2015 was a huge year for us. At the beginning of the year, we made a decision that it was time to step on the gas – and we did. We doubled the team, seriously leveled up the product, built new functions around taking better care of our customers, and much, much more.
Last year we focused on making our product one that people could get behind and love. This year, it was time to start growing to a bigger audience and in turn, build infrastructure to take care of our customers at a bigger scale. And much of what we’ve done this year reflects that.
The spectral signature of a big winner is when people ask “How did I function before x?” (Jessica just asked it about HelloSign.)
— Paul Graham (@paulg) September 10, 2015
— Hannah Luffman (@HannahLuffman) August 20, 2015
On the theme of scaling, before I explain further, you should be using HelloSign! Let one of our Account Executives show you a demo here – and tell them Joseph says hi! 🙂
Anyway! To cap off the year, I’d love to share some of the things we’ve done.
1. We built the best API in the eSignature space
We built top-notch, developer-friendly documentation, white labeling (a first in the eSignature space), and an API dashboard (a first in the space as well!). These features support our goal of designing the best API experience for developers and the people using their products. We want to make our customer’s customers awesome.
In fact, developer experience is core to everything we do with our API. Read more about how we think about developer experience in this post written by one of our developers: APIs for Humans: The Rise of Developer Experience (DX). We’re honored that developer-centric companies like StackExchange and the Linux Foundation chose our API.
2. We’re building the most intuitive eSignature product
It takes a lot of work to simplify a product while adding new features at the same time. Our design and product team worked all year to create a new signer experience that’s the cleanest and most intuitive out there.
We’ve invested in things like updating our mobile signing experience, which increased our mobile completion rate by 3x, and data validation, which significantly cuts down on the time you need to audit your documents for accuracy.
Here’s where HelloSign mobile signing was at the end of 2014 and here’s where we are just 12 months later:
3. Integrations to bring HelloSign closer to the tools you use
We were official launch partners with Slack and Hubspot. These integrations are part of our bigger vision to make HelloSign available in whatever application you’re using. We’re focused on making agreements as frictionless as possible and integrations are a big step towards that goal.
Hope you like them! We have more on the way.
4. Revenue (still the same update from last year!)
I borrowed this paragraph from last year’s update. After doubling the team, it’s still the case:
“Revenue fully supports our operations and growth — our customers are our investors and it’s an incredible feeling. We work hard to make them the best possible product and they invest in us by subscribing and spreading the word. We’re investing all revenue back into making the product incredible.”
At some point, it may make sense to increase our burn rate to accelerate growth, but it’s fundamentally something under our control. It’ll be a deliberate decision.
5. Creating and supporting a great culture
We’ve always had an amazing culture, but we did hit some issues midway through the year. There is a big difference in keeping a team at 20 people happy and at 45 people. Teams became siloed and it was easy to miss feedback trends. From talking to other founders, this is a common inflection point for companies, where a lot of what works at 20, breaks at 40.
We implemented company surveys, cross-departmental squads and much more – I’d love to write more about the lessons at some point. Regardless, we are in an even stronger place going into 2016.
6. Great mentions from the press
For a long time, we focused on creating a great product and that investment started to pay off with a bigger online presence. Here are some of our favorite mentions from the press this year:
- Wall Street Journal – Building Loyalty from the Beginning
- Bloomberg – The Best Gmail Hacks for Getting Work Done
- Inman – HelloSign Helps Agents Wave Goodbye to Paper-Based Transactions
- Tech Republic – Leveraging the power of digital signatures
- Stack Overflow – Onboarding Developers: 3 Ways to Avoid Problems in the Process
- The Next Web – 9 Apps That Can Change the Way You Work
- Time – 21 Best Apps for Business Travelers
- VC Speak – The SaaSification Of Consumer
- Computer World – HelloSign signs into the future
- The Muse – 14 Companies People Are Truly Happy to Work For
7. A growing team, dedicated to making our users awesome
We doubled our team last year. But, why grow the team? Because one of our core values is making our users awesome. Growing our team is all about increasing our ability to support our customers and build the things they want.
We’ve created entirely new functions, like customer success and API support. We’ve grown the product and engineering teams, to build things that make our customers happy. And, we’ve grown the supporting roles that enable those people to do a great job, like Team Operations.
Fundamentally, it’s all around delivering a great product and experience to our customers.
8. Huge investment in design
We’ve spent years on HelloSign’s user experience and functionality. This year was all about matching the level of our product with our design. Here’s what our Creative Director, Aaina Sharma, shared about the process of upgrading our design:
“We decided to redesign our brand for a couple of reasons. We needed a fresh start. We took a step back to evaluate different pieces of the brand and quickly realized that we needed to make everything more cohesive, a system instead of scattered pieces. Working on a redesign also helped us tell our story more effectively. We’re now able to communicate with our users the what, the how and the why in a more visual manner.”
Now that we’ve now spent over a year with our new design, our old logo feels almost unrecognizable:
Coming up in 2016
We can’t share everything, however, I can promise you it’s going to be an incredible year.
As always, keep the feedback coming! Your feedback is core to everything we do.
Thank you for all of your support this last year. We couldn’t have done it without you.
– Joseph, Neal, and the HelloSign team