I still remember when, while traveling with old friends from university, a former friend and colleague told me about the business idea he had in mind. Based on his experience in consulting, the existing demand forecasting tools in the market did not meet market needs or were too expensive and complicated. He knew we could offer something better.
The truth is, it didn't take much to convince me because I loved the project from the beginning. Along with a third partner, we started working during our free time at nights and weekends. We laid the foundation for what we wanted to do and then defined the design and architecture of the product we wanted to offer.
But we realized that dedicating only our spare time would be very difficult to move the project forward, so we decided to leave our old jobs to fully dedicate ourselves to the project starting in January 2019.
Therefore, I would like to briefly summarize how this first year has been. As a computer scientist, I created a script to tell the whole story through a good narrative, but it doesn't compile. Instead, I have structured the text by months:
In January, we established Imperia as a company and rented office space at CEEI Valencia to work together in the same office. Imperia was up and running! We also prepared an initial version of our website. It was a fairly simple page, with the purpose of letting people know we existed.
In February, we already had a functional prototype of our tool and started meeting with companies and industry experts to gather feedback that would allow us to develop a product that met real needs in the industry.
March was an intense month of development. We decided that we didn't want our tool to simply output data; we wanted to manage the entire process and make the data useful for the user. We added a strong data analytics component to the tool. This is how the tool got its name: "Analytics Demand Planning" (ADP for short).
In April, we revamped the website to add more content. We had a clear understanding of what we wanted to offer and why our solution was better than other tools, and we wanted to showcase that for everyone to know.
In May, coinciding with our entry into the Garaje program of Lanzadera, we launched the first version of ADP in the market.
June was a special month as we secured our first client, validating that ADP had a place in the market.
During this month, we officially defined responsibilities, and I took charge of the technical side, both for ADP and the website.
One of my first decisions as CTO was to change the method we used to manage pending tasks. Until that point, we primarily used Trello, whose system was very agile but lacked depth. So in July, I decided that we were going to switch to Jira, which is more focused on software development management, while maintaining the same agility as Trello but adding many more functionalities.
In August, we released the first update of ADP, which included numerous improvements, many of which were based on the feedback we received from our first clients.
In September, our team grew, with another person joining the technical department, which allowed us to increase our development capacity.
One thing people mentioned when they saw our website was that it was all too confusing, with too much text. So in October, we decided to revamp the website to make it more user-friendly.
In November, we launched the second update of ADP, introducing Artificial Intelligence in the form of neural networks, which allowed for even better detection of certain demand patterns than other statistical methods.
Finally, in December, we improved the licensing system, which until then was controlled through manual changes in the database. We developed a comprehensive interface that greatly streamlined the process.
As you can see, it has been a hectic year, but very satisfying due to all the achievements and milestones reached.
Truth be told, I am very anxious to see what awaits us in 2020. There are many nerves, but also a lot of excitement, and if there's one thing I can be sure of, it's that we will give 110% of ourselves to make this project, which we are so passionate about, succeed.
Best regards and happy holidays!