It seems obvious today that a company would want to qualitatively understand how their customers use their products. But a decade ago the concept was still novel for most.
For Dave Garr and Darrell Benatar, it wasn’t novel at all. In 2007, the two were completely immersed in the idea and busy launching UserTesting. Dave had recently left Apple, where his job was to record and analyze the experience of customers when opening new Macintosh computers. With Darrell’s help, he was determined to do the same thing but for web-based products. With UserTesting, they planned to create a simple and affordable platform that would allow brands to see how customers are using their products and services. Companies could pay people to complete certain tasks and record on-screen actions, and get feedback.
At the time it was an ambitious vision. There were fewer ways to track qualitative customer data in general and the ones that existed came with a big price tag, which made the concept of quantitative customer experience testing even more obscure. But they believed wholeheartedly that with time the market would develop and the platform would be core to the success of brands globally. In 2010, they had $1M in pay-as-you-go revenues with less than 10 employees. The team then started selling subscriptions to the UX research teams at larger enterprises in 2011, driving $2M in revenue. By the time we met them four years later, sales had doubled every year. It was this proof, as well as Dave and Darrell’s great conviction, forward-thinking perspective and unconventional patience that left our team at Accel eager to join their journey in 2015.
As the years progressed, we watched their conviction become reality. As companies across the world scaled their digital customer bases there was a steady uptick in demand for consumer experience research platforms. Companies like Qualtrics emerged to master the quantitative research space while UserTesting’s qualitative features continue to set it apart. Today, their platform has become the industry standard for on-demand insight into user experience and website behavior for more than 2,100 brands including household names such as Microsoft, Adobe, Canva, HP, Sony, Volvo, Airbnb and Expedia.
As the business has grown, the company attracted and brought on exceptional talent, notably Andy MacMillan, a former product executive at Oracle and Salesforce, who joined UserTesting as CEO in 2018. Andy has been instrumental in getting UserTesting to today’s milestone, by leading the team through its global expansion and setting the foundation for UserTesting’s promising future.
Today we get to congratulate Andy, Dave, Darrell and the entire UserTesting team on their next step as a public company. From all of us at Accel, thank you for giving us the opportunity to be your partner on this journey. We can’t wait to see what the future holds!
- Andrew Braccia