How the startup you’ve never heard of is competing with Google Analytics

Today I have Maciej Zawadzinski. He is the co-founder and CEO of piwik PRO, which is Piwik for business. So what’s Piwik? It’s an open source alternative to Google analytics.

We’re going to hear how he came up with this business idea, how he grew it, and about the challenges.

Maciej Zawadzinski

Maciej Zawadzinski

Piwik Pro

Maciej Zawadzinski is the Co-founder and CEO piwik PRO, which is piwik for business. So what’s piwik? it’s an open source alternative to Google Analytics.


Full Interview Transcript

Hey there Freedom Fighters, my name is Andrew Warner, I’m the founder of, home of the ambitious upstart and I should say – You know I often say that this is the place where I do interviews and over 1000 entrepreneurs have been on here, but I got to tell you, what makes Mixergy interviews different is the in depth aspect of them. I know many people today who do start-up based interviews and entrepreneur based interviews will ask the same sort of wrote questions that bore you to death over and over again. What’s your favorite color, what’s your favorite quote, what’s your favorite book, that is no way to understand and entrepreneur, which is why I start off by asking about their families. I talk about the struggles, I talk about how they overcame them and that’s what separates Mixergy from any of those other sites. That’s the goal here and that’s the goal with today’s guest.

So who do I have on with me today? I have Maciej Zawadzinski. He is the co-founder and CEO of Piwik Pro, which is Piwik for business. So what’s Piwik? It’s an open source alternative to Google analytics. We’re going to hear how he came up with this business idea, how he grew it, about the challenges, etc., and it’s all thanks to my sponsor. And my sponsor is Lead Pages and, you know what, here’s what I’d like to do in this sponsorship message – I’m going to put out a call for anyone who knows how to create Lead Pages. You know Lead Pages, right? Those are those pages that say, “Want this book? Give me your email address” “Want to join this webinar? Put your name and email address and hit submit and you’ll get into the webinar”, etc. If you have an idea for how to create those, I want you to make those pages, Lead Pages will power them and so on, Lead pages will help sell them for you, and I will help sell them for you too. Well, at least I’ll help the first 5 people who do it by giving them free ads here. So I hope that makes sense, if you want to jump in and do it, go to Oh there’s an opportunity there to start helping others collect email addresses and grow their business and help you start selling real pages to real entrepreneurs.

All right. Maciej, welcome. Thanks for doing this interview.

Maciej: Welcome.

Andrew: Hey, to give people a sense of the kinds of companies you work with, how about tossing out some of the businesses. Who are some of the big name companies that are clients of Piwik Pro?

Maciej: So we work with various international corporate and government clients and a lot of them are companies like Hewlett Packard, Assistants, or Government of Netherlands, and Government of Canada.

Andrew: Why do they use Piwik instead of using Google Analytics?

Maciej: So there are various reasons. One and for most reason is they want to [?] data and they want to host them on their own servers, on their own infrastructure and that’s the primary reason why people turn to Piwik, because it’s one of the very few solutions in the market that can actually let you to self-host your data and have full control over it.

Andrew: What’s the deal with self-hosting your data? It seems like today nobody wants to host their data. If I’m doing a keynote presentation, Apple is – Apple’s iCloud is where I host my data, why do people want to host their data for analytics on their site?

Maciej: There are, again, various aspects of that. So first is privacy. With all the relations and the centralization of internet, this topic is very hot very simply and people realize that keeping too much data about their business can actually harm them and this data can be used by 3rd parties for their own business reasons and they don’t have full control over who and how use their data.

Andrew: All right, that makes sense.

Maciej: A couple aspects of that is – in case you want to track intranet, so you have your internal network and internal [?] applications, there is no other way than doing it with an old solution.

Andrew: All right, so this open source project that existed, you said, “Hey let’s turn it into a business that helps other businesses.” And in this interview, I want to find out how you did it, how you got started, and how you got those clients, but let’s go back and just get to know you a little bit better. One of the things I pride myself on is getting the origin, and one of the interesting parts of your story is, you used to – your parents were working, and who took care of you while your parents were working?

Maciej: Before I went to school, I spent a lot of time with my grandfather. I was pretty – a bit alone. I didn’t go out that much and play outside with all the children, so I was building Legos, I was playing with my grandma’s different [?] and I spent a lot of time at home. And I think that’s plagued me a bit, rather than like going out to play a ball

Andrew: you are smiling as you say this. Were you resentful of your parents for leaving you with your grandmother while they have to go to work?

Maciej: Hello

Andrew: There you go. The connection throws up for a moment. Where are you in the world by the way?

Maciej: I am in Poland in [??]

Andrew: Poland, All right. Well, we have a fairly decent connection for Poland. But it stuttered there for a moment. You were smiling as you gave that previous answer. Were you happy to be left alone or were you resentful that your parents were working so hard that your grandmother basically raised you. [??]

Maciej: I wasn’t that resentful. I know that sometimes I was bored when they came very late for to catch me from my grandpa and take home. So this was sometimes a long evening. But usually I was fine by myself. I had my own work my own challenges to solve. It made me happy I guess. I feel very well about that time.

Andrew: One of the challenges that you took on yourself happened when you were in high school. You decided to build an application to help your to help is it your dad’s business?

Maciej: Yeah, that’s correct.

Andrew: What’s his business?

Maciej: Yeah, that’s …

Andrew: Okay, the connection and another moment to catch up with this conversation. Before we started we did make, there we go. Before we started we did make sure that you were on Ethernet. But sometimes there is still a stall. So what was your dad’s business?

Maciej: So my dad’s business was office supplies. So it was office supplies for businesses as well as a chain of [??] of office supplies and Xerox machines and so on. And so yeah, when I was in high school I had to develop a system, I mean website. I built it from scratch. A system to manage the orders from suppliers. So it was a bit challenging because there are different suppliers different [??] that you need to make sure that you group the orders wide and you do that in the most efficient way. I did the three PHP applications for them to manage their that was used for a couple of years

Andrew: Why did you do that?

Maciej: I was passionate about programming. This was like a real first opportunity to build an application for the business and

Andrew: And it was a real business. And not just one of these projects that you would have been given if you were going in to coding school. All right.

Maciej: That’s right. And I was building a lot of software before just for my fad or for fun or I was passionate about Linux and open source and so on. So but I wanted to build something that is actually used by people and it wasn’t that easy at that time you know get some application for someone to use. This was I think the first opportunity that was given to me.

Andrew: Imagine if Bill Gates getting an opportunity to finally create something for the traffic department that counted cars or some government agencies that counted cars. It’s great to finally work on real projects. All right. Now that experience took you to where you were years later. Let’s fast forward on how you were building a brand new media company. What’s the media company that you were building?

Maciej: So it was an advertising network. It was actually the first advertising network for blog and like small websites in Poland. And so at that time usually the business was made on advertisement made on bigger [??] on bigger sites. There wasn’t anything for bloggers. And we came up with a plan with an idea of building an advertising network and stop doing all these like custom campaigns that did not involve on the banners but interviews, contents, different kinds of actions for the bloggers to involve for creating the content for the brand or testing the product or the brand. And this picked up very well. It was controversial because first bloggers said now they will lose independence. They won’t be writing independently because they will be no big companies that will pay them money. But eventually we got traction we raised some investment and we I was present with the company for around three years until we sold it.

Andrew: So this was actually 2007. They had already been in U.S anyway. There were blog advertising networks by then.

Maciej: Yes, correct. But it was the first time it was in Poland, so we were behind. We took a few examples, but we also did a lot of things different that was more market specific.

Andrew: What did you sell the business for?

Maciej: I think we need to take a step back, so it was an investment that we got – we ended up with only 30% of the shares with the company.

Because your investors got 70%?

Andrew: Yes, correct. And eventually we sold the company for around – evaluation was around 1 million – so it wasn’t that much, but still it was enough cash for us to start a new business.

You also had some challenges with the investors. What happened there?

Maciej: As you can see, there was 70%/30%, so we had our vision and our ideas and we were, for most of the time, after 2 years, we were told that we should do something different and it was our company that we created and we didn’t like it, so I often got screamed at that I didn’t make this 3 year projection or 5 year projection that was completely- that did not make any sense at this point. And at one point we were so frustrated that we said that it’s the last time we end up in such situation and we just need to get out.

Andrew: You mean your investor would just yell at you, “You didn’t make your projections, how dare you? Why are you doing it this way, you should be doing this other thing.” That’s what you’re talking about?

Maciej: Yep, yep. As well as that we didn’t meet them, yeah we didn’t meet the projections from a year before, that we were in completely different position and completely different [?], some things that we thought would work, they didn’t work, so we had to switch our business model to certain, different type of companies that we could actually successfully save, sell to the other advisers, and yeah, it’s created a lot of misunderstanding. Maybe not misunderstandings, but it ended up with quarrels about the money, about the way we manage company, about the way that we plan our product, and we didn’t – end of the day, we didn’t have much to say. We had to comply with what they wanted to do.

Andrew: Okay, this sounds awful. What advice do you have for something that’s listening to us who says, “I want to stay away from this kind of investor.” How do they do it?

Maciej: I think it’s very important to make sure that you stay in a [?] of your business and that investor is helping you rather than telling you what to do. We had – not a financial investor, but we had an investor that was in [?] advertising, but it was like a financial portal, so they had their own ideas about media, about sales, but it was different from our business, even though we are in the same state. And I think from that perspective, if you have your own idea and you want to just finance this idea, you shouldn’t give up control, you should just get a finance investor who will [?] to make maybe interest on the market, but did not interfere with what you are going actually to do.

Andrew: And then you discovered Piwik. What led you to that software?

Maciej: I discovered Piwik when I was creating brand new media. Maybe in the middle – somewhere in the middle of the brand new media. We needed a tool to power our statistics of the network and it made no sense to start from scratch because it simply would delay our product and I was looking for some base that we can use to double up our statistic system and I found Piwik, it was very early days, one of the first versions, and I thought “Yeah, that’s great. Maybe it needs some improvement, but it’s like 80% of what I need.” So I just started playing with the software, I started contributing, improving performance, fixing some bugs, adding translations to the system and giving feedback to some of the [?] features and I ended up using it successfully for the [?] advertising network and that’s how I got involved in Piwik, so maybe this story about the media isn’t that tragic because I discovered and become a part of a great project.

Andrew: At what point did you say, “This is such a great product, I think I can create a business with it.”?

Maciej: So I think this came a few years later. So Piwik was just a group of enthusiasts, like the founder, me and a group of other guys that contributed to it. From time to time or [?], it all depended on when we were at the time or when they were in there lives. And we started getting threats and we started to get covered in various publications, we got more users, we got more and more inquiries about helping people to customize Piwik or make it useful for their businesses and the more consulting requests we got, totally organically, I realized that could be huge. People really need it and people find it very useful. We got really positive feedback. We should start doing something about that. So in the beginning, we just created a consulting page, which featured us as consultants, then we got more inquiries and we —

Andrew: And the consulting page was on the site?

Maciej: Yes, it was just It was an [?] awful at the time but we just put a page – consulting – and put a few photos of us, who specializes in what, and a contact phone, and the moment we did it, we got more inquiries. Some people thought that it was free help, but some people, some of the contact inquiries were really big companies that were looking for help with Piwik. So we got contacts from companies like T-mobile or companies in other international corporates or governments and at some point we were a bit puzzled because we didn’t have a company for that, we were just acting as individual consultants.

Andrew: You know, I see here cache version of that page. It says Maciej is part of the Piwik team, has submitted numerous patches and core features, and then you describe what, which ones: Java Script patches, bug, etc. It’s kind of cool to see it — Who’s this other guy? Reddit. Is he another developer who worked free on the Piwik open source project?

Maciej: Yeah, I mean, everyone who got listed got there because they contributed at some point in time in Piwik. Unfortunately, some people are no longer contributor, no longer involved in Piwik anymore, but some of them stayed through today and we got also quite a lot of contributors to the project over time.

Andrew: I see, so this was the way for the Piwik project to say, “Look, all you people are contributing to us for free, if you’d like to start generating some revenue with this and also help out our users, we’ll add you to this consulting page.” And I can see at first, it was nothing but a link and then a little while later, I see a clear coat logo. That’s the new company you built I am guessing to do some consulting work on Piwik.

Maciej: It wasn’t planned for Piwik. So the moment I saw that brand new media, I found another company. I’m thinking there was an overlap for 1-2 months. We initially wanted to use this European project to fund our new enterprise, but it didn’t work out. It was good that it didn’t work out because we focused on actually making business and we had a god experience with [?] analytics already because of the advertising network. We had some contacts through Piwik and through some other of my personal connections with people – especially in the west – that were looking to develop their applications and they needed developers, so we opened a software house that focuses on providing development services for all the US mainly. We also had some clients —

Andrew: That’s what ClearCode was?

Maciej: Yeah, and that’s what Clearcode was. Like now, it’s a 75 people company . . . [??] . . .

Andrew: And you still own Clearcode?

Maciej: No. Clearcode is a company that is, maybe not investing, but it’s supporting Piwiks. So, the moment we realized that we needed to create a company for Piwik because of this whole big broad compacting [??], we need to look more serious than just a bunch of consultants.

Andrew: I see. That’s when you said, “We can’t just put a list of names on the page, we have to be a little bit more professional, but it looks like when I’m going to, the website, and I click on about, under management, you’re listed as the Chief Executive Officer.

Maciej: Yes. There are two founders of Clearcode. Clearcode and Piwik Pro are really connected together, and that’s what I was getting at. Clearcode is a software development house, and when we decided to open Piwik, we needed designers, [??], developers and getting them hired and creating the company from scratch, you need to finance it somehow. So, we made Clearcode-, Clearcode invested in Piwik Pro, and it’s like ongoing investor that provides financing and resources for Piwik Pro to grow.

Andrew: Excuse me. I’m sorry, but who owns Clearcode?

Maciej: I own Clearcode, and Dominik owns Clearcode.

Andrew: You and Dominik own it, and that’s your consulting company. You have developers within it, and it also then invests in PiWik.

Maciej: Yeah. Exactly.

Andrew: And Piwik pro. All right. Now, I got the series of events. Now, let’s jump over to September 2013. You have this consulting company, you’re contributing to this open source project, life is good, and you decide, ‘I’m going to create Piwik Pro’. That was September 2013?

Maciej: Correct.

Andrew: And . . .

Maciej: It was actually January 2014. So, six months or eight months earlier but because Matthew, founder of Piwik, lives in New Zealand, he comes only once a year to Europe to incorporate to start it really we thought, “Okay, we’ll start preparing for the business. We’ll start building the cloud and infrustructure for our probox. We’ll start planning some of what are we going to offer the customers” and so on. When we finally formalized this and founded the company in September, we were almost ready to launch.

Andrew: I see. So, it was nine months of saying, ‘Who’s the customer. What’s the product look like? Let’s start building it out.’ Then, when Matthew, the founder of, this open source project, comes from New Zealand to Poland, boom, that’s when you guys launched. But . . .

Maciej: Yeah. Exactly. That’s correct.

Andrew: . . . how did you know what should go into the product? It’s hard to come up with the product even if open source, the free version is out there, how did you know what you should turn into a business based product?

Maciej: It was a bit of intuition and a bit of the experience with the consulting requests.

Andrew: Okay.

Maciej: We had four years of doing Piwik consulting business. We more or less knew what were the problems of customers. How we can help them. We know what we don’t want to do. We don’t want to offer just consulting business this business once [??]. It’s [??] just with the number of people and to get . . .

Andrew: Yeah. Consulting doesn’t scale, but pays the bills and it teaches. What’s one thing that you learned from doing four years of consulting on that helped shaped what the product would be?

Maciej: That it can make a good revenue on consulting.

Andrew: But, you also said that it helped inform your intuition and helped inform the product decisions.

Maciej: I learned what kind of questions customers had, and how they use Piwik. I got a lot of feedback about Piwik from the customers. I saw mainly two things. There are customers that have to be on premise, and they need support and help with deploying Piwik, customizing it or tweaking for it. Then, they need ongoing support with upgrades or with any questions that they or their users and their business might have to do reports.

And the second thing that I learned was that, when you have a small to medium enterprises, it may be sometimes, for them, too expensive to get separate classes of servers to power their analytic software. So they still like Piwik. They want to, for example, host it within their country or within their continent. You know, Europe does not really like to host data in the U.S. after the NSA. So we felt like we needed to create a cloud fallback that just supports the service. And users can get, relatively cheaply, their computer up and running in minutes without much involvement from our side. So we need to automate the whole process. Billing and so on. And that’s how the two main fall backs were created. So Piwik Enterprise and Piwik Cloud.

Andrew: Okay. So you had an understanding of what they wanted. You started building it. You spent nine months on it. Matthew comes in. You’d expect, after all that work, that things would work out great. But you actually say that the launch was a bit of a disaster.

Maciej: It wasn’t maybe a disaster. Because maybe that’s too [laughs] too harsh.

Andrew: Listen, I’ve got to get people to keep listening. Let’s call it a disaster. It was awful! Now describe the disaster in a shocking way that makes people root for you.

Maciej: Okay. So what we planned is, because we needed a few more months, we planned the launch for December. For before Christmas. So that was the first mistake. And we had this major Piwik version coming. Piwik 2.0. A lot of things had changed completely from Piwik 1.X. So we were releasing that. We were also releasing, for the first time, Piwik Cloud. Which was the software to service the Piwik platform. And we thought that we would do the release and the announcement all at the same time. Ah, so there was a fourth component. We were launching our new website. So there were three launches in one week. And this simply cannot go, I mean, if you’re in IP, you know that it cannot go well. And we had problems with the website. We had migration of the content into…

Andrew: With the website?

Maciej: Yeah. So we were releasing three things. Piwik software, a completely new version with a lot of things changed.

Andrew: And this is the open source version. Anyone can get it. That one was, you were working on that open source project. So that was getting released.

Maciej: Yes.

Andrew: All right. So that’s one. The second thing was the Cloud.

Maciej: The Cloud. Which is also like, it uses the open source Piwik. But it has a lot of other components like billing, sign up, automated set up of Piwik, instances and so on. So there is a lot of components there.

Andrew: Okay.

Maciej: So Piwik Cloud is the second. And then, the third is that website. So we did a complete redesign. We changed the way the content was structured. And we had to just migrate the content to the new website and make it live.

Andrew: I see. And all that had to go at once and something had to give. What broke?

Maciej: Okay. So Piwik 2.0 had some problems. Some problems had problems with updating it. Because we also required Piwik 5.3. And I think it was something with compatibility checks that they didn’t work properly. And some users simply, after the upgrade, the software stopped working for them. And they started emailing us. Of course we don’t have to support the open source users but we felt that we had to. So we had to answer all these dozens of emails coming every hour. Then we had the website and this whole world migration. When you migrate hundreds of pages of content, and that was around what we had on, a lot of links broke or were not migrated successfully. So in some cases, we could fix it automatically. In some cases, we had to go in manually and fix the link on the site.

Andrew: What are some of the pages, oh, sorry, go ahead. And then there was also the Cloud. And what happened with the Cloud?

Maciej: With the Cloud, what happened. We didn’t make it on time. So actually it was hot automated. So the signups went in. The subscription for paper or whatever went in properly. But we had to create instances manually. Which means that when started signing up, giving Christmas and New Year’s e-holiday, we had to go in every day and create those instances manually on the server.

Andrew: Oh, that’s awful. That’s kind of like having to put CDs into computers and install the software, waiting for one piece of software to be done and then install the next. Is that what we’re talking about?

Maciej: Yes, it was more or less that. We had to go the creator of the installer of Piwik manually on behalf of the user.

Andrew: That sounds awful.

Maciej: That was awful.

Andrew: You said within a year you made about half a million dollars in revenue, despite all that.

Maciej: Yes, it was mainly the enterprise and our consulting business. Enterprise is yearly support plans for clients. We didn’t say no to customers that wanted our consulting, it is still one of our revenue streams. These were the two main products that were bringing in revenue, but right now Cloud is getting traction. We expect that Cloud should become half of our revenue by the end of the year.

Andrew: Can you remind me what the Enterprise product is?

Maciej: Enterprise is the service that we provide when you want to have on the premises Piwik. It means that you have Piwik on your own server. We do the setup, we do the configuration, we do the tweaking, and then we provide you support throughout the year. We also do training for our users, everything that you need to get the most out of Piwik that is hosted on your structure.

Andrew: Did the Cloud actually work? If people said, here’s my money, set it up for me, I want to be able to use Piwik the way I use Google Analytics on your system in Europe… did that actually work? Or were there bugs with that, too?

Maciej: No, that worked. The only thing that didn’t work was that people were signing up and we had to create those instances manually. The number of signups didn’t pick up until we released a new version of the Piwik Pro website, which was more customer friendly and generated much more conversions from the users who visited the site. In the beginning of the year, in January after the launch, we were getting a couple signups a week. Right now we are getting probably 10 or so a day.

Andrew: How did you get your first customers for Enterprise?

Maciej: They were customers that contacted us before we founded the company. When we started creating those [??][callbacks], they contacted us for consulting, but we sold those Enterprise packages instead. They came for consulting, and we sold them the support.

Andrew: I see. It’s kind of a nice transition. You’re saying, look, I know you want this on your system. You want us to help do consulting to get us there, but we have this Enterprise product. You pay annually, we’ll set it up for you, we’ll configure it for you, we’ll be there for support. It’s basically what they’re looking for with consulting, but with a clearer package and recurring revenue for you.

Maciej: Exactly. That was a pretty soft transition from the consulting business to the Enterprise model that we have. I think that because we had the community, a large user base, getting those leads for customers and inquiries wasn’t a problem. We had almost 6 years of our business, an open source community, developing an open source product. We’re pretty known on the market. Piwik was probably in the top 10 of analytics used in the world, even though we were making almost nothing at this in some months.

Andrew: I want to talk about that in a moment. But, what happens with this community of people, who are all working to improve open source software and contributing to it for free. And then they see that you and the founder of this open source software are creating a business. Do they start to feel… What was there reaction?

Maciej: There wasn’t any particular reaction. I think people were glad that there was somebody who answered all these inquiries that we were getting. It was almost like in forums or like from the inquiries that we see that people would be minding this service. And the communities gets much better product, because basically Peewee Pro can pay for several full time employees that work entirely on open source product, so the open source product got much better traction right now.

It’s developed much faster since we founded the business because we can actually afford, also the developers who work full time on the product and some of the other contributors also get bounties or they get one off projects or just, you know, or the right for working on the product, that they get earlier [??]. So I think it’s beneficial for everyone.

Andrew: And still, there was a period there where things weren’t going well. You got a lot of publicity when you started. Everyone cared.

Everyone was taking notice and then suddenly the publicity started to die down and you were feeling like maybe this isn’t going to work out and maybe I should be working on another project. Right?

Maciej: I think this was more like viewing before we founded the company. So

Andrew: Right.

Maciej: Initially, Peewee Open Source got a lot of publicity, a lot of traction. But at some times, it just died down and we were more or less like working on the product but nothing really major was happening.

And that’s around the time when I got more involved in Clearcode, in developing this component. And it was actually a very good decision because otherwise we wouldn’t be able to start with Peewee as fast as we did because we just basically took several of the developers from Clearcode, put them on Peewee code and we got traction right away. Especially, that some of these people already had experience with Peewee because I wasn’t able to have handle myself, the consulting requests that were coming and there wasn’t anyone else to handle them.

So we were actually, a few people at Clearcode were also working with Peewee to handle these consulting requests. So we already had people trained with Peewee. We already, we had the money to pay them even though that Peewee may not have revenue or may have very little revenue. So, it was very easy to bootstrap the company a year ago and we’ve got traction very ….

Andrew: So you’re saying once the company, once, by the time the company was ready to get started, this Peewee, as a movement, as software had already been established and all you needed to do was create the business layer on top of it. But before then, is when it was a little touch and go. Am I right? Before the …

Maciej: Yeah.

Andrew: Before the [??] 2013….

Maciej: That’s, that’s more that’s like, sometimes there wasn’t much happening. I worked Peewee development, I worked consulting. So, it was a time like you know, thinking of like maybe you know all these big analytics companies where they took over the market. Then there were Google like [??].

Peewee is a great alternative. We know that people need it, but there wasn’t so much people that would like to you know talk about it or use it. So, yeah, I think, I think there were such moments to think like “Are we going the right path?” At least for me and it’s turned out we were going exactly the right path.

Andrew: What about the time when you guys got hacked?

Maciej: That was pretty stressful. So, we …

Andrew: What happened?

Maciej: We hosted our software through Peewee, there was a Peewee Web site, which is just a WordPress based Web site. And we hosted Peewee software on the same server, and there was a back in WordPress, that helped the hackers to get in on the server and replace our file with the software.

So the people who were downloading the Peewee, they got actually a version that contained a [byword]. What was even worse, is that it was just after the update and once we release a new version, everyone gets an update that, “Oh there was a new version of Peewee. Click here to download.” And so which…


Andrew: And they all go to your site where they download not the actual version but a corrupted version with malware on it.

Maciej: Correct. We got some feedback from users within, I think it wasn’t even hours probably it was minutes, maybe one hour, two hours. And we fixed that right away but still we were like, we had to email. We received emails from hundreds of users that had some situations come that we had to announce it and there is still article in internet [??] that tell about this malware [??] that effects our reputation because some clients say that yeah O you have some Malware in the software is like, it really secure? and we put so much effort in [??] we hire X amount of consultants to review the software. We had a [SP] back bounty the program to that anyone who finds a [??] hole get a reward and we [??] to review the code before it is committed and then something like that happen. So it was a really stressful time and it effected, and I still think it affects us today.

Andrew: What do you think of this here? What is this you are allowing me, here let me put this in the [SP} scatchat…….. on of the sub domain on your site has a Netflix logo at the top. I have a theory on what that is but, I think I should just check in with you.

Maciej: Yeah.. so that is one of our customers.

Andrew: So Netflix is a customer this is where they log in to get there [??]?

Maciej: Correct.

Andrew: I see …… and so and if I would to look around I can see all your customers can’t I?.. right? [??]

Maciej: So there isn’t a way to really go about it with the way with the sub domains. You can scan the domains but we need to find those name so its not always that easy and the same would happen with any other software that provided your own domain like [??] that you can get all the customer info as well.

Andrew: Let talk about those… like I see [sp}… you know the way I do it, the guys over at similar web gave me account to use your software. I can see sub domains that people use. So Netflix is the most popular one but there is also bam ideas and spam titian and so on.

Maciej: Correct, You can actually change your domain to your customer number that not every customer does that and right now if you both [??]not that [??} but if you don’t really want to [??] you can set back your own custom domain.

Andrew: It doesn’t seem that big of a security in fact it doesn’t seem like a security breach at all just helps me understand who using and that brings up a question I have to ask as an interviewer. How do you get these guys? How do you get HP, How do you get T-mobile, who you get Forbs, how do you get wiki media? Wiki Media is maybe a little different but how do you get all these big clients?

Maciej: This is about that[??] open source pro act. Actual right now we expanded [??] and we building [??] like the first [??] person [??] in New York but so far It’s all organic leak that can simply be people who learn wiki [??] or use Wikipedia on their own as well and from there are many big companies that use [??] on there on we are not aware because we don’t track them. We fully be secured with [??} on your own network without anyone knowing about. I think that the beauty open source that we give people a lot for free and there are many that are coming back that want service that want to pay us to help them to [??] [??].

Andrew: I see in fact going back to [??] to see where you traffic is from the fast majority i would say over. Did I lose you? Let’s give it a moment let’s see if we can re connect… are you there?

Maciej: Yes.

Andrew: So I was saying is in fact I look at [??] the fast majority of your traffic over 90 percent is coming from [??].org. So its people that are on the open source project website who then click over let say one of these subsection about hosting and that when they discover [??].pro. That the advantage with working so closing with they open source project they get the customers,

Maciej: I think it should be consider one thing because Piwik Pro and Piwik behind that so Piwik Pro is that company behind Piwik and there was a community website which is Piwik Org and there was a business website which is Piwik Pro. And they are linked together even on the menu, you can switch between them on Piwik Pro you can go to community on Piwik Org. You can go…

Andrew: Back to Piwik Pro. And now I’m looking again at the site while you’re connecting. There we go. And so, the ownership isn’t the same. There is no ownership of It’s an open source project. It’s just that you worked with the guy who created it. He’s now part of and that gives you an advantage over these other sites like A2 Hosting for example, right?

Maciej: Yeah, I mean we keep because we have the vision that is in some way independent. We don’t want to crash all the open source users with Piwik Pro app and so on. So the A2 Hosting and our [??] Our [??] provider that provided Piwik One-Click install much before Piwik Pro was created. And we decide to keep them just to first thank them for [??]. And we make also some affiliate revenue from them. So if you sign up and they give us some part of the revenue. But this gives you different options so you can download and install on your server. You can use our official hosting or you can use the support providers. And they provide just hosting not support. And that’s I think the different shade of Piwik Cloud versus [??] providers.

Andrew: I see, so Machiej, if I were to take something away from this interview it would be if there is an open source project your are excited about see if you can partner with the person who’s running it and start a business to add more professional services to people who are already using it. If that open source project takes off and there are enough users, many of them will become your customers. That’s the thing I’m learning here.

Maciej: Yes, exactly, I think we see a lot with different open source projects. Of course some of them struggle a lot but there are quite a few successful open source projects that decided to open source their technology and go into services or software service business as opposed to just keeping their technology property because there are a lot of benefits from being open and being open for contributions and giving to people.

Andrew: Okay. The other thing I learned is do not partner with investors who are jerks. And do not give them such a big chunk of your business. Are you profitable now?

Maciej: Yes, we are profitable. Oh maybe I would say we broke even in several months. It’s not a business that is fully sustainable right now, there are some months that are a bit lower on the revenue. But it’s enough revenue to keep us going and

Andrew: What is your traffic number? Why do they go down? Considering the fact that you’ve got customers on a recurring revenue basis. What causes the reduction in your customer base and your revenue from month to month?

Maciej: That’s because the cloud is on the, right now maybe 20% of our revenue.

Andrew: Oh and the enterprise is annual but you don’t hit those annual repeats yet because you’re still about a year old.

Maciej: Yes, correct. Exactly. And there are also consulting business which from time to time we’ll still take even though we are moving to enterprise because this product can really [??] better than them. The consulting business and that’s why our revenue goes up and down. But it’s still going more and more flat and increasing rather than be so bumpy as it was so far.

Andrew: I see. What’s the revenue right now? Monthly, let’s say September 2014. Do you remember?

Maciej: September was a really good one. It was over a hundred K.

Andrew: Okay. And that is for a business that was about a year old at that point.

Maciej: So I’m talking about last September, right?

Andrew: What about this September? Last month?

Maciej: I thought it was this September.

Andrew: Yeah, this September about a hundred thousand. And the business started the previous September.

Maciej: I don’t have the number in my mind but probably it was less than 10K.

Andrew: Yeah, so this is tremendous growth, and you’re on the right path here. And it’s so good to see you do so well. Thank you so much for doing this interview.

Maciej: Thank you very much.

Andrew: You bet. Thank you all for being a part of it. Yes.

Maciej: Thank you very much [??]. Bye.

Andrew: You bet. Thank you all for being a part of it. Bye guys.

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