The Start of the Zarget Journey.
Really excited to write this post… Our 10 months’ hard work is about to bear fruit.. We were in stealth mode, so I had to keep my lips zipped.. Now it’s all official.. We are out with Open Beta and the official announcement is here.
In this post, I’m going to share with you all, our journey in the last 10 months!
Santa — (present Co-Founder & CTO) and I go way back.. It was 2006 when we started out at Zoho together and have remained thick friends over the years. In 2009, as security experts we worked in the same team for a short while. We shared the dream of starting something on our own. We discussed a lot.. But work pressure, personal commitments etc., kept us away from our dream.. And we went our ways.
Some fun projects that I worked on, mushroomed and became relevant enough to be absorbed into the company’s products. Soon I was asked to start something from scratch and build a team. One thing led to another and before long I had a great team at my disposal. I had handpicked each person and had mentored them into the performers they’d blossomed into.
It was time to move on to a new challenge. And it so happened that Arvind (present Co-Founder & CEO) was thinking of starting something on his own. A chance meeting during an elevator ride rekindled old dreams and I spent the next couple of days, discussing with Santa, if the time was right to take a plunge.
The 3 of us met at Zha Cafe — a meeting that has changed our lives forever. Sparks flew and we discovered a mutual passion for creating something new.. More meetings and lengthy discussions followed at different places. We were super excited and raring to go. Suddenly, I had a moment of weakness and my personal and financial commitments loomed large. Santa took me out to dinner, talked a lot of sense into me, and finished it all off with a line that’s going to stay with me forever — “Ennna nadathaalum paarthukkalam.. [Whatever happens we’ll manage] let’s quit and start”.. I spoke to my family about my decision and was pleasantly surprised with unanimous support from all of them.
We quit our jobs and started the groundwork for our new venture. The first step was to meet our mentors — Girish of FreshDesk and KPS of Chargebee. They gave us valuable insights and lessons on startup life.
Our first office was a modified apartment — with cubicles, and some other bare necessities.
We spent most of our time discussing, arguing & even fighting on what should be the different features of our product, which work item should be taken up first, how it should be built, what technologies should be used and so on..
Apart from work related talks, our agenda also included general chit chat, ice cream outings, one — pitch cricket and a lot of laughs.
After deciding on what we should be working on — an A/B testing tool., we wanted to come up with something unique.. We don’t want to build yet another A/B testing tool which was a clone of the existing products. We needed a USP. I was thinking hard for a couple of days and one day when I was about to sleep — an idea struck me..
I lost my sleep and began thinking about it. This was the idea — What if A/B testing can be done without loading the page in an iframe or logging into an A/B testing tool to test. The next day as soon as I reached office, I caught hold of Santa and screamed my idea to him. I was about to go into details, when he stopped me and told me what he had in his mind. I was speechless. We both had had the same idea at the same time. We both had thought of the Chrome extension. Unbelievable Coincidence!! It was heartening to see that despite all the arguments and differences of opinions, deep down we thought alike when it mattered the most. After many more discussions, once we were sure that it was a good idea — we took it to our mentor. He too was as excited as us.
That was the first corner that we turned. From then on, we built one feature after another and kept going from one goal to the next. And here we are.. Announcing our Open Beta. 10 months seems like a long time on paper. In reality though, we hardly noticed the months slipping by.
I have worked on various products and fascinating integrations when I was in Zoho, but the last 10 months have been a completely new experience.. A lot of lessons have been learnt — from how to convince people, how to say no, when and where to start and a lot more..
I hope you, as a customer, like what we have to offer and would ride along with us in future..
The next set of challenges will come from you.. And we’re ready..
This post wouldn’t be possible without the support of super focussed, dedicated and the most OSM team :)
P.S: If you are wondering, why we switched to Zarget from Osmnez — I’ll give you a hint..
All through our ride.. there’s been one common factor —
Z — Zoho -> Zha Cafe -> OsmneZ -> Zarget.
Z is omnipresent :)