In 2012, Xpand IT was doing custom development for exporting information from Jira into mail letters, similar to Mail Merge in Microsoft Word. Recognizing a market need for issue exporting, the company decided to take it all the way and develop an app with a roadmap and feature list far beyond the customer’s requirements.
Xpand IT contacted several big customers for beta testing, feedback, and guidance. “I think it’s very important to not only consider what your competitors are doing, but to also have people that really need the product helping you to choose the right features,” explains co-founder and CTO Pedro Gonçalves.
Xporter for Jira, the company’s first app, launched not long after the Atlassian Marketplace did. Says Gonçalves: “So we decided to just try it out, see how it works, and try the billing process through Atlassian. It was a surprise for us that we started getting lots of trials and slowly customers purchasing through the Marketplace.”
The company’s main objective for the first year was to get a big number of installations, product feedback, and customer reviews to refine and improve the product while gaining visibility on the Marketplace. “Once you reach a certain number of installations and you have a good average score in reviews, it starts growing by itself. You don’t actually need a big sales team,” says Gonçalves.