Wow, we’ve shipped 100,000 devices!

5 min read
Wow, we’ve shipped 100,000 devices!
Jonas Gyalokay
August 20th, 2018

Airtame just reached 100,000 devices shipped. That’s huge! We look back on how we made it to this milestone and what’s in store for us next

We’ve just hit a huge milestone: on August 13 at 3.56pm GMT +1, we reached 100,000 devices shipped! First of all, it’s an honor. It means that 100,000 screens in schools and businesses out there are being put to better use, with a streaming solution we’re working very hard on improving every day.

It’s a milestone that makes us proud because of the struggles we’ve been through to get us here. Every milestone before this and like this is built on multiple failures. Our ability and determination to turn these failures into learning experiences are what made us go from being a small startup idea to a successful, still learning and growing, streaming solution company.

I want to walk through some different milestones that have helped us better ourselves and eventually get to where we are now:

Milestone 1: Crowdfunding

Our first milestone was the trust and support we got when we started crowdfunding. The Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign that catapulted us into the startup world was a huge success, but also came with many strings attached.

What we achieved: A record-breaking USD 1.3 million in funds. Without it, we wouldn’t have survived the initial phase of penetrating the market.

What we learned: Crowdfunding isn’t free. The number of backers was so high that we couldn’t deliver on all of our initial promises and had to change our focus accordingly. It’s helped us focus, plan and strategize more than anything, besides setting up a customer support system that actually takes care of our users and their requests.

A group of Airtame employees celebrating the success of the crowdfunding campaign

Milestone 2: Official product launch

Following our crowdfunding campaign, we were taken aback. The sheer number of backers was astounding and meant we had to work around the clock to finish a functional product that was worth shipping to our many supporters.

Because the crowdfunding was such an unexpected success, we suddenly had to deliver much more for a pre-set delivery deadline, making it impossible to meet. Actually, we had a one year delay on delivery, a chaotic time that almost made us crumble under pressure.

When we did ship the first Airtames, the relief was overwhelming. From that intense period, we know that we can deliver, that there’s always room for improvement and that this business figuratively lights a fire under our asses that keeps us driven and hungry.

What we achieved: Shipping a functional product that embodied our wireless streaming vision (with room for improvements). Collecting valuable feedback from our supporters and setting up a system for working out major bugs.

What we learned: If we can survive the intensity of the period when we built the first working device, we can survive anything. It made us stronger, both regarding our product focus and as a team.

Milestone 3: Airtame Cloud released

Airtame Cloud entered Open Beta in October 2016. We removed the Beta training wheels in March 2017. Airtame Cloud gives our users a world of new opportunities besides ‘just’ streaming.

For instance, users are now able to bulk edit and update their devices, set up a variety of digital signage options and align screens both vertically and horizontally. We’ve also recently released Homescreen Apps, a bunch of integrations that will make the daily use of Airtames more straightforward. Lots more still to come here, so we need to make sure we stay focused, meet regular and showcase our updates.

Airtame employees sitting in a meeting about the release of the Airtame Cloud

What we achieved: Making a product that is scalable to manage and roll out because it’s easy to monitor devices, perform bulk updates and update content from the Cloud. It’s critical if you want to achieve enterprise success. A cloud-based platform also allows us to ship valuable functionality to customers very fast.

What we learned: With the Airtame Cloud, it’s really only our imagination that sets the boundaries for what can be built into our product.

Milestone 4: Double revenue and expansion

Milestones wouldn’t be a thing if it weren’t for the goals we’ve set for ourselves. One of the biggest goals last year (2017) was the mission to double our revenue and expand the business.

In July 2017, we opened a US branch in Brooklyn, New York. The new personnel and new marketing strategy allowed us to reach the goal of doubling our revenue in 2017. That’s why it’s so important to choose the right members for the team and involve key players in hiring and training so newcomers are learning from practice instead of theory.

What we achieved: We’ve grown from four original founders to 90+ people; from one crazy idea to a respected company.

What we learned: You have to apprehend growth carefully. You can’t expect to grow and increase cash flow just because you increase the number of employees. Growth is about the company culture first and foremost, strict marketing goals second.

Having a company-wide strategy is one of our biggest strengths. It means that everyone is on the same page and each individual is expected to manage themselves properly.

Airtame employees celebrating in a beach

So, what’s next?

Good ideas are a dime a dozen. Our success is the result of many trials and tribulations over the last four years. When I look back on all the ups and downs of our journey thus far, I’m completely overwhelmed by the process and what we have been able to achieve.

I believe it’s best to go through smaller steps that will eventually lead us to the bigger milestones instead of only going after the milestones themselves. We never sat down and said, “hey, let’s reach 100,000 shipped devices before this date”. No, we’ve worked on improving the firmware, hardware and the customer journey.

We’ve got several Homescreen Apps coming up and more signage and cloud elements. At the beginning of 2019, our HQ in Copenhagen will also move to a spacious new place to call home, which will make team efforts smoother and further expansion easier.

100,000 devices shipped isn’t just a milestone. It’s a validation of us as a company and as a product, that we’re still on the right path and making something our users need.

No one said the journey was easy, but one thing it is? Worth it! I look forward to reaching the next milestones with you.

Interested? Let’s talk.

Jonas Gyalokay
Jonas is an entrepreneur at heart. He's the co-CEO & co-founder at Airtame. And he's the co-founder of two sons with his wife, Amanda. When he's not building, he's probably playing with his kids, eating great food with his wife, listening to an audiobook, out running or watching either basketball or comedy.

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