Software Success Story: MJT
Marcus Tettmar has been developing
software since he was a young student. He graduated
from university with a computer degree in 1994
and has been developing software professionally
Like many development products
Macro Scheduler started as a personal project
for Marcus. He had the need for a generic automation
system. Macro Scheduler has since become MJT Net's
flagship product which, according to Marcus, sells
itself. The very first version was basic and Marcus
simply created a web page and provided it as a
free download. After receiving feature requests
from users he created a new version and began
charging for the program. Within the first month
the sales matched his day job's monthly salary.
Needless to say it was not long before he left
his day job.
Marcus has had the good fortune
of developing and selling a product that everyone
needs and wants. The name, being so descriptive,
means when people go searching for such software
they find Macro Scheduler rather than a competitor.
In contrast Marcus feels another
product developed by MJT Net, ClipMagic, is something
that people don't know they need and takes a lot
more effort to market. Once people have it they
wonder how they ever did without it, but the hard
part is getting them to try it.
By employing search engine optimization
and working with Shareware Promotions MJT Net
Ltd has been able to keep its website well positioned
in the search engines. MJT Net uses Shareware
Promotions to handle all product placements
and publicity on all the software sites. They
determined early on that it made good business
sense to allow Shareware
Promotions to handle placement and free Marcus'
time to concentrate on development. According
to Marcus Shareware Promotions is cheaper than
employing someone else to do the same job; and
they know the industry better.
In the first year of trading Marcus
made four times the annual salary at his previous
day job (a systems analyst at Siemens Microelectronics).
In one particularly good week alone during the
first year, Marcus made the equivalent of his
previous annual salary. Growth was around 100%
the following year, then about 50% the year after.
Unlike many in the industry MJT
Net's product lines are quite different and have
different markets. They have developed product
brands rather than a corporate brand. Because
their products are not related they created different
identities for each of their products.
MJT Net Ltd being located in the
UK has established a US and toll free US fax number
that allows their US customers to reach them without
having to dial over seas. Marcus frequently works
off hours and much of the support is handled in
online forums, so rarely is the time difference
a significant problem.
MJT Net Ltd currently has a deal
to supply its MacroScript script engine for the
RapidFIRE! product range, which is produced by
The I Consortium in the US. This is an enterprise
automation suite and being used in particular
to automate PeopleSoft, JD Edwards etc. This is
a good relationship as they have experience in
a corporate enterprise environment, and are able
to provide on site consultancy and integration
while MJT Net can concentrate on developing the
I asked Marco what advice he would give
to developers just starting out:
- Develop a product people want. And when you
come up with an idea search the 'net to see if
it has already been done. We don't need yet another
calculator or notepad. They won't sell. Too many
new developers seem to spend too long developing
products that aren't unique or special. It really
isn't worth it.
Additional information about MJT Net can be
found at http://www.MJTnet.com
About the Author:
Sharon Housley manages marketing for NotePage,
a company specializing in alphanumeric paging,
SMS and wireless messaging software solutions.
Other sites by Sharon can be found at http://www.softwaremarketingresource.com
, and http://www.small-business-software.net