We were focusing on our client projects until mid 2023 where the projects were wrapping up with no new projects in sight. I think it is finally time for us to become a product-based company this year. After wrapping up our last client, we started to think what will be next for us in 2024. I spent a few days clean up the tech debt of X-late and simplified the code base and features. This might be the last major release of X-late for a while since the functionality is simple, and it should stay that way.
We didn't have a marketing plan for X-late. We just put it out there and see what happens. It is not surprising that we didn't get any customers for a while. Suddenly one day I got an email asking about X-late's features, and I replied right away. After a bit of back and forth, we got our first customer. I was able to simplify the product a bit for them and they were happy to pay for it.
We have been dogfooding X-late within our team and with our clients for about a year, and it has been working very well. I have also installed the app to my client's slack workspace and they felt good about using it. I think it is time for us to release it to the public.
This is the first time we went through the process of releasing a product to the public. The last little bit of fit and finish was painful, but it was great experience. I could have launched the app months earlier, but the last 10% of the work took 90% of the time.
After working remotely on Slack in a multi-lingual team for a few years, I started to realize that the communication is super inefficient. I started to look for a solution, but I couldn't find anything that would solve the problem. So I decided to build it myself.
I quickly put together a prototype and tested in our team. It was a huge success. We were able to communicate much more efficiently, and we were able to save a lot of time.
After a few successful years working on Upwork as top-rated freelancer and agency, we decided to start our own company. We don't have a physical office, but we master the art of remote work and all of our customers are happy.
We had quite the clientele, including startups who used our prototype to get VC funded, and even contracts from a few Fortune 500 companies. We are proud of our work.
I started my journey on Upwork as a freelancer, after the SaaS startup I worked for failed. At the beginning I wasn't sure what to expect, but I was able to apply my skills as a startup tech lead and my solid experiences working as an SDE at Amazon to more and more clients, and 2 years later, I hit top-rated freelancer with 100% job success score on Upwork.