While many know that Zendesk is a global unicorn story and has 81,000 customers, not many know that the first 10,000 customers were acquired through just word of mouth. "That's when we acquired our first sales guys," says Morten Primdahl, co-founder of Zendesk. He adds that running a startup means that the founders manage the product and learn very quickly from the first set of customers.
In 2009, when Zendesk moved from Copenhagen (Denmark) to Boston and then to San Francisco, they had trouble hiring talent. However, the founding team did not give up; instead, they called upon their engineering roots, back in Copenhagen, and started building the product. Simultaneously, they set up a team in Melbourne, which, in three years, became the core of their data sciences team.
At the same time, when they had technology issues in the USA, they used the ecosystem in the Valley to find solutions. In 2009, they had a big problem with MySQL database servers which were over loaded; one of their engineers used a contact to fix the servers and keep the startup running.
Now Zendesk has 12 global offices, nine of which are engineering and sales centres. "The above examples are testimony to our ability to manage multicultural teams to succeed," says Morten. He says this is the single most important factor for founders.
Zendesk competes with the likes of Helpshift and Freshdesk.
A big shoutout to all our sponsors - Zendesk, Axis Bank, Sequoia Capital India Advisors , Digital Ocean, Microsoft, AWS, Akamai, Target, Verisign, Kerala Startup Mission, Brand Launch Centre, Tork and Blink.