In this post, we are interviewing Pieter K de Villiers, who currently runs Macanta, which he has bootstrapped to 11,000 USD per month. Macanta allows business owners to create custom CRM and business process automation, without any code. Lots of value in this one, so keep reading.
[Xtartups Interviewer] What does your product or service do?
Allow business owners to create a custom CRM and Business Process Automation system for their business, with no need for any code.
[Xtartups Interviewer] What's your product's elevator pitch?
Macanta allows you to create a CRM as unique as your business without the time, cost, or risk of creating a custom solution.
Your Macanta includes full CRM functionality including full communication, process, and task automation. In addition, where most CRM systems are Contact Centric, Macanta allows you to specify the Data Objects in your business, as well as the Relationships, allowing for intelligent automation, beyond just contact communication.
[Xtartups Interviewer] Tell us a bit about your team.
We are two co-founders (brothers) based in the UK - originally from South Africa.
CEO - Pieter K de Villiers
COO - Jean de Villiers.
The rest of our team is based in the Philippines - 2 Developers and a VA.
Senior Developer - Back-end and API - Geover Zamora
Front end and Mobile App Developer - Jethro Estrada
Assistant - Richel Villamor
[Xtartups Interviewer] What motivated you to work on this product?
What keeps me motivated to work on Macanta is the impact we have on every business using Macanta. Businesses are filled in inefficiencies, I call this The Cancer of 2-Minute tasks.
Many businesses struggle to grow because everyone is busy doing drudgery work. With appropriate automation and systems in place, businesses are able to grow and scale. This also allows each person in a business to deliver real value to the customers and the business.
I see businesses using Macanta and transforming their workflows, and gaining 100s of hours of capacity a year, freeing them up to deliver their highest value.
[Xtartups Interviewer] Tell us where you are in this product/company's journey?
We've just released what is effectively version 3 of Macanta, which involved a complete rebuild of the front-end and data restructure on the back end.
At the same time, we are a very young company, with Macanta launching as a complete product only on 24 February 2020.
Now we are growing, albeit slowly. We are focussing on zoning in on a profitable lead generation engine, which will allow us to re-invest and grow faster.
[Xtartups Interviewer] What has been your biggest learning moment in this journey?
Earlier this year, one of our co-founders and former CEO decided to leave Macanta and pursue other interests. The situation created a short period of doubt for us.
However, I soon realized that we should continue on the course we set. Perhaps one of the biggest take-aways in that experience for myself was the realization that I can lead this team and help create the amazing product we know Macanta can be.
[Xtartups Interviewer] What has been your biggest validation for creating this product and taking it to the market?
Increased rate of adoption from customers and the feedback we get once they realize the impact Macanta is having on the day-to-day running of their businesses. I never tire of hearing that.
[Xtartups Interviewer] How did you find your first 10 customers?
Word of mouth and connections in our existing networks.
[Xtartups Interviewer] If you weren't working on this product, which other product/idea would you be pursuing?
I have no idea. I suspect I suffer, in a healthy way, from a severe case of tunnel vision right now.
[Xtartups Interviewer] Who is your favorite bootstrapped founder? And why?
Jason Fried and DHH from Basecamp. I love their approach to business - business as a product. I've loved their books and products. We are actively working towards their Shape-Up methodology as we grow our team.
[Xtartups Interviewer] What book or podcast has helped you in this journey?
I read or listen to very few business-related books or podcasts. I get a lot from YouTube, watching Saastr or Microconf videos.
[Xtartups Interviewer] What do you wish you knew when you started working on this ide I can name a single thing or even many. In business, as in life, you have to be willing to make mistakes and fail, to learn and move forward. Just make sure you fail fast and fall forward.
[Xtartups Interviewer] For someone who is thinking of starting a bootstrapped business, what would be the one thing they should watch out for?
There is a balance between conviction and delusion. Don't pivot every time someone gives you their opinion, but also make sure you heed advice when it comes from the right place at the right time.
[Xtartups Interviewer] Are you hiring for any positions? If yes, how can people reach out to you?
We are not hiring right now, but I am more than happy to connect with someone with a genuine interest in joining our team. Just email me or get in touch via the Website or LinkedIn.