Last night I attended a very special event honoring companies named to the annual Forbes Cloud 100. It was an incredible night spent with the founders and leaders of many companies I’ve long admired.
I’m grateful for every Cloudinarian and the work they do to support our customers, partners, and culture. We should all feel proud to be on this list and to be on an incredibly unique journey in the industry.
As the summer winds down and we plan to leave for our annual, week-long Company Gathering in Israel, there’s a lot of reflection on the year we’ve just had, both as an organization and as a SaaS media management platform designed to help our customers engage more effectively with their own customers.
Recapping all of our milestones and lessons learned so far this year would make for a long post, so I’ll stick with the key highlights.
- We hit and quickly surpassed the 500K user mark and added 1,000 customers including major enterprise customers from around the world including StubHub, Nintendo and Trivago.
- Still relatively new kids on the Digital Asset Management platform block, our unique approach is revolutionizing DAM and delivering what modern companies need today, and we’re thrilled with the positive response as evidenced by the rapid adoption by customers and partners.
- We were pleased to expand our strategic partnerships with industry leaders like AWS, Adobe, Magento and Salesforce.
- We hosted our third annual ImageCon conference in San Francisco and launched our first annual State of Visual Media report.
- We established a Customer Advisory Board, a growing Media Developer Experts (MDE) program, and kicked off a multi-city training tour.
- We expanded our UK office less than a year after opening it, added one in Poland, expanded our Israel office, again, moved our US headquarters to a much bigger space in Santa Clara, and added more than 75 employees to the team.
We’re still profitable, 100% bootstrapped and remain one of the healthiest companies in the market while continuing to grow fast. No doubt, it has been an incredible year so far, and one that might seem pretty hard to beat. But in many ways we’re just getting started.
Digital media is changing the rules of engagement for every market, from retail/eCommerce to adtech, and from media and entertainment to finance. We’ve gone from always on to always visual in short order, and I believe we’re going to continue to see explosive growth across all areas of what we call the Visual Economy.
New image formats and standards will continue to evolve and push for improved quality and support for a broader set of use cases. Our own Jon Sneyers is helping to lead an effort with the JPEG Committee and Google to create an update to JPEG, a universal next-gen image format called JPEG XL.
Companies will harness the power of video like never before, and see huge upticks in engagement and sales. We know that online shoppers are more inclined to purchase a product after watching a video about it, and that emails with videos skyrocket click-through rates by 200 to 300 percent. We continue to innovate here and are innovating constantly in this area.
Advancements in machine learning and data analytics will continue to drive new customer experiences, improve engagement, deliver personalized experiences, and allow companies and brands to better understand what’s connecting with consumers and what’s not – all to make better connections and smarter business-critical decisions in real time. We’re excited about our own improvements in machine learning and AI such as automated background removal, content-aware video cropping, custom object detection and much more.
Efforts to ensure optimal security and privacy will continue to drive important discussions with regard to keeping our images, videos and platforms as protected as possible. In parallel we must also continue to rise to the challenges and opportunities relating to accessibility to ensure that everyone, and not just a subset of users, has access to the Internet as it was intended; an open platform for all and a great equalizer. We have much work to do in this area as humans and technologists and we’re committed to doing our part.
Last but not least, as we near 2020 (queue up all the 20/20 vision puns), we know that the broader digital ecosystem and customer experience landscape are evolving quickly. These radical shifts and innovations will require new thinking and new collaborations. For me, and for us as an organization, understanding our customers and their digital engagement challenges across the broader media ecosystem, so we can continue to make it easier for them to deliver the kinds of online experiences they need to be successful, is one of the things that excites me the most.
Drop me a line with any thoughts or comments. I’d love to hear what’s on your mind.
And if what we’re up to sounds of interest to you, take a look at our open positions and join us!