Lessons on taking the leap into entrepreneurship with Amaresh Ray
Amaresh Ray is someone who leaves you feeling inspired, energized and motivated to change the course of your career when you first meet him. We sat down with Amaresh, co-founder of Multiplier and active member of the Atlassian developer community, to understand what it’s taken to launch a business on the Atlassian Marketplace with the support of Atlassian Ventures, his advice for developers considering going down a similar path, and why achieving success on the Marketplace is closer within your reach than you may think.
Grab a cup of coffee or tea and take a quick break to get to know a fellow community member!
I had assumed that our ideal customer would be someone more mid-market, around 200 employees. We’ve learned that we’re increasingly able to sell to bigger customers than that.”
Why Atlassian Marketplace?
For 3+ years, I was a product manager on the Jira Service Management team at Atlassian. Part of my role was actually to pitch to developers why they should build apps for the Atlassian Marketplace. Through that experience, I started believing that [the Marketplace] was an incredible space to be in with a massive opportunity. I’ve always had an entrepreneurial itch, so I knew eventually I’d want to drink my own Kool-Aid.
Atlassian provides a solid foundation and does a lot of heavy lifting for you (for example, with programs for founders like myself to help us build a marketing muscle), so to me, choosing the Atlassian Marketplace to launch my company, Multiplier, was a no-brainer. I am constantly seeing ways in which Atlassian cares about the ecosystem and is willing to support developers within it.
The growth phase
My co-founder had a full-time job when Multiplier started. I had enough of a signal that this would be an interesting area for us to explore and so I pitched the idea of him joining me. Once we secured investment from Atlassian Ventures, it was possible for him to leave his current job and join me full-time.
I’ve always wanted to go the bootstrap route, so initially raising venture capital wasn’t something that appealed to me. However, when I did some research into Atlassian Ventures, I discovered how well their incentives aligned with the type of company I wanted to build.
The Ventures funding route took some of the pressure off because it gave us a longer runway to experiment, hone in on what we feel is resonating with customers, and gain early adopters who are engaged with us. It was probably around two months from the time we applied to the time we had the money in our bank accounts.
As we’ve begun to establish ourselves, a lot of [finding customers] has been us reaching out cold to members of the Community, pitching what we are doing, and asking them if what we’re creating would improve their day-to-day. It’s taught me to embrace rejection because ultimately, having open communication with your target audience will enable you to find out when you are on the right track.
Definition of success and challenges ahead
What success means to me within our business: how much time and money we save our customers. We’ve saved customers over 500 hours of manual IT work through our automation workflows!
Outside of our business: being able to control my own day and schedule (I have the freedom and flexibility to go to the gym more often, for example), and learning things I never would have been exposed to in my previous role—like learning sales and marketing, how to manage a team of freelancers, or raise investments.
Something that pleasantly surprised me that I would also consider a success is that I had assumed that our ideal customer would be someone more mid-market, around 200 employees. We’ve learned that we’re increasingly able to sell to bigger customers than that. The sales cycle when dealing with larger organizations can sometimes be a bit of a challenge, but it is still a lot more streamlined because we are part of the Atlassian Marketplace. We’ve benefitted from selling into some of these larger organizations and I never would have expected that to happen this soon.
Atlassian is rooting for you, Amaresh!
Whether you’re an experienced app developer or just getting started, we hope you took away valuable insights from Amaresh’s story. Being an entrepreneur takes empathy, resilience and perseverance, but we learned from Amaresh that the risk is worth the reward. Are you a developer looking to build your network, or meet like-minded builders and entrepreneurs? If so, we’d encourage you to connect with Amaresh on the developer community.
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