01 May 2018

Chad Brown from Orangedox

Chad Brown is CEO and Co-Founder of Orangedox, which provides document tracking for Dropbox and Google Drive and is headquartered in Vancouver, Canada. Chad is an avid climber and hiker and has even visited Everest Base Camp in Nepal.

You’ve pivoted Orangedox a couple times. Where do you get the data and ideas that have lead you to make the decision to pivot?

I tend not to think of what we’ve done as pivots but rather as simply evolving the product. Typically, most of the ideas for changes to our product have come from direct feedback from our customers.

In addition, we’ve also done a variety of surveys with our customers. When customers leave the product we reach out to find out why. Usually, this is done as a personal email, as we’ve seen much higher response rates when doing it that way. Also we’ve run a “question of the week” survey on our weekly activity report that allows us to gauge what kind of future features are important to our customers.

You ran a service-based company before this. What made you want to switch to a product-based company?

For the past 15 years I’ve run a service company that provides Business Intelligence consulting services. Around 5 years ago I decided I wanted to try building a product rather than just providing services. I think after 10 years of running the same type of business I felt like I needed a new challenge and coupled with the fact that I’m an engineer, I felt the push to build my own product rather than just consult on someone else’s.

What’s been your biggest challenge with running the business and how have you approached solving it?

The biggest challenge has been trying to understand how to effectively market our product. With my service company everything was word of mouth so I never needed any real marketing.

Being a bootstrapped company we don’t have large budgets for marketing and we needed to find creative ways to get our product out there. This lead us to do things like crash the Dropbox user conference and hand out Lego mini-figures to get face time with their CEO Drew Houston, or spend countless hours answering online questions for people about how they can better leverage their documents in hopes that we can later win them over to our product.

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