August 10, 2014 1 reply
Angel, please introduce yourself…
My name is Angel Grablev and I am the CEO of Freedcamp, the free collaboration platform. I’ve been a web developer for over 10 years and have had a remarkable career from building the first HTML5 framework (52framework) to developing websites for musicians like Jack Johnson and Lenny Kravitz.
I started my first business when I was 16 building an advanced gamer social network that helped unite millions of users online.
What’s the story behind creating Freedcamp and can you explain how it works?
After using Project Management in multiple companies as a successful method for organizing work between a group of people I ended up discovering a missing puzzle in the world around us.
I was organizing a camping trip with friends and of course the first thing I did was open Gmail and send an email to all my friends. After 12 RE:RE:RE:RE:RE i realized this process of organization is just like what I had previously experienced in companies not using Project Management.
I knew right away there needed to be a better way for the everyday person to organize their hobbies. Fast forward 5 years later we run one of the most utilized Project Management systems on the market… and it’s completely free.
Our system works a lot like your iPhone/Android device in that it provides you the core set of applications completely free then with our marketplace you extend your usage of the platform to fit your needs.
We give you all the tools you need to organize a successful project completely free. When you need to use Freedcamp in some business related fashion, like keeping a list of your clients with our CRM application or billing your client with our Invoices application, you purchase those specific applications from our marketplace.
How’s traction working out so far?
Freedcamp has been growing very rapidly reaching 330,000 users. We have seen a lot of our KPIs raise significantly since we secured funding a few months ago.
Thanks to the funding we will continue to build our big dream which has the potential to become the standard tool in organizing anything with a group of people just like Gmail is the standard for email and Facebook is the standard for social networking.
What strategies are you using to market Freedcamp?
We’ve had the same strategy since day one. Build a quality product and offer it completely free.
By doing this we have seen thousands of websites online write about us without spending a dime in advertising. We hold many first spots in google search results because over time our quality SEO and product have caused people to choose our system over other results.
If you were to start Freedcamp over again, what would you do differently, and why?
The biggest mistake we made (which i’ve heard others have done as well) is to write our own Recurring Billing system. We spent almost 3 months doing it… then ended up using Chargify anyways because it was way too much for us to maintain.
I also would of liked to create a strong 10 customer test group that I can run my decisions by as a good balance system.
We made a lot of decisions early on that had no impact to a vast majority of our users so we just wasted time building them with no pay off.
What’s next for you and Freedcamp?
We would like to continue to skyrocket our KPIs and raise a strong Series A at the end of the year which will let us pursue more adventurous goals that will have the potential to change the game for us. Let’s call it the secret sauce.
I find my happiness knowing that others are able to benefit from my legacy. I know I am going to die one day and I want to make sure to do something that I know will make the world a better place. That’s kind of an easy motivator for me.