This would probably be the highest amount of time someone has taken to write a yearly review. But I am also using this review to re-launch my personal blog. I had stopped posting things on this blog back in 2011 & never got around to getting back to it. Eventually I also let the domain name kotharivishal.com expire.
One of my action points for 2019 is to continue to post atleast twice a month on this blog.
And I am starting with posting the 2018 review for Tyche Softwares & some personal accomplishments here.
While I cannot disclose the actual numbers, but we saw a 45% grown over 2017. Switching to automatic renewals from manual has had a significant impact.
We hadn’t set any revenue targets for 2018, but 45% growth is definitely a healthy sign. We are approaching 2019 with a better plan.
Since October 2018, we started to get our plugins translated in different languages. By December 31 2018, we were able to achieve translation in 17 languages for 4 of our free plugins. Currently we are only translating the plugin strings. The contents of the readme.txt file are not yet being translated. That’s the next step for us.
We acquired 6 new WooCommerce plugins in 2018. These plugins had a total of 18,000+ active installs combined & were generating a decent revenue in sales. These plugins were quite different then the 5 plugins which have been created by our team, what I liked about them is the unique feature set offered by each plugin, and they are on an upward growth trajectory since they were first released about a year ago.
A month later, we also acquired another plugin namely Product Input Fields for WooCommerce. This one is what WooCommerce Product Addons plugin provides. The Product Input Fields plugin allows to add 18 different types of fields to your WooCommerce product.
We had 2 hackathons in 2018. First one was in April 2018 & the second one was during our annual retreat in Kodaikanal in August 2018 (I still have to write a post on that one-week retreat).
Because this was the first time we were doing them, the team was very satisfied with the results achieved. Although we weren’t able to publish anything that was created, but some of the things that were worked upon are:
- A Chrome extension to show the last 10 orders
- A hybrid mobile app that would fetch the posts & display them
- A slack bot that would post messages on a channel when orders are refunded
- Creating a chat bot
- Learning Python
- And many more..
New learnings via Courses
If you are selling online, you would know that November is a busy month. Everything is up for sale! So while we do run sales for our plugins as well, this time we thought to make some investments. What better then investing in learning?
We decided to purchase some courses recommended by our team. And we gave all of us a 2-month period to finish the courses. Some of those courses were:
- WordPress plugin development
- Effective Time Management
- And some more..
While not all of us were able to finish the courses, but about 30% of our team finished the full course & rest finished about 50% of the courses.
This has been very helpful to our team. We chose the months of Dec 2018 & Jan 2019 to complete the courses. The work volume in these months is not so high as most of our customers are on a holiday in this period.
Shopify App development
We did start development on a couple of Shopify Apps. You will see more on this in the coming months.
Plugin boilerplate implementation – Welcome page, Deactivation popup, Tracking, Notices
We did implement things like showing a Welcome page upon plugin activation, asking a reason when plugin is deactivated, anonymous tracking data, etc. in our plugins. But the execution was not fullproof & we faced some issues in terms of bugs & also in over-promotion by showing notices in the WordPress dashboard.
So we had to revert some of those things until they were fixed & eventually re-released.
Unlike 2017, the number of WordCamps attended in 2018 was very less. We only attended WordCamp Mumbai in March 2018.
There were multiple reasons to do this. In 2017, there were about 5 WordCamps in India, out of which we attended 4. It would take at least 1 day before & after the WordCamp where we are unable to do any significant work. The number of WordCamps in 2018 were the same, or higher. So we decided to give WordCamps a break & focus on other aspects.
I also attended WordCamp Orange County as it was happening in the same time when I was in US in June 2018. Infact, we scheduled our trip such that we would be in LA for those days.
This time we went to Kodaikanal from August 5 2018 to August 11 2018. This was our first, formal annual retreat. 9 of our team members (out of 14) were with us on this retreat & we thoroughly enjoyed it. We spent our time in cycling around the lake, playing games, and chilling out.
A separate blog post is definitely needed for this & it will be published very soon on our company blog.
There were many other tasks done where significant amount of our team’s time was spent. Some of those are:
- GDPR compatibility
- Moving all plugin documentation to a separate site. Earlier this was present on the Tyche blog.
- Implementation of an email sequence via Drip. We didn’t have an onboarding sequence until September 2018.
- We hired 5 new people (1 Support Lead, 1 Support Ninja, 1 HR/Admin, 1 Research Assistant, 1 Content Writer), while 1 person left us for better opportunities.
On the personal front, I spent one month in US, largely on a family trip & covered New York, Orlando, Vegas, LA & San Francisco. Having my 6 month old daughter in the trip was another adventure in itself.
Visiting Disney Magic Kingdom was the highlight for me. I was amazed at the scale of how big, well-managed & lively it is.