First of all, how are you and your Family doing in these COVID-19 Times?
Kenny Su: We’re doing ok though things might have changed a bit due to this global pandemic.
Working partially from home allows me to spend more time with my family, and thanks to workplace mobility, I am able to be just as productive! I can easily organize operations, and schedule calls around the globe all from the comfort and safety of my own home.
On the weekends I get to spend time with my wife and kids. I hope that others can soon start to experience more quality time with their families as warmer weather approaches, but I understand that for some, the road ahead may prove slightly more difficult. Either way, it is important to stay positive and enjoy time with those around you.
Tell us about you, your Career, how you Founded Kdan Mobile
Kenny Su: Before starting Kdan Mobile, I was working as a software engineer and project manager at Industrial Technology Research Institute (ITRI).
After App Store changed its business model and industrial structure, which allows software engineers from around the world to freely develop all kinds of mobile applications and have them go on the market. I had my very first app launched on the App Store, and I found that the app downloads had been growing fast, and it generated steady revenue.
Combined with all the positive numbers from data analysis, we saw this huge opportunity that there’s a growth of mobile office demand. Therefore, I decided to start this business with four business partners (engineering, designing and marketing), and it’s called Kdan Mobile.
How does Kdan Mobile innovate?
Kenny Su: Starting from the development of productivity and creativity applications, we expect to empower modern professionals to optimize their efficiency and unleash creativity in the evolving digital workplace. We then extend our product lines to cross devices and platforms that help users work at any time and anywhere. Now, we have four main solutions:
● Document 365 – iOS, Mac, Android, Windows 10
Get the best PDF Reader for viewing, signing, and editing PDF documents on any device.
● Creativity 365 – iOS, Mac, Android, Windows 10
Creativity 365 is a comprehensive, cross-device content creation service aimed at improving productivity and enhancing collaboration.
● DottedSign – iOS, Android, Web
Pioneering in e-signing on mobile devices, DottedSign promises you the workplace mobility with an efficient and paperless solution. It is not only tailored to small and medium-sized enterprises and salespeople needing to sign contracts and documents.
● Kdan Cloud – iOS、 Web
Kdan Cloud not only enhances your experience in Creativity 365 and Document 365 suites, but it also serves as a stand-alone cloud solution. Manage and organize your personal or shared files, and access them in Kdan Cloud anytime from anywhere.
How the Coronavirus Pandemic affects your Business and how are you coping?
Kenny Su: In the past few months, there’s been an increased demand for remote working due to COVID-19. As a global SaaS provider, employees at Kdan Mobile have been executing work-from-home (WFH) policies for years while managing a global team; hence we are able to make quick adjustments on company management.
In the time of COVID-19 and beyond, we offer PDF document management, content creation, electronic signature, and cloud collaboration services that can support and boost the productivity of a team’s Work From Home experience. We have observed the users number of DottedSign, the electronic signature service, has increased 300% compared to last year. People can save time without physically traveling to get the signature from the clients, and most importantly, reduce the risk of infection.
Did you have to make Difficult Choices, and what are the Lessons Learned?
Kenny Su: Kdan had originally offered paid apps, but in view of increasing competition, offered app versions with basic functions for free download and those with advanced functions on a chargeable basis. Viewing that Apple and Google had offered subscription schemes, Kdan followed suit in 2015.
In addition, Kdan has used a tracking model to ascertain whether users, after free trial use, need advanced functions and are willing to pay. Currently, over 80% of initially trial users have moved on to use chargeable advanced functions.
Kdan has extended operation from B2C to B2B 2-3 years ago. Compared with B2C, B2B marketing takes a much longer time, but many enterprise users usually stick to original suppliers. Basically, Kdan provides cloud-based services for small-to-medium-size enterprises and licenses customized APIs (application programming interfaces) or SDKs (software development kits) to large-size ones for them to introduce Kdan-developed software to their internal operational processes.
How do you deal with Stress and Anxiety, how do you project yourself and Kdan Mobile in the Future?
Kenny Su: I constantly strive to bond with other startup CEOs. I get to learn something new every time by exchanging experiences with others, which is really helpful in relieving stress and anxiety. Another significant element is family support; they have been one of the most valuable props during my startup journey.
At Kdan, we’ve set up a communication platform across all our departments and offices for our employees to communicate via multiple channels for collaboration. This facilitates discussion and transparency – everyone’s opinion counts. We also adopt an OKR (objectives and key results) model as used by Google and several international enterprises by setting company’s visions and missions as the common goals for employees to strive for. We expect to become the world’s leading SaaS company who provides the solutions for mobile workers.
Who are your Competitors? And how do you plan to stay in the Game?
Kenny Su: In fact, we share very similar TAs with Adobe. We are both striving to provide creative tools that bring productivity and creativity to our users, but what’s different is on the computer side and the mobile side.
Global demand for apps from individual and enterprise users is expected to double every 3-5 years, along with the fast-growing digital transformation. Therefore Kdan expects substantial growth in revenues over the next 3-5 years. While US-based SaaS brands will remain leaders in terms of global market share, Kdan is confident of reaching larger market shares in Taiwan, Singapore, Japan and other Asian countries.
Your Final Thoughts
Kenny Su: At the end of the day, I believe we will come out on top of this situation and prevail. Things may seem hopeless at the moment as businesses fail and economies collapse, but I think if we keep our spirits high, we will persevere! Things will change undoubtedly, but it’s hard to say exactly how. For now, though, stay healthy and take care!
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