Rule.fm is a beautiful take on task management. It is better known as a productivity platform that makes sure of seamless team collaboration with anyone and anywhere on this planet.
In an interview with the Fusion Monarch CEO and Co-Founder Patrick Carmitchel on Rule.fm
What is your idea and vision?
Rule your work. Enjoy your life.
Ruling work is Productive: Productivity is sharing, connecting and collaborating on the Who, What, When, Where, Why and How of work. Ruling work includes projects, CRM, documents, activity stream and more.
Enjoying life is Productive: When you have a handle on things you can rest easy or play hard knowing that when you get back to work everything is under control so you can hit the ground running.
What is your start-up story?
In 2009 we started Fusion Monarch with a motley crew in my garage. We were the hired guns of startup entrepreneurs who needed a team to consult, plan, design and launch online startups. Having to manage sales, marketing, account management, project management, product management and more it became clear we needed something to keep our work and discussions organized. After tons of searching we opted to use Basecamp. We really just wanted to view and collaborate on work activity with our team from anywhere, anytime. It solved part of our problem, but we couldn’t stand how it flirted with organizing our work items and discussions, but without solving the real problem: collaboration around organized work activity. No matter how many solutions we tried, it only became more clear that what we wanted was possible— it just did not exist… yet.
We worked on customers by day and Rule by night for 4 months. Pretty much the whole team was crashing at my house after pulling grave night shifts. It was crazy, but it was amazing. Once we released the application, multiple investors showed interest in an angel round that ended with Quest Software’s investment of $500K.
Which is your target market? What is your revenue earning plan?
- Target Customer: Startups, small businesses, small teams in larger organizations. We also have many non-profits and educational institutions that love using Rule to collaborate and get things done.
- Revenue Model: We offer plans starting at $49 per month with a 14 day free trial to give users a chance to experience Rule. There is no long-term commitment— just pay as you go.
- User Growth: Everything is organic. Users and blogs like us because we are concerned about the unique needs of each customer and have a habit of listening and taking action. Facebook, Twitter and bloggers are our friends.
Customer Engagement: We released a help center and in-app support for feedback, requests and tickets. We stay on top of every request and communicate with all users who reach out to us daily. While we must place priority on paying customers, we do have many free users (Rule was free for most of 2011— our first year) and show our appreciation by continuing to listen to their voice.
How do you define the importance of team in Rule.fm?
The team is everything. With our core team on the same page, if we can think of it, it’s possible when we come into agreement, make a plan and stick to the plan.
Core Team: Trevis Rouse (Sultan of Code), Jerome Peck (Ears, eyes, and voice of Rule), Patrick Carmitchel (Captain, vision, product, marketing, followthrough)
What would you like to share from your startup briefcase?
The biggest lesson is transitioning from a professional services company to a software company. We strongly believe in the value of our team and it was difficult to accept that we had to shift focus and resources to a software mindset that required us to place top priority on infrastructure development rather than the balance of design, front end code, hosting and back end development.
Fun @ Work
There are many trips to the local pub in our history. We don’t have Segways, personal chefs or yoga classes. We have a warehouse with a small fridge that is rarely stocked and a coffee machine that runs out of coffee, but we do have a kegerator that has some quality brew from time to time (we have a local brewing buddy).
We were featured twice in TechCrunch
“One day we may have an actual press release. For now we are more focused on solving real problems for real people.“
Any new releases coming up such as Mobile or iPad applications?
We just released an update that makes sharing, connecting and collaborating so easy that your grandma could do it. Doesn’t matter what type of work activity it is (projects, documents, tasks, customers), when you Rule, you can always know the who, what, when, where, why and how of work. Rule Mobile (beta) can be accessed @ m.rule.fm The Rule web app works pretty well on iPads. https://www.rule.fm/
How do you feel your start-up is adding value to the eco-system?
This is a fun one. For startups and teams who have things to talk about and things to do, Rule is the cloud application that connects discussions to activity. We are committed to giving even the smallest work item a proper place and it’s own space for sharing, connecting and collaborating so our users can rule work and enjoy life.
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