Got Gray Hair? Don’t Despair – This Non-millennial Entrepreneur Rejected VC And Won – Forbes
I have been watching ProductPlan for several years, as the founders are both friends and pillars of the Santa Barbara Startup Community. Without taking a dime of outside capital, the company has achieved impressive success in a competitive, SaaS market segment, landing companies such as Nike, Intuit, NASA, AutoDesk and PBS. What makes their story more remarkable, in the age of 20-something billionaires, is that both of the company’s founders are in their 50’s.
Curious to learn more about the pain and joys of bootstrapping a business, I sat down with Jim Semick, the company’s Co-Founder and Chief Strategist.
Greathouse: We’ve known each other for a long time but let’s start with the basics for my readers. Who is Mr. Semick and what is ProductPlan all about?
Jim Semick: I’ve been launching and managing software products for 15 years now, going back to when you and I worked together at Expertcity before it was acquired by Citrix. I have always worked on early stage products. Some of the products I’ve helped validate and launch include GoToMyPC, GoToMeeting and AppFolio.
Greathouse: Great products and companies that came out (of) Santa Barbara.
Semick: They are. I’m really proud to be a part of launching those products. Now I’m one of the founders of ProductPlan. We build product roadmap software – it’s a SaaS company based here in Santa Barbara, California. We’ve been in business for about four years now.
Greathouse: I’m familiar with product roadmaps, but what’s the big problem you’re solving?
Semick: We’re solving pain around communicating a company’s strategic plan. Most companies have a roadmap describing what they’re planning to build, deliver or market. It’s usually a spreadsheet or PowerPoint (deck) of the upcoming changes to a product or service. The challenge is that these roadmaps are a pain to plan and prioritize, get agreement from everyone, and then communicate it internally.