The Evolution of Jibble: From Concept to Launch

11 July 2024 . 5:53 AM

Asim Qureshi poster for jibble blog on jibble evolution

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In the following content:

  • The evolution of Jibble.
  • Best decisions we’ve made is going 100% remote.
  • We’ve not taken VC funding, and don’t have any plans to do so.
  • Rewrites are REALLY painful, and the general rule is don’t do them
  • If you change too fast, you’ll lose existing customers.

The journey of creating an extraordinary product often begins with a simple need and a bold vision.

This blog delves into the creation of a time tracking solution, touching on the key milestones, strategic choices, and invaluable lessons that transformed an ambitious idea into a world-renowned product.

Jibble is born from a need for advanced time tracking; below I tell you how.

Jibble team posing for a photo after team activity

What inspired the creation of Jibble?

We had built a payroll software for Malaysia and many of our customers wanted a time tracking system for their payroll. We thought that instead of building a basic time tracking software, we could build an amazing one that would integrate into our payroll software, but also integrate with other software around the world. Why limit ourselves to Malaysia? Very soon, the US became our biggest market.

What challenges did Jibble face early on?

The biggest challenge we have with Jibble was that we initially built it on an innovative platform, Parse, that Facebook stopped supporting. Soon after launch, we had the incredibly tough decision of both carrying on and writing code that we knew would soon be discarded, and rewriting the software on ASP.NET.

Rewrites are REALLY painful, and the general rule is don’t do them, because they’ll take 5x longer than you think, and the chances are you’ll end up scrapping them at some point, only to revert with what you have. But we did pull through with what we initially called Jibble 2, and the fact that we built our software on a well-supported platform has been instrumental in us building a fantastic product.

How did the vision for Jibble evolve over time?

We moved from a time tracking software for payroll to a more generic time tracking software for projects, i.e. from an on-site employee focus to all types of employees.

What were the major milestones in the early stages of developing Jibble?

You know, those small milestones are just so memorable. The first user, the fifth one, the tenth one. Oh yes, our first full time employee, Jessica, was a big milestone, and the amazing thing is that she is still with us.

How did Jibble build its initial team?

We really struggled to find high quality developers in Malaysia, which is where we founded the company, and so ended up hiring mostly European developers who worked remotely. For the rest of the team, we initially hired from an office in Malaysia, but soon after Covid we went completely remote and haven’t looked back.

What feedback did Jibble receive from the first users?

Despite having a very basic product the feedback we received was positive because we addressed very specific pain points. That’s so important to get right in an MVP.

How did Jibble secure initial funding?

My own money as well as friends and family. We’ve not taken VC funding, and don’t have any plans to do so given we’re profitable.

What were the key decisions that shaped Jibble’s direction?

I reckon one of the best decisions we’ve made is going 100% remote. That has meant we get so much better talent and our staff retention has been incredible. Ultimately if you have the right people, your chances of success are pretty good.

How did Jibble adapt to changes in the market?

The market doesn’t change as quickly as most think. If you change too fast, you’ll lose existing customers, so we listen to our customers and keep evolving and improving. Technology moves fast, B2B software doesn’t move nearly as fast as in the B2C space.

What were the biggest lessons learned in Jibble from the early days?

The biggest lesson I learned from Jibble was don’t build your software on a relatively new innovative platform, build it on something very proven. Had we not executed our rewrite really well Jibble would probably not exist today, but we shouldn’t have needed to have had that tough struggle in the first place.