After having met in Ghent and Redwood City, iText Group NV chose the iText Offices in Boston as the location for their third board meeting of the year. The main topic of this meeting was to follow up on the decisions made in Redwood City, and to further discuss the "blind spots" we found in the business plan we discussed during the previous board meeting.
When we discussed sales and marketing, we discovered a strange coincidence.
iText is downloaded from many different places, but for the sake of simplicity, we prefer working with the downloads on SourceForge. For instance: this is the top 12 of countries regarding iText downloads between January 1st, 2013, and March 31st, 2014:
When we compare with the top 12 of countries regarding iTextSharp downloads, we find the same 12 countries (although in a slightly different order):
Now when we look at Google Analytics, and we ask for the top 12 countries visiting the iText site, the very same countries are in the top 12:
Why is this important? Well, let's take a look at the pie chart showing the sales of those same 5 quarters:
Four countries that are in the top 12 of "users of iText/iTextSharp" are not in the top 12 of "customers of iText/iTextSharp": Spain, China, Mexico and Brazil.
Belgium isn't in the top 12 of downloads/visits but its fifth place in the sales ranking is the result of the efforts done by the Belgian office. India and China score very high in the downloads/visits ranking, but not that high in the sales ranking (India is #12, China is #29). The same goes for Mexico (#30) and Brazil (#43).
If you ever wonder what happens at an iText board meeting, then this is a good example: based on numbers, we make decisions to be executed by the iText management. Over time, the actions performed by the iText staff will result in new numbers. Based on these new numbers, the board evaluates if the approach was correct, or if a different approach is necessary.
All of this used to happen in the head of the founders, and the decisions made weren't always backed by numbers. Now that there's a board, things are much more organized. We're already looking forward to the board meeting that will take place in Ghent in July.