At the end of 2007 we had promised “loads of new stuff” in 2008. So, here it is. A full recap of 2008 - what we were up to, month-wise development road map and what you can expect in 2009.
2008 has been a fantastic year where we have not only enjoyed a steady increase in customer growth but also have updated DeskAway almost once a month with new features and enhancements that our customers have requested.
We kick-started this year with being on of the finalist products to showcase at the Proto.in startup event in January at Chennai, India. Proto was a great introduction to the Indian startup scene and the investor community. View a few photos from this event here.
In March, we began talking to Jamcracker, a SaaS channel partner that would carry DeskAway within its marketplace. After a few months of negotiating on terms, we finally signed up with Jamcracker in May. We will be launching DeskAway on their marketplace shortly.
We thank each and every blogger who have reviewed and written about us. A special thanks goes out to Web Worker Daily, an A-list blog technology and web apps blog for reviewing DeskAway in late May here (comparing it to Basecamp) and then again in December here (for turning on project 2.0 social features). In September, we were included in Mashable’s list of 270+ tools for running a business online.
The startup community in India is on a roll. This is when I was connected to Morpheus Venture Partners - a startup advisory business founded by Sameer & Nandini. I had briefly met Sameer & Nandini at Proto in January. After our initial talks and working together on a trial basis for around a month, we finally decided to get Sameer & Nandini on board the DeskAway team in September. Sameer helps out with the business side of things whereas Nandini focused more on the product development and user experience. Its been a rewarding last 3 months working with them.
We end the year with being nominated and then shortlisted (out of 588 startups) into the top 30 hottest Indian startups by Tata NEN. Voting is still going on and the top 5 startups will be announced early 2009. This competition has increased our brand recognition through the media, amongst other startup groups and within the small business network. We are seeing more Indian small businesses give a shot at SaaS and how it could help their business.
Here is a quick snapshot of the development Journey 2008:
Revamped Task Lists and Tasks with a new look and feel.
Small enhancement to the Calendar, Messages, Tasks, Files sections.
Created the Issue tracking feature, added more reporting charts, created a public calendar and the ability to archive projects.
A way to group team members via Companies.
Working on personal email reminders and the project template feature that would go live within the next few months.
Improved contact importing and the ability to re-order Tasks and Task lists.
Daily personal email reminders and the ability to clone projects using templates.
Full export/backup of your DeskAway data, Viewing Tasks within the calendar, better iCal support and revamping of the Help dialog boxes across the application.
Adding sub-folder support for Files, editing Messages and other small enhancements.
Released better international character support.
Ability to view My Tasks on the dashboard, Project history and RSS.
SSL, Uploading a profile picture, social features and BaseEscape (a tool to import your Basecamp data over to DeskAway)
What can you expect in 2009? More enhancements, features, integration of 3rd party apps within DeskAway and an iPhone and mobile version of the app are some of the things planned for early 2009. We will be launching our affiliate program around January 2009.
We are taking forward one thing from 2008 - love what you do and do it more. Every month is a stepping stone to stay true to our vision - to provide simple, powerful and affordable tools to help people work smarter.
The DeskAway team wishes everyone Merry Christmas and a very happy New Years. Stay safe!
Founder & CEO