Celebrating our first anniversary

Summary: We reached a significant milestone earlier this month: we are now one year into our paying subscriptions! So, what has happened in the past year? Let's look back on the good, remarkable and the lessons we learned. Spoiler alert: there were 500 iced coffees and over a 100 "Lighthouse is stupid memes" involved.🧋😉

  • by Karlijn Löwik
  • Published
  • Reading time ± 8 minutes
  • RUMvision
Celebrating our first anniversary

Very happy with this stats

  • We are experiencing healthy, organic growth; every month our subscriptions have doubled.
  • After 6 months, 91% of subscribers are still members.
  • We have over 1000 domains registrered in our tooling.
  • Over 4434 domains have tested their Core Web Vitals UX score with our free tool.
  • Our monthly revenue exceeds our monthly expenses. That is a fantastic feeling!
  • We have over 20 agencypartners that recommend our tooling to all their merchants (keep an eye out for future announcements)
  • Google awarded both our founder & CTO Erwin Hofman as well as our head of customer success Jordy Scholing as Google Developer Experts
  • Outside of our three founders, there has been no need for investors. And we want it to stay that way!

Jordy and Erwin became Google Developer experts!

We gave Jordy a permanent job offer within 5 months, and he has been promoted twice since then.

Roderik, Erwin, Jordy, and I met many of our partners at our first event together, the Dutch Web Winkel Vakdagen.

The remarkable stats

500 icecoffees and counting...

We are far too busy for many meetings. But, because we all work from home a lot, we do need to check in with each other. We use "icecoffee breaks" for this. They occur at least three times per week when it is dry (sunny weather preferred). It's a stroll through Groningen's lovely city centre, sitting at our "own" bench at Hoge der AA, and, of course, drinking ice coffee.

We've purchased at least 500 iced coffees this year, according to my calculations. I didn't even declare them as company expenses. But believe me when I say that those iced coffee breaks were one of the best investments we made in terms of company strategy. More about that change in strategy in "lessons we learned".

What exactly is this fantastic ice coffee shop? Bagels & Beans in Groningen's Zwanestraat. We're such great fans, that when we walk into the building, only one sentence is asked. "1, 2, or 3 icecoffees, today?"

We redesigned our website at least 13 times.

My background includes project management for the creation of new websites. In that role, I've designed many of their homepages, and believe me, once they're live, the client rarely changes them again.

That has not been my experience in creating my own homepage. We've changed it at least 13 times by this point, 14th version is in progress..It's an inside joke by now, that if we don't change our homepage somewhat monthly, we are not making progress in our company 😅

We are a family business (but not in the way you think)

You know how the phrase "we have no 9 to 5 mentality, we're all family here" appears in job advertisements and makes a lot of people shudder? Well.. we kind of embody that. However, not in the way you'd think:

  • Erwin and I are married, and we have a 2-year-old daughter who goes to daycare three times a week. That means there is a free virus factory among us. So, some weeks we all get sick at the same time. Roderik has the same thing happen with his little boy. Leander, Robert, and Johan as well. We all have young kids. This means that we are very flexible about when and where people work. You don't have to work in the office, but we like to check in with you at least once a week. And if your child is sick, the child is sick. We'll help each other out. The same is true for Jordy and Lizet, whose cats' health is just as important!
  • We actually had about 6 months of collective parental leave last year. Not for the moms by the way, for the dads!
  • If you follow us on social media, you may have noticed that Erwin and I frequently combine vacations with business events.The positive aspect of our work culture is that everyone in our organization is highly independent. Therefore, work continues normally in our absence. And when we return, we are recharged and work even harder than before!

Other remarkable stats?

  • About 1500 grilled cheese/ tosti's with Dutch cheese and pesto have been eaten. We had to upgrade our toaster to accomodate the extra people on our team;
  • 350 cups of coffee (this stat is 100% on me) and about 2000 cups of tea (rooibos is the favourite) have been consumed;
  • 53% of our users run a Magento webshop, 16% Shopify, 15% SPA ,13% Shopware , 3% other platforms;
  • Our maps had to be changed. Did you know that flattened earth maps come in more than 30 different styles? Before we had a map of the world, we didn't.
  • We've tried 6 different CRM's (right now on "Less annoying CRM"). We have not mastered it yet..
  • We've written 51 blogpost , 118 company LinkedIN post and 8 usecases.
  • 11 newsletters have gone out. Opening rate within 24 hours is 79%!
  • The first invoice we sent had to be credited. It was an annual subscription, but they wanted it to be changed to monthly. Fun fact: they are still a member after 13 months. Could have saved 10% there!
  • We make way to little photo's of our team! Turns out that only Jordy or I ever take a selfie. There are more people working at RUMvision then you see reflected here in this post!
  • Google's Barry Pollard loves our Free CWV History checker (so much that he kept asking us to expend to specific urls. Spoiler Barry, we launched that this week!)

Really cool, Google's Barry Pollard used our free CWV history checker in a Stackoverflow explanation.

Jordy with the banners we use, in this case for the Tweakwise eCommerce Cruise

There were a lot of feature updates this year. Having to find a flat map for a round world turns out to be a challenge!

The lessons we learned

Prioritising customer experiences and talking to everyone

And by everyone, I mean everyone! I someone saying to me that the great thing about a SaaS is that it requires little personal attention. I had my doubts about that statement. I was completely correct.
We discovered early on that the insights and feedback provided by our customers are extremely valuable, and we do not intend to stop doing so.

Our business model needed changing

We began with a vision and a business model. What startup does not? We initially assumed that additional pagespeed consulting would be a significant part of our services. It turns out that our customers are often quite self-sufficient now that they get the right data insights from RUMvision . This is probably also due to the fact that many users of our partners at the moment are our webdevelopmentagency partners. This brings us to the second major shift in strategy: we were originally aiming for eCommerce merchants who needed pagespeed and UX insights. We learned from our discussions with everyone that the development agencies that were working on continuous improvement had a much greater need for real time insights.

As a result, we modified a few aspects of our strategy.

  • Initially, we charged per domain, but we have since changed this. We now charge based on pageviews, allowing for the addition of more domains and additional pageviews within a single subscription.
  • We are mildly dipping our toes into sponsoring events and doing talks. We are getting a lot of positive responses from that!
  • We got rid of the free demo option. When people subscribed without talking to us first, we noticed a lack of engagement. Many more people signed up for trials after receiving personal demonstrations before they began.
  • We've noticed that while the value of real-time insights is obvious to the people we talk to, it can be difficult to sell to their key stakeholders. This is why, in our upcoming communication shift, we'll talk more about conversion wins and losses when optimizing for Core Web Vitals. We even launched a ROI calculator for free!
  • We also want to solve the problem of having multiple teams working on different aspects of a website's pagespeed without a clear understanding of who is responsible for what and how often they should check in.

Google's Lighthouse is really hard to get rid of

There is still a large believer base, particularly among eCommerce (product) owners, that Google's Lighthouse score is the pinnacle of pagespeed toolings and insights.Regrettably, this is not the case. It has no effect on your Core Web Vitals or SEO, and it's very easy to manipulate. It is a simulated test, which means it is performed in a laboratory with only one device. And the advice it provides can undoubtedly be useful to your development team, but it should be taken with a grain of salt, as there are usually much larger gains to be had by focusing on different aspects than resizing an image, which will have much larger gains. Even so, a perfect 100 percent green score that can be displayed on LinkedIN is still extremely popular. I'm not kidding when I say we have about 100 memes floating around our specially created "RUMvision Memes" WhatsApp group to counter this.

We're hoping that Google will provide better guidance on Lighthouse vs Core Web Vitals the upcoming months. And because we do know that everyone loves a single score of how their performance is doing, we introduced our free UX-score checker (based on Googles Core Web Vitals /real users data, instead of a lab device). Even better, our RUM solution provides your with a UX score and a First User Experience (FUX) score, based on your real users in real time.


Day at the officeDay in the office... Jordy on the whatsapp with a customer, and Roderik hanging up a board to take notes on

meme 100 percent pagespeed being worthless

1 of our many, many memes

Jordy and I working on our offline campaign. We send out 40 letters to eCommerce agancy's in the Netherlands, by using the slowest method available (the post), to get them the fastest insights.

Here's to many more!

As you can see, so much has happened, and I didn't even tell you about all of it. So, if we look back, any regrets? None! Let's see what the upcoming year brings us, cheers!

Share blog post