As we close out our second year, we want to thank the thousands of businesses who rely on Zapier and the hundreds of integration partners who trust us to make things easier for their customers. We don't take that responsibility lightly.

The following report is a behind-the-scenes look at the work that goes into bringing internet superpowers to the everyday professional.

What is Zapier?

Zapier gives you internet superpowers by making it easy to get your web apps to work together.

Want to save an email to Evernote? Check. Create Trello cards for new Basecamp projects? Check. Use Wufoo as a lead gen form for your CRM? Check again.

  • Founded October 2011
  • Launched June 2012
  • Headquartered in Mountain View, California

Where 2012 was about building our initial product and getting early traction, revenue, strategic partners and funding, 2013 was about:

  • Building our core team remotely
  • Adding integration partners
  • Supporting our growing our user base

Building Our Core Team Remotely

Our team doubled in 2013, going from four to eight, but more importantly, we added three vital positions to support growth: a systems engineer (James Carr), and platform engineer (Brian Cooksey) and a designer (Al Abut). We also added our first full-time marketer (Danny Schreiber) to ramp up our company blog.

In making hires, we doubled-down on being a remote team. Among our eight-person crew, we have people in San Francisco, Mountain View, Columbia, Omaha and Chicago.

While Enjoying Each Other’s Company

But just because we work remotely doesn't mean we don't get together and have fun. In March, the team came together for PyCon in Santa Clara and in August we all made the trek to Seattle for a week-long company retreat.

Adding Integration Partners

In December 2012, our integration platform supported 123 web services, most added by us but a few dozen added through our then recently launched developer platform. The platform, which is free to use, picked up momentum in 2013. By year's end, 131 new integrations had been added to Zapier, a majority of which were added by new partners.

Supporting our growing user base

Alongside the growth of our team and integration partners, our user base steadily climbed throughout 2013. By December 31, it had tripled from what it was one year before.

Supporting this escalating user base meant quickly maturing three parts of our business:

  • Customer Support
  • User Experience
  • Engineering

Customer Support

At Zapier, we've always followed support-driven development and in March we formalized the process to help speed up ticket responses. Doing so was significant, and though it resulted in faster response times, it didn't address our overall increasing support load.

So, in July, we began to empower people to find answers themselves, by releasing help documentation for as many integrations as possible. Instantly, the number of support queries decreased by a noticeable margin.

User Experience

The January version of Zapier was drag-and-drop and playful, with the homepage allowing users to immediately begin making integrations. Our hypothesis was that the faster a visitor began using the product, the more likely they'd be to sign up.

Unfortunately, that wasn't the case. Drag-and-drop didn't work well on mobile devices and visitors left when they didn't see an obvious sign up button.

So we implemented a more traditional homepage featuring an obvious call-to-action to sign up and we began using simple click actions instead of the drag-and-drop editor.

These changes brought conversion rates for new sign-ups to active user from 34% to 50%.

Though the February redesign was an improvement, Zapier’s user experience was still limping along as the product had been created and designed by engineers — a designer’s touch was sorely needed. Thus, as previously mentioned, we began working with a designer.

As a result, in early December we launched our second major design update.

Engineering

Handling millions of API calls every day is not a simple feat. By the end of 2013, Zapier was run by over 70 servers on Amazon’s Web Service, up from a mere dozen at the beginning of 2013.

Zapier is all about choosing the right tool for the specific job at hand. On the engineering side, that goes double. We employ several different databases (MySQL, Redis, Elasticsearch, RethinkDB, RedShift), a handful of different frameworks (Django, SQLAlchemy, Puppet, Backbone.js) and of course a few of our favorite languages (Python, Coffeescript/Javascript, Ruby).

Embarking on new adventures

We have long list of wonderful surprises in store for our users in 2014. Expect to see higher-quality integrations, better Zap recommendations, ever-improving support. And for those of you who aren't Zapier users yet, your virtual cape is awaiting. Activate your internet superpowers today.

Keep up with our progress

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Or explore more of our 2013 story by visiting our blog