Mike Neumegen is a Kiwi who has recently jumped on the entrepreneurial train by founding New Zealand-based Cloud Cannon which turns a static website into a Dropbox based CMS.
One of my philosophies in life is to get a little bit better at something everyday. As an entrepreneur you have to be a jack-of-all trades so continuous self improvement is really important. Put yourself in situations that force you to improve. You could spend the day learning to program, join a toastmasters club or start your own business.
A lot of our success has come out of what we don’t do. Having a minimalist approach in every decision has guided us towards a focused product that only solves one problem for a specific audience. There’s two of us working on Cloud Cannon so we have to be as efficient with our time and resources as possible.
I was working as a web developer and found myself becoming more interested in why and how people use applications rather than the technical details of how they worked. At this point I decided to quit my job, read every business and marketing book I could get my hands on and start my own business. It’s been a roller coaster ride so far but it’s all worth it when you see people using something you’ve created.
Cloud Cannon is completely bootstrapped by George (Co-Founder) and I. Bootstrapping has taught us to be frugal. Reading marketing blogs (The KissMetrics blog is excellent), using local advisors, or being covered by blogs are ways we make use of the free resources around us.
We started off with a small number of friends testing Cloud Cannon who gave us valuable feedback. When it came time to acquire users outside our own social group, we struggled. We had no idea of how to reach our audience, we tried the “Shotgun approach” by posting on Reddit and Hacker News but were left disheartened by the uptake. Eventually after being covered on TechCrunch we had an influx of users that we could talk to which gave us a deep understanding of how our audience thinks, what they want and how to reach them.
Our customers are awesome, they’re vocal about our product, they let us know what can be improved and they’re building some really cool stuff on our platform, so we do everything we ...