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Software Success Story: MJT Net Ltd

by NotePage, Inc.

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 ever since.

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 technology.

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, Inc. http://www.notepage.net 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


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