It’s all champagne, chocolates and balloons in the office for Sendible’s 7th anniversary. That’s 7 years since Gavin Hammar, South African born UK-residing developer, decided to throw caution to the wind, quit his job and focus full-time on making his product, Sendible, a leader in the social media management software space. From a small computer desk at home, Gavin launched Sendible on a server he purchased for £10, hosted in his apartment and the rest as they say is history.
And speaking of history, look what we managed to dig up to mark this occasion.
With over 125 000 users world-wide now and one of the most sophisticated social media management platforms on the market, it’s no wonder that Sendible has grown so significantly to become the only truly viable solution for businesses serious about social media marketing. Partnerships with other industry changing technologies, excellent customer support and a team of young, ambitious employees makes Sendible a force to be reckoned with, and something Gavin did not envisage when he set up his first server, offered Sendible for free to consumers and sold his first White Label to an agency who also saw the potential of this software.
To celebrate this auspicious birthday, I sat down with Gavin to give you all a behind-the-scenes look into how his mind works, and what he thinks of the journey he has taken with Sendible.
Q: So Gavin, tell us and any budding entrepreneurs out there, what were the first challenges you faced starting Sendible?
A: Well, aside from the usual challenges of essentially quitting my job and stability, backing myself to succeed and possibly plunging my family into a difficult financial situation, the initial challenge I faced was around the technology and being able to build a social media integration platform that could scale. Using my experience in development I was able to develop an extremely robust and scalable solution that could be used by tens of thousands of users. Now remember, Sendible was slightly ahead of its time in that companies were not yet treating social media as a serious business tool and I needed to find a way to monetize the solution (remember, quit my job, family to support). I resolved this by White Labelling the Sendible platform itself and selling a fully rebrandable social media solution to agencies to be able to resell onto their clients. This is how I managed to get Sendible through the beginning phase and allowed me to continue developing it.
Q: Aside from creating a successful platform that is used by over 125000 users to add value to their work, what are you most proud of with Sendible?
A: Truthfully I tend not to look back, and just look forward to what’s coming next, but I think I would have to say that 7 years later and with zero outside investment, with each year at least doubling in revenue, we are still here with no stakeholders to answer to except our users. That’s probably what I am most proud of - proving that a tech company can be successfully built without venture capital allowing us to stay focused on the end user.
Q: We all want to know what successful business owners do when they aren’t eating, sleeping and breathing work?
A: I enjoy reading business books. Since there are no board members to give me advice, I have to absorb as much as I can about business when I’m not in the office. I enjoy reading business books and listening to podcasts to help me generate new ideas. Elon Musk is one of my biggest inspirations, being a successful South African and always pushing technology and mankind’s boundaries. I am reading an interesting book about him at the moment. And since everything I am doing in my business is with my amazing family in mind, spending time with my wife and daughter is a top priority and we have our nightly “chats” where she tells me about her day at nursery over a stiff glass of milk!
Q: Finally, if you could change anything or redo anything over the last 7 years, what would it be? Hindsight being 20-20 and all?
A: I believe that everything happens for a reason, but if I could change something it would've been launching Sendible as a B2B business and not trying to target consumers back in the early days. Sendible was a free platform and I thought our target market would be consumers who would be willing to post ad-supported messages in order save time when posting to multiple social networks. It took me 2 years to realise that!
As Sendible now moves towards its 8th year, it is clear to see why Forbes called Sendible the next best thing to come out of the UK and The Telegraph London’s Rival to Hootsuite. With a strong team of talented, motivated people driving it forward, a down-to-earth hard-working CEO at its helm, no backers to hold it back and one of the most powerful social media management platforms on the market, all of us here at Sendible have much to celebrate this birthday!