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UptimeMate / Utilities / Netherlands

How Peter & Frank bootstraped a Monitoring Solution - UptimeMate Story

Hello ! Who are you and what are you working on?

Hi, I am Peter Steenbergen and I am working on UptimeMate. A monitoring solution for finding problems on your website. We all known there will be some problems with it eventually.

What motivated you to get started with? How did you come up with the idea?

I have worked more than 37 years in the IT field. And with every company I have ever worked there was no other person than me which was responsibly for the hosting and uptime for all the websites of the company.

This monitoring was in the beginning mainly the customers calling that the email service is down, or the website unresponsive. If you have several hundred domains to monitor many services where very pricey. And next to that you needed more than one time to monitor specific kind of services.

So with scratching my own itch I kept thinking of building a monitoring solution myself. Last year I spoke to Frank and he was looking for a Software-as-a-solution to build and was happy to join the party. Frank is a very good designer so he is building the design and frontend stuff. I on the other hand am working on the backend side and cluster management with the helping build the frontend with some technical challenges.

Can you tell us the story of your business from idea to where you are now?

It all started last year with drawing out some plans and soon we thought that just monitoring the uptime would not be enough to make a successful product to launch. For this first version we are launching now with speed insights, resource summaries, assets sizes, mixed content, 404's, SSL monitoring next to Uptime monitoring and more..

What has been your biggest failure or struggle?

Getting so far that we can launch the first version. Some major upgrades, and the occasionally changing API's from vendors which did not communicate with the changes.

And what has been your biggest achievement or success?

Actually launching the beta. After all the time and sweat we put into it, we just sended a batch of 50 invitations to beta user for the first release. We got nearly 600 subscribers with potential to be coming a customer. So that is a big achievement for us.

Since launch, what has worked to attract and retain customers?

We are still trying that out. But building an audience on Twitter and LinkedIn is high recommended. Occasionally share something you are working on.

Describe the process of launching the business.

  1. thinking about the idea
  2. start building
  3. re-thinking the idea
  4. look at more competitors
  5. re-think/rebuild the idea
  6. looking for a payment provider
  7. building the api
  8. change the payment provider
  9. building more features
  10. redo some stuff from the beginning
  11. Collect some feedback and iterate
  12. Launch in batches

Did you use Betalist or PH or other Startup Launching Platform for Launching ? How was that experience ?

We used BetaList and alos BetaPage and both got us many subscribers for the beta.

What’s your business model, and how have you grown your revenue?

Software as a service based on the number of sites or team functionalities.

What are the biggest challenges you’ve faced and obstacles you’ve overcome? What are your goals for the future?

Our goals is to be the number one go to for monitoring services. Good pricing for many options. We use and pay with the product ourselves for our own customers.

Let’s talk about your marketing strategy -- how do you market UptimeMate and grow the service? 

This is something we are still working on, but it will be some affiliate and reselling, next to paid advertising.

Through starting the business, have you learned anything particularly helpful or advantageous? 

Yeah, working together and accept each other as we are. We are both different kind of persons and with the ultimate end goal, a very good product, in mind we get further than some of the greater teams in the wild.

What platform/tools do you use for your business?

PHP, Javascript, Redis, Elasticsearch

Who’s your most inspirational CEO or founder?

Shay Banon of Elastic

What have been the most influential books, podcasts, or other resources?

Company of One, Paul Jarvis.

What’s your advice for fellow aspiring entrepreneur who are just starting out?

Do not give up when some challenges occur. Embrace it, and look at the horizon to your goal. Sometimes your horizon lies behind a mountain, and you have to climb to see the view from the top.

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