I believe startup thinking or entrepreneurial mindset is not limited to startups and entrepreneurs. I think anyone in any job can put on the hat of an entrepreneur and try to change their job, their career or even their big corporation. It is difficult but the challenges are no different than when one starts a new company or embarks on an entrepreneurial journey. Today we have a guest blog by Jessie VanderVeen, the Marketing Manager of TM Software a company that was born out of the financial crisis in 2008 within a large established IT company in Iceland. I think the story is inspiring and everyone who is part of a large organization can take note and innovate their customer service, product development or how you do your day to day activities. Here is the story of Intrapreneurship in Iceland:
By Jessica VanderVeen, Head of Marketing at Tempo
Tempo’s story is one of resourcefulness, resilience, and a bona fide need for adaptability and change during a time when Iceland’s economic environment demanded these very things. Our existence came to be out of a need to build agile solutions for real problems faced by real users — our own at TM Software.
Back in 2006, TM Software (a software development company headquartered in Reykjavík) implemented Atlassian’s popular project and issue-tracking platform, JIRA, throughout our organization. The developers on our custom web solutions teams loved JIRA, but were using an external platform to plan and track their time spent for client billing purposes, as well as for internal payroll. As a company that embraces Agile methodologies, this created a lot of hassle, headaches, wasted time, and even the possibility for inaccuracies. We needed an agile time tracking and planning solution that was so tightly integrated with JIRA, it felt like a part of the platform. We also wanted to measure how we used our time and whether we might improve our efficiency or better allocate our resources, and we needed reliable data to help us with those endeavors.
Initially, a handful of developers at TM Software was assigned to build the agile time tracking and resource planning plugin — now known as our Tempo Timesheets add-on — we so badly needed, and launched it for internal purposes. We ended up liking the solution we built so much, realized that there simply wasn’t a comparable solution available on the market, and launched it externally one year later with notable success.
For several years, TM Software focused solely on building custom web solutions for customers, so the decision to launch into product development was a significant one — a leap that ended up benefitting us more than we initially anticipated.
We were able to accomplish this transition by bootstrapping: staying lean, making strategic decisions, and expanding only as our needs and resources evolved.
Today, Tempo has more than 5,000 customers in over 100 countries, and is continually growing with sales conducted primarily through Atlassian’s Marketplace, an online marketplace established for Atlassian add-on vendors, as well as through our more than 50 global partner resellers. Our customers span from lean startups to large-scale distributed enterprises with more than 10,000 Tempo users.
Tempo Timesheets was voted the #1 Atlassian add-on of 2012 by Atlassian, and was the top-grossing Atlassian Marketplace add-on for the 2013 fiscal year. On average, our sales have been nearly doubling every year. Today, income derived from Tempo’s international sales comprises around 50% or more of TM Software’s overall revenue.
During the past two years alone, our team has grown from 11 members to more than 40, with three full product development teams, a marketing team, and a cloud solutions team.
In many ways, our products have enabled us — quite literally — to succeed.
As a result of our initial successes with our time tracking add-on, we’ve had the opportunity to shift our efforts forward, focusing on solving additional problems faced by our customers as well as ourselves as TM Software. Enter Tempo Planner, our new agile resource planning add-on, and Tempo Books, our strategic portfolio management add-on for JIRA. Our new product suite allows us to confidently delve into the project and portfolio management (PPM) realm, a growing industry that Gartner estimates generates more than USD $1.65 billion annually in vendor sales.*
Each of our solutions can be used alone or in tandem with other Tempo add-ons, offering a full professional services solution for businesses at all levels; the more addons used, the more value-added.
Our team’s primary objective has been to create fully robust project and portfolio management solutions that help businesses work smarter and more efficiently, including our own. We use our add-ons daily throughout our company, from our development and marketing teams to our C-level executives, and depend on the quality and usability of our products as much as we imagine each customer does.
We’ve garnered a substantial amount of goodwill surrounding the Tempo brand over the last five years throughout the Atlassian ecosystem. We feel that much of this is attributable to our commitment to building quality solutions that respond to real problems (i.e., keeping it real), as well as taking customer feedback and support seriously, whether it’s through incorporating comments into new releases or providing useful responses to customer questions. We’re focused on providing the best user experiences possible while generating the greatest enterprise outcomes, and are grateful to have grown into the successful business model we’ve become. Stay tuned — there’s more good stuff to come!
Learn more about Tempo: www.tempoplugin.com