TMO got together with the President and CEO Alykhan Jetha of Marketcircle at Macworld to talk about his company, their Mac only Daylite 3 productivity suite, and their new Billings 2 software.
Daylite 3 is a software package that elegantly ties together calendaring, projects, tasks, contacts, and also integrates with Appleis Mail app.
The Mac Observer: Mr. Jetha, how did Daylite come into existence?
Alykhan Jetha: Please. Call me "A.J." Daylite was an accident. Originally, we were trying to better organize our Website development business. So we put together an early version on the Mac, for a single user, for our own internal use.
TMO: What happened next?
A.J.: Well, it was written in Cocoa from square one. It was still rather crude. But then, by word of mouth, someone at Apple saw it. They were amazed and told us, "You gotta sell this!"
TMO: And so you started the Mac development...
A.J.: Yes. Right away, we came to realize that the Windows environment was hindering progress in this area. This was back in 2001. There was little competition, people were not on their toes, and no one was trying to make a difference. We decided to make a difference. We started working on a networked version, but the single user version of Daylite 1.0 shipped April 5th, 2002.
TMO: Can you characterize your current customers?
A.J.: Weive seen that about 50% of our current customers are switching, or thinking of switching, from Windows to Macintosh. Also, our sweet spot is small busineses. Companies with, say, from one to fifty employees.
TMO: For awhile, I used Daylite personally for a project, and I thought it was somewhat expensive for an individual.
A.J.: Perhaps. But at the sweet spot company size, weive found the price is just right because they appreciate the cost versus value. Occasionally, when we offer a promotion and lower the price, our sales have actually gone down.
TMO: Do you see future integration with the iPhone?
TMO: Okay, letis move on to Billings 2. What was the motivation there?
A.J.: Billings was designed as a standalone product that is targeted towards a different business audience -- the single user, say, a freelancer who isnit the typical Daylite customer. The unexpected fallout was that many Daylite users clamored for integration [with Billings], and we have since obliged.
TMO: But Billings 2 can be used stand alone?
TMO: What is important about Billings 2?
A.J.: It has a great built-in time tracking system, sets up projects, and can generate really first class, professional looking invoices to bill clients.
TMO: Who do you think your biggest competitor is?
A.J.: Right now, itis hard to say. Microsoft Exchange and Outlookis project management scheme are an imposing proposition for a small business. But Daylite works perfectly for them. In addition, we have a great system for delegation, reporting and professional looking invoices for that size business. We have an open API for plug-ins like the Apple Mail Integration plug-in, and we have f-script as an internal scripting tool. We have a training program to help our partners (resellers) learn how to customize the application for end users. There really isnit anything else like it. But, of course, that may not remain so forever. I would add that we are hard at work making sure Daylite stays ahead.
TMO: Are your customers happy with the Apple Mail app as the only e-mail integration so far?
A.J.: We havenit really had any customer feedback requesting integration with an e-mail program more substantial than Appleis Mail.
TMO: Do you have any last words for us?
A.J.: Weire on track to support full Mac OS X syncing services and the iPhone in the first half of 2007. And we have a new slogan: "Mac business starts here."
TMO: A.J., thank you very much for speaking with The Mac Observer.
This interview was updated by the author to include clarifications from Marketcircle.