey wallpapers:
Shockey Monkey wallpapers:
There is a lot of pressure to deliver a rock solid product, I thank all of you who have been in the line for the very long time giving me the chance to prefect Shockey Monkey 2. Personally, I think it was worth the wait. Over the next two weeks I will explain how Shockey Monkey and SMB Buddy fit together, what they are geared towards but if you’ve followed this blog for a while you know who I am, how I work and what my beliefs are. This is just a huge thank you to the people that have put OWN where it is today, that made ExchangeDefender a world leader, and truth of the matter is that many of us are in this for the long term and we want something that differentiates us. Simple as that.