04.03.2021 by Kristine Spure
We can’t believe we’re celebrating Infogram’s 9-year anniversary this month! What started as an ambitious idea turned into a data visualization platform used by 5+ million users in 140 countries around the globe.
It’s been nearly a decade of data visualizations — 9 years of building a tool, a platform, and a community where data enthusiasts can come together and create inspiring projects.
Time flies when you’re a part of something that excites you. Here at Infogram, we truly feel like we’ve been immensely lucky to build a team of like-minded people and work on a solution that helps others.
There have been many lessons learned along the way. So this year, we decided to take a little journey down memory lane and collect the main takeaways, thoughts, and ideas from our team.
Without further ado, here are 12 lessons we learned in the 9 years of creating a global dataviz platform.
1. There’s big value in small tasks
There’s big value when a tool that is complex in its essence can be used for small and sometimes even trivial tasks. It’s not why you’re there in the first place, but the small things keep you positively addicted to it.
For example, you don’t necessarily have to make multi-page infographics or big reports every week. But the possibility to use Infogram as a basic tool to create a collage of pictures, remove the background of a photo, or find the perfect icon to put on a T-shirt – that makes your product sticky.
If you handle the small details in an elegant manner and allow the customers to do the simple stuff fast, it’s more likely that they will trust you with their time to do the big things and work on the high-value stuff.
Raimonds Kaže, Co-founder of Infogram
2. Trust your teammates and build a strong internal culture
Trusting your colleagues is something money cannot buy. To ensure a world-class team, you have to start with a patient onboarding process and building a strong internal culture, all while investing in building bridges between separate teams. That’s how you build friendships so communication and tasks can flow more fluidly.
Trust keeps the wheels turning in a very dynamic business environment. Trust is also the reason why Infogram has been the best in class and is still keeping up the high standards of creating innovations that fit the customers’ needs.
Reinis Bērziņš, Customer Success Manager
3. Hire people smarter than you
It’s completely normal not to have all the necessary skills for building a company when you’re just starting out. I’m proud that we didn’t hesitate to attract the best talent out there. In the end, Infogram is as strong as its team. Thanks to young professionals, we have a well-established customer team, we’ve created Infogram’s iconic design, and we can offer reliable technology. We also attracted the dataviz community to keep us sharp, for example, by co-creating the data ambassador program.
Alise Dīrika, Co-founder of Infogram
4. Do it for the people
When I joined Infogram support, user feedback was already waiting for me. The channels for user input and communication had already been set up in the early stages of product development, even before there was a dedicated person for working with them. This indicates how important user feedback is for Infogram and embodies one of our core values – we do this to help others, to increase data literacy, and to encourage people to tell better stories with data.
Andrejs Veitners, Senior Customer Support Specialist
5. Build a rich company culture
The Infogram team consists of professionals and like-minded people, and you can see it in each department. Our team is like a well-oiled machine where each part is individually different, but when they come together, the whole system just works. Everyone in our team has a part in building the company culture. The variety of interests and backgrounds makes our culture even more rich and colorful. Happy birthday, Infogram – let’s stay rich and colorful!
Undīne Trapenciere, Office Manager
6. Experiment and gather user feedback
Infogram managed to create a senior-heavy, experienced, and self-motivated team with people that really focus on delivery and user value. There was a short time to market, so we managed to experiment a lot, letting our customers test and experience things on a regular fast-paced basis. This allowed us to be competitive and to create a great product, while gathering a lot of user feedback.
Raivis Gelsbergs, Tech Lead Manager
7. Implement design thinking in all processes
Helping users be fast, creative, and professional is what makes Infogram a great user experience. We try to achieve this by implementing design thinking in all our processes. Everyone in the product team – from product managers to engineers – cares about the usability of our platform. Having strong user focus throughout the years has resulted in a data visualization tool that people love using for their projects.
Irina Gaņeviča, User Experience Lead
8. Communication is key
One of the most important things is constant communication. It matters on all levels, starting with internal stakeholders in the sales, product, design, and engineering teams and continuing to your customers. When building a product, working as a team, or communicating with your customers, always assume that the person you’re listening to might know something you don’t. Taking note of these learnings is the best way to actually grow your business and relationships today.
Ausvydas Jasaitis, Head of Customer Success
9. Work closely with all departments
One of the biggest challenges in building Infogram was finding the right balance. On one hand, we had to predefine the most common use cases so users wouldn’t have to spend too much time building data-based visuals. On the other hand, we wanted to offer enough flexibility, customization, and advanced features to compete with other tools in the dataviz market.
To achieve that, we worked very closely between all departments and were always open to user feedback and compromises. This was one of the main reasons why Infogram succeeded – it was always important to make decisions and find solutions together as a team and trust others in the company.
Jānis Godiņš, Lead Product Designer
10. Trust and transparency first
The recipe to Infogram’s success is that we’re one big professional family. We put trust, transparency, and care first, creating a safe environment for all of us in the team. This allows us to shoot for the stars and reach our individual potential. But most importantly – it does wonders for teamwork. Through transparent and efficient teamwork, we understand each other’s functionality which allows us to see the big picture even better. That’s how we provide the best product and care for our users.
Pēteris Trops, Customer Support Manager
11. Challenge yourself
One of the reasons why Infogram has been growing continuously over the years and why it resonates with an increasing number of people is that people understand the power of a great story. We also challenge ourselves and are constantly looking for new and more engaging ways to bring data and information to life. By listening to what our clients have to say, we’ve enabled people in different industries and roles to be heard.
Marta Lenkeviča, Customer Success Specialist
12. Our users are the real trendsetters
One might think that we’re dataviz trendsetters, but we’re just taking part in the process. The real dataviz trendsetters are our cherished users. Sure, we do our absolute best to teach people the best practices of dataviz. But soon enough, you realize – there are no limits for creativity.
We’re simply happy to have created a dataviz tool that helps people visualize data in a hundred different ways. It’s an amazing feeling to witness the right tools falling into the hands of skilled dataviz enthusiasts. Magic happens, stories are being told, and trends are being set. We’re simply excited to have been able to take part in this journey for 9 years already!
Osvalds Blūzma, Customer Success Team Lead
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