Recently I had a chance to ask some questions to Asad Khan, CEO at LambdaTest. I hope you enjoy this post and find some useful takeaways!
What is your company and how did you get started?
Today we live in a time where all the work can be done online, let’s say you want to order food, shop clothes, book doctor appointment etc. you name anything and that can be done with a few clicks. This is the power of a website or a web application.
Now, every day thousands of business launch new websites and web application for their business. We know all of them do not succeed due to various reasons and one of them is Cross Browser Compatibility.
What it means is that no matter what device or OS or browser a user visits your website on, it should look stable and pixel perfect. This is one area which is of key importance but is missed by majority of new business/startups as testing a website on a number of browsers & OS is a very tedious task and requires huge cost of infrastructure setup.
LambdaTest has eased this pain point of web testers and developers. We have provided a cloud based platform where user can perform cross browser testing on a combination of 2000+ various devices, browsers & OS. The platform is aimed at designers, developers, testers, product managers, and owners who are stickler for perfection and understand the importance of seamless user experience.
It fascinated me to see what Adobe has done for the designer community by creating an umbrella for different designing tools for better work output & integration. That concept stuck in the back of my mind and I started to think what can I do for the community of testers and developers so that I can help them save the amount of time they put in testing. Being a part of the tech community I have worked with all types of testing teams across the globe during my stint with 360 Logica. I could easily see that there is no platform that offers seamless integration with various testing tools under one umbrella. Keeping this problem statement in mind, I put together a team and started working on LambdaTest platform in early 2017 with the aim of creating a platform that helps users to perform both automated & manual cross browser testing on cloud.
How did you validate your idea for the product?
I realized very soon that what I am hoping to build has a very vast scope if I can make it work, such an indigenous platform will help saving precious time of testers and also make the entire process easy. To validate the idea I started dialing all the contacts I have made and I was amazed to see such positive response. Contacting them not only validated my idea but also gave me a lot more ideas on how to make the platform more useful. It took roughly 2-3 months to finalize the first set of features to go live as minimum viable product.
How did you generate traction for your launch?
This certainly is the most interesting part where I never get tired of talking. So this happened when I was making the calls to my colleagues for validating the idea, as the feedback was positive they also asked me to get back once the product is ready to launch.
It took almost 2-3 months to breathe life into the product after which I made a few calls and yes that got us our very first customer. The launch was without much fanfare. We had a minimum marketing budget at that time, so no fancy ads or paid backing from influencers."Motivation is the key that can make or break your startup anytime" Click To Tweet
As we had an experienced team we had the benefit of contacts each member had in their mailing list. We took email as the first step of introducing the product, then we reached on social media for promotion, took help from well-wishers. Quora also helped us in getting traffic on our website along with Reddit & Hacker News.
We did had a very successful product launch on product hunt with over 800 upvotes which got us little over 1000 users in a single day.
After a couple of months we realized the feedback is mostly good so we started investing more in marketing & promotions. We paid more attention to our website, leaned how SEO can help implemented the strategy we learned from Neil Patel to get traffic. The next boost was via word of mouth from users. We had very robust support and feedback cycle and we made it a point to personally connect with and every sign up. This level or personalized support was something that users have not seen in this industry, and because of which word started to spread about LambdaTest.
What is your business model and how have you grown your revenue?
LambdaTest is a subscription based product and with its premium plans you get unlimited access to machine of your choice, on-demand, right in your own native browser for both automation and manual testing. So we have our plans revolving around the logic of concurrent sessions which means number of machines you or your team can engage at a single moment. The higher concurrent sessions the greater the amount charged.
Revenue wise, we are growing with an average rate of 25% month on month.
What specific things did you do well and what were the results?
As told earlier we had very limited marketing budget at the time of launch so we had to make sure that we do almost all possible organic marketing to boost the reach of the product.
The first task was to identify various platforms that can give us the required reach and help us gain the customers. As LambdaTest started functioning some months before actual launch of product the marketing team had enough time to brainstorm about what platforms to focus on.
So we laid our focus on channels like Quora to create a pre-launch boost by adding specific questions related to LambdaTest and answering them after the launch.
We started to work on various tech related communities like Medium, Dev.To etc where we discussed about LambdaTest features in detail, and during the launch social media and product hunt were our best friends which gave the product a rocket launch.
What tools played a key role in getting you to where you are today?
Now after one & half year of launch we have worked with a number of tools which we needed from time to time.
There are different tools for developing the product, different for marketing it, different tools for customer support and yes they all have played a tremendous role in our success today.
To name a few we work with various marketing & customer success tools like Intercom, SEM Rush, Mention, Zoho, Skype etc. Our product is built with help of various languages like React, Selenium, PHP etc. and for payment we use Stripe.
Anything else you’d like to add?
Every day a number of startups opens and shuts down, while the intention of each one of them is good however they close not because they did not tried but because they could not sustain. So before embracing the entrepreneur journey one needs to as himself/herself “Am I sure?”
- Are you sure you have noted down the exact pain points?
- Are you sure your tech and product is scalable enough?
- Are you sure you are working with the right team?
- Are you sure that your product has the best possible user experience?
Secondly, in my experience I have seen both success and failures and managed to survive both because I was motivated. So motivation is the key that can make or break your startup anytime.
Best places to learn more?
I hope you enjoyed reading this interview, please feel free to ask any questions in the comment section, and I will be happy to answer.
Here are my personal takeaways from this interview:
- It helps to solve your own work-related problem. There is a good chance other people in your position are facing the same issues.
- Talk to your potential customers – call them, get together if possible and see what feature ideas people keep brining up. I see far too many founders asking how they should structure their surveys far too early in their customer development process.
- Tap into your team’s network of contacts and mailing lists. Here’s an idea: have friends in the industry? Cross promote each other’s product if there is a fit for both audiences. Get on each other’s podcast, guest blog post, in-person interview, etc.
- Be where your prospects are asking questions.
- Build on popularity of other products in the market by integrating with them. Attach yourself to an existing ecosystem and make it stronger – great way to gain traction from that tool’s integrations page.
- Digging a bit deeper (not covered in the interview): create a unique integration page for each tool you integrate with – a great way to attract organic traffic.