Like you, I’m back from the holiday break and ramping up for 2014. I spent time in the backcountry and had time to reflect on how 2013 set the stage for what will prove to be our busiest year yet. By all metrics, 2013 was far and away the best year since we founded the company. Here are the highlights for last year that, I think, will help us and our partners absolutely kill it in 2014:
The Launch of Solstice at the Right Time.
Although the concept for Solstice has been in my head since 2008, we didn’t bring it to market until we felt the timing was correct for both Mersive and the market. Once collaboration became a key enterprise mandate, which in turn helped to drive solution requirements beyond the video cable, we decided to finalize our design concepts and work toward product launch. The Solstice wireless collaboration platform became available commercially in March of ‘13 and it had a transformative impact on Mersive. As a startup, we have a limited marketing budget and until very recently only a virtual sales staff, but despite that Solstice quickly gained market awareness and acceptance. Since its launch, hundreds of the world’s largest corporations as well as small to medium-sized businesses have trialed and adopted Solstice. In addition, some top universities are implementing Solstice in large-scale deployments.
The Mersive partner program expanded dramatically in 2013. We added over 20 new resellers most of whom have regional or national coverage. We have also worked hard to gain affirmation from the best A/V consultants in the industry. Our partners have proven to be both energetic and pragmatic when it comes to selling software. I love spending time with our reseller partners and expect to be on the road with them often in the coming year.
We formed several important international relationships with True Colours in the UK, IDT which introduced Solstice to the Australia and New Zealand markets, and Mojoworx, which is extending our reach through Asia and India.
The Virtuous Cycle of Sol and Solstice.
We continued to see growth in our flagship product Sol in 2013, which in the past saw success in large custom installations in government, higher education and enterprise applications. As a result, Sol has always been a critical success (think small Indie band), rather than a large transactional commercial success. However, that changed in 2013. With the introduction of Solstice, awareness about Mersive has grown and commercial integrators and resellers are now bringing Sol into a much broader set of venues. Combine with with a new, simpler Sol user-interface and some technical improvements, Sol is now a mainstream product. It can be found all over the world in everything from in-store signage to advanced command and control centers. It has been fun to see that product evolve from indie band into a mainstream hit that receives radio time! I expect that in 2014 we are positioned for even greater growth.
I’m a big subscriber to the “Corporate Life-cycle” mentality of Entrepreneurialism. In 2013 we finally reached the “good begets good” feedback loop companies should strive for in terms of product management and roadmap. Because we had established a leadership position in an exciting area of IT/AV convergence, it became easy to hire some of the most dynamic folks for both areas. We added Rick Emery as VP Sales and Business Development, who comes out of Cisco and deeply understands the importance of media to the unified communications experience. We also hired Thomas Ruge as VP Product Development, a long-time friend out of NVIDIA, who helped write a book on video streaming and desktop remoting. His experiences at NVIDIA will be critical to Mersive maintaining our lead in the space. Beyond the management additions, we’ve significantly grown the company everywhere else: new amazing engineers, support staff and pre-sales support. I feel like we’re now at a good size to support the continued explosive growth in 2014 and take the company to yet another level of success.
I listed this last, but, of course, it may be one of the most important aspects of last year. All the other key pieces to a company don’t matter much if you’re not generating revenue. Last year we saw back-to-back record-breaking quarters in Q3 and Q4 as well as the best year on record since I founded the company more than six years ago. This will help provide the much needed rocket fuel for next year.
In short, I am excited for the new year. I’ve predicted that the entire AV and Unified Communications industry will see significant growth in 2014 in the past, when I think just about our own experiences, I think there is plenty of evidence that we’ll have a fantastic year. Whether it’s at a tradeshow, a meeting in your offices our ours, or you become a customer. I can’t wait to see you out there!