28.02.2022 by Līva Luriņa
It’s happening! Today, we’re more than excited to announce Infogram’s 10th birthday! 🥳 What started as an ambitious idea turned into a data visualization platform that’s recognized, used, and loved by 7+ million users in 160 countries around the globe.
We’ve probably all heard those stories of how the most successful tech businesses started – a few friends writing code in their garage or dormitory room. But what about Infogram’s story?
“We saw a problem and a way to make things easier for people” – that’s the short version of how our journey in the world of dataviz started.
Raimonds Kaže, one of Infogram’s co-founders, shares the insights of Infogram’s growth, along with the personal stories and lessons learned in the 10 years of turning a startup into a successful global dataviz platform.
Let’s start at the very beginning
Infogram began the way that startups usually start – with great ambitions, revolutionary plans, constant pivoting, and a limited understanding of how to build a company.
What was the primary driver for building a startup?
Considering that the co-founders of Infogram had an extensive background working in media companies, we felt the pain of doing anything visual under strict time limits, especially when you lack skills in data presentation. There we saw a problem and a way we could make things easier.
What was your role in Infogram 10 years ago?
When we first started, I was the person dealing with all things on the technical side, be it frontend, backend, or infrastructure, and some areas where my skills were nearly non-existent.
Also, as I was the lone programmer of the company back then, the initial version of the product was built without any regard of how collaboration between developers should work.
Nowadays I still write code, but as a member of a team where everyone can constantly learn from each other.
What is Infogram’s most significant accomplishment?
A company that was started by three people with limited experience, no money of their own, in the unfashionable part of Europe, has built a product used by more than 7 million users, including some of the most impressive businesses in the world.
What are 3 things about building a startup you’d like others to know?
First, a company is mostly the people that work for the company. Start to hire people smarter than you as quickly as possible. Make sure you know what these smart people will be doing by their first day, so that you don’t waste their talent or let them get bored while working for you.
Second, you should aim for getting some revenue as early as possible. Don’t get investors involved at a stage when your company has no real value, or else you’ll be giving up your shares at a low price.
Third, embrace your limitations. Something that’s your strength in the earliest stages of the company can become a weakness as business grows. So you should be able to adapt and increase value as the market changes.
What makes you proud to work at Infogram?
The team and the product. Ten years ago, I had very down-to-earth expectations and was mostly expecting that what we were doing would turn into a year of valuable experience. I thought it would end and we would all return to our day jobs in well-established companies or start something completely new.
But ten years later, here we are, part of Prezi, a significantly bigger company, and we’ve built something much more impressive than I could ever have imagined. We’ve got great engineers, an awesome sales team, and excellent customer service and marketing that support the rest of the company.
And to go with it – a product that even a skeptic like me can understand why customers like it.
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