Cloud Talk: Michael Farrington finds AppExchange glory with zero start-up costs
Qandor publishes some of the AppExchange’s most popular tools for administrators. Its most recent offering—Field Trip—lets admins run reports showing the use of fields in any custom object, and had more than 500 installs within 3 months of its release. Although Qandor has experienced enormous popularity on the AppExchange, the company is managed and run by just one person—Michael Farrington.
Why did you choose to build a business around Force.com?
As an individual developer who wanted to create enterprise applications, I couldn’t have done it with traditional software. Force.com gave me the building blocks to found my own company. There are things inherent in the platform—like distribution, security, scalability, and performance—that I couldn’t have provided by myself.
What kind of investment did you need to start your company?
My main objective in operating Qandor is to raise money for nonprofit organizations, so minimizing costs is especially important. Free developer environments and supporting tools and resources mean that I can get to a working prototype for no cost at all. Security review costs have recently been significantly reduced, which means that now my go-to-market costs are also very manageable.
Was it difficult to get started?
No. I can do it all with ISVforce and the AppExchange. ISVforce is critical to managing my business and my company’s activity on the AppExchange. If a customer wants to test-drive one of my apps or see a demo, I can manage it all through ISVforce.
The AppExchange is a great distribution vehicle. The thing I like most about it is the “blowfish effect.” I’m a single developer running a business, but because of all the great tools salesforce.com provides to help me manage my business, it gives the impression that I’m a much larger company. Customers are continually amazed that Qandor is just one person.
What’s the best thing about partnering with salesforce.com?
The community. I posted my first app as a way to share code with all the cool people I had met at user group meetings, salesforce.com events, and on developer message boards. My favorite thing about being in the community is being able to say, “Hey guys, look what I built—what do you think?” I’m a big Force.com geek, and there’s nothing better than talking shop with other geeks.
What’s next for Qandor?
Last year was the first year that Qandor was able to make a four-digit contribution to our primary nonprofit partner, the Acumen Fund (http://www.acumenfund.org). I want to build on that momentum. We’re looking to release exciting enhancements to our most popular apps, and we have a brand-new app in the works that we think admins will love. Follow us on twitter to be the first to know (http://twitter.com/qandor).