When you hear an Aussie describe his bootstrapped company, you’re forgiven if your mind flashes to images of cowboy boots kicking up dust on the world’s driest continent. But neither entrepreneur Bryce Adams nor Metorik, an Australia-based software company, are standing still long enough for any dust to settle.
In August of 2016, Bryce quit his solid day job to pursue his dream: develop a software application that provided a desperately needed reporting solution for companies using WooCommerce, an open-source e-commerce plugin for WordPress.
“I was determined to build the product I always wanted even if it meant giving up an incredible job and lifestyle to start from scratch and hope for the best. If you don’t build your dream, someone will hire you to help build theirs.”
He started simply, armed only with a vision of a better way, a prototype he’d built in his spare time, and his savings account to sustain him. The clock was ticking to get a viable product in the hands of paying customers before the savings dried up. He spent nearly every waking hour developing the product, had it in beta within two months, launched it a month later, and had ten paying customers by the end of the year.
Bryce says his goal for Metorik, in the beginning, was highly focused: provide something people would actually pay for so that he could pay the bills. Metorik’s first offerings were reports.
“WooCommerce offered some basic sales reports, but most customers want so much more than that. Our strength is giving our customers around the world a wide variety of reports and data analysis tools, and letting the customer customize them to their needs. What’s so great about this is that our customers use their data and reports in wonderful ways that I never planned for or imagined. So Metorik isn’t just one solution; it’s 100 different solutions to 100 different problems.”
Bryce and his team have since added a robust slate of efficiency tools, such as email automation, to Metorik’s list of features. Bryce describes Metorik’s product development philosophy as clear but ambitious. “We provide e-commerce stores with the tools needed to grow. If they grow, so will we,” he said.
As the entrepreneurial adventure continues, Metorik is looking to conquer new challenges. “We’re providing a very tailored product for the stores that use our product, and we always want our customers to feel like our product was built for them since day one,” explains Bryce. “Accommodating our customers’ needs as they change over time is our ongoing challenge. That will lead us in the future to integrate with other platforms such as Shopify. As we see it, our mission isn’t to serve a platform but to serve e-commerce companies as a whole.”
Metorik is a bootstrapping success story, not just because the product receives tons of praise and the company is profitable, but also because the founder and current staff get to spend their days doing something they love and find fulfilling. “I love that we get to help similar businesses, small- and medium-sized businesses that I can relate to,” said Bryce. “I get what they’re struggling with and what makes them happy. Plus, our work is fun. We get to work on a variety of technical challenges, and, since we’re a small shop, we all get to work on everything.”
An IaaS Partner, not a Provider
Another aspect of the business that Bryce loves is the service he receives from his infrastructure as a service provider, Linode.
“When I started looking around for a partner, Linode’s reputation in the PHP community preceded them, and it is well earned. From the start, we were looking for a partner, not a provider. Some of the large providers see us only as a transaction. Linode is the kind of partner that will be with us from the start, today, and beyond.”
The partnership is exemplified in the level of support Metorik receives from Linode. “I love that what’s my problem is their problem, and I get help immediately. I don’t have to wait it out while my request works its way through tiers of service levels,” said Bryce. “If I ever have an issue—and let’s face it, there will be issues with infrastructure services from time to time—I can speak with someone on Linode’s end within a minute. No one at Linode ever says, ‘Oh, sorry, the problem is not on our end.’ My issues always get acknowledged, checked, and resolved. And I don’t have to pay extra for that level of service.”
In fact, says Bryce, pricing and a great suite of products are the other benefits of Linode that Metorik particularly values.
“Linode offers a suite of products that is very tailored to what companies like mine really need—not thousands of products that don’t help me. The products they provide put Metorik on a level playing field with much bigger companies, and the pricing is very affordable and easy to understand,” he said. “Linode was affordable in the early days, and it is still affordable today. From one customer to thousands, we haven’t outgrown Linode.”