Software Executive Magazine

December 2017

Software Executive magazine helps software executives grow their businesses by showcasing the business best practices of our readers, executives from established and innovative software companies.

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upwards of $6.5 million in annual revenue. Balsamiq develops wireframes — a graphical tool for sketching out user interfaces for websites and web, desktop, and mobile applications. The company is entirely self-fund- ed and has worked with more than 500,000 clients. Bal- samiq's success is as much about growth charts as it is about Guilizzoni's willingness to find the best talent possible regardless of location. Simply put, Balsamiq wouldn't have grown more than 4,000 percent since December 2008 if Guilizzoni had insisted all employees work from a central office in Bologna, Italy. The compa- ny's success story has been written by remote employ- ees scattered across nine different time zones in five different countries. Guilizzoni doesn't need to be told remote work is an effective way to run a company. But software compa- nies that have not embraced remote work need to take a long, hard look at these statistics. According to Global-, remote work has grown by 115 percent since 2005, nearly 10 times faster than the rest of the workforce. Between 80 and 90 percent of U.S. workers say they would like to telework at least part- time. A 2017 Gallup poll suggests about half of all tech companies offer remote work options to at least some employees. And let's not forget about millennials — an hen Giacomo "Peldi" Guilizzoni founded Balsamiq in March 2008, he technically was working out of an office (his bedroom) in Italy. The former senior engineer at Adobe amassed more than 1,300 paying customers and $150,000 in revenue within six months and was operat- ing at a healthy 80 plus percent margin as a solo entre- preneur. He turned heads in the software world when he opened Balsamiq's books on his blog, including list- ing actual revenue and expenses. When employee num- ber two came on board in March 2009, they were both still working out of Guilizzoni's bedroom. That was re- ally the only time the company had 100 percent of its employees working from an "office." Employee number three was hired in May 2009, and she was based in San Francisco, a 9-hour time difference. Just like that, Bal- samiq had support covered across the globe, a necessity since it already had customers in 56 countries. By the start of 2010, Balsamiq's revenue had grown to more than $1.6 million, and employee number four — who was based in France — meant half of the company's workforce was remote. Today, Guilizzoni can walk to Balsamiq's office in less than 5 minutes, but he rarely goes in. Instead, his software company has embraced a remote work men- tality that has allowed it to scale to 29 employees and Embracing & Optimizing A Remote Work Mentality A B B Y S O R E N S E N Executive Editor @AbbySorensen_ 25 SOFTWAREEXECUTIVEMAG.COM DECEMBER 2017

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