2012 is the first complete year Zapier has been in business and it's been a whirlwind of a year. We thought it'd be fun to take a trip down memory lane and look at the top 12 posts on the Zapier blog from this year have been.
Developers have a knack for not believing in themselves and for questioning whether or not any good product will succeed. The good news is that if you are a developer "you are the exception to the rule." Most people can't program. Most people don't want to learn to program. If you can build a simple SaaS application that automates tedious parts of someones job then you can sell that for good money and make a living. Don't worry about what the haters say.
A year ago Mike, Bryan and I were literally three dudes hacking nights and weekends to build a product. A year later we've built a successful product, got paying customers and landed a spot in Y Combinators summer batch. This is our story.
Bryan, Mike and I aren't formally trained programmers. We all picked it up for fun and to scratch an itch. Bryan shares his experiences learning to hack and the tipping point that helped him become a full time developer and a technical co-founder.
Finding customers as an early startup is one of the hardest tasks around. It seems harder when you don't have tens of thousands of twitter followers, a happening blog, or a huge email list. This post runs you down a few of the basic things you can do to get early customers when you aren't internet famous.
Building a product from scratch that will support you, a co-founder and your collective families is hard. Really hard. Worst of all it doesn't come with a playbook. So what was our approach? Talk to customers and potential user. A lot. Like a whole lot.
When you want to put together a web applications or a prototype really quickly like commonly done at Startup Weekends and Hackathons it's often nice to rely on tools that can handle a lot of the heavy lifting without you actually having to write a ton of code. Mike demonstrates in this post how he built PRLibs using webhooks, Zapier, and Posterous.
99% of the time buying is the best decision for a startup. That may be a slight exaggeration, but the sentiment is true. This post outlines when and why building might be a good option for certain processes in your startup.
Support for web applications can be fun, challenging, crazy and a whirlwind. Zapier supports hundreds of web applications because Zapier provides integrations with hundreds of web applications. This post outlines how we handle the madness.
For the longest time the Zapier free plan was limited to to five hours syncing. Now it's 15 minutes. The people rejoice.
Backbone can be pretty complex for new users. Mike outlines how he got his feet wet building a Backbone Chrome extension for Zapier.
Sentiment analysis is pretty dang hard. Always has been. The Semantria integration with Zapier lets users easily do sentiment analysis using hundreds of different sources and no need to write complex code or deal with APIs.
Finding lead sources is tough when you don't know anything about marketing. Any easy way to tap into existing marketing expertise as a developer is to build a useful integration with an existing service and tap into their marketplace.