If you’re a creative professional, you’ve probably realized at some point that designing and animating on a mobile device with Google Docs, Office 365 or Adobe Creative Cloud, feels much more awkward than on desktop. And that’s exactly where Kdan Mobile – a startup headquartered in Taiwan – has found a foothold in the ultra-competitive SaaS market. The company builds mobile software applications and online services that truly empower creators to leverage their productivity and creativity through a smooth mobile experience.
Founded in 2009, Kdan Mobile has blossomed into a global company with operations in Taiwan, China, and the U.S. The company’s products have been downloaded more than 120 million times worldwide. And to top it off, the company successfully raised 5 million USD Series A, in April 2018. Not too shabby for a startup that consisted of only three people in 2009!
So how did they succeed where so many other developing SaaS companies failed? As we’ll find out here, the answer lies in a strong teamwork culture at Kdan, one that constantly enabled them to overcome 3 common difficulties many startups face.
Everyone knows teamwork is important, especially when you start growing your user-base, and you realize it’s practically impossible to sustain the business with a solopreneur model. But when your team grows, teamwork becomes much harder.
Kenny Su (Founder & CEO, Kdan Mobile) believes, “As the company grows, we need to work with people from different backgrounds. You need to keep everyone on the same page and ensure transparency.”
At Kdan, everyone’s tasks, including the management’s are open and accessible for all to see. They can check what each other has done at any time with shared documents. Without this transparency, it’d be difficult to enforce accountability.
As most startups are resource-strained at the earlier stage of their developments, it is imperative for everyone involved to develop a keen sense on company finances. Balancing the need for growth, which takes up resources, and financial viability requires establishing a clear operational goal and a level of awareness from top to bottom. Since most Kdan staff are not financial experts, they need to take financial and administrative feedback into consideration if they are to make better decisions as a team.
And whilst most of your engineering and marketing team may be unfamiliar or even afraid of dealing with the account books, in our experience, that fear is misplaced. A basic grasp of the total comprehensive income and balance sheet usually suffices.
Startups constantly face market changes at different stages, so the responsibilities of your engineering and marketing teams evolve fast. This can be a challenge especially if your team is stuck in the “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” phase.
Teams that are flexible and willing to take on new challenges are critical to startup success.
Being an engineer is not just about coding. You need to stay connected with the market in order for the company to succeed. Ditto for marketers.
New challenges such as different email systems, SEO developments, or responsive web design are always looming on the horizon, so be prepared to crossover into unknown territory.
If your teams can keep abreast of new trends with tech newsletters, workshops, and even conference calls to exchange ideas with other SaaS providers, then share them in your internal brainstorming sessions, it becomes much easier – and more fun – to unearth the hidden gems that turn into your next breakthrough.
Kdan Mobile’s experience shows that startup success is firmly grounded in fantastic teamwork.
So if you are part of a team in a startup or small business, bookmark this page, print it out, and pin it to your wall, share the love. Because if teamwork catapulted Kdan Mobile to VCs-throwing-money-at-you success, we think it will work for you too.
Ever wondered what seamlessly crafting high-quality animations and designs as one cohesive creative team might feel like?
Now’s a good time to Create, Mash, and Inspire.