How Zoho Creator got started ?

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Today, we received very good feedback from a beta user. He raised his concerns on WHO is our target audience, WHY should they use Zoho Creator and WHAT it does

I gave him some insights on how Zoho Creator got started when trying to answer his questions. Here is that snippet from the reply mail for the benefit of all :

It all started with the long tail buzz created by Chris Anderson. We were not aware of such theory last year when Chris published his original version in wired. Last march during a casual discussion with my CEO, he introduced me to longtail. That’s when it struck us – what we do here (at AdventNet) to solve some of the internal needs are really building situated applications. That’s exactly the long tail of web applications we are trying to build in-house. We have ‘score’ app to track our product score against competition, ‘food’ app to comment and track quality of the food served by our caterers, ‘library’ app to book books and readers can comment, this list goes on. Even more, transient web apps often creeps up like “Fill-in your T-Shirt size” by HR team to make arrangements on seasonal gift. Do you know what our HR folks do? Hunt for some developer to make such form-based app for them. Why not HR themself could create such simple web apps ? Such in-house situated needs, motivated with long tail concept triggered us, “why not such web applications can be built just pointing to an URL? – Hey, then its an app creator tool!” – that’s how Zoho Creator was born!

We have a dictum at AdventNet “If an idea occurs to us, it will occur to 10 other people”. Few weeks later we figured out there are couple of them who offers such app creation online. Then, why they are not so familiar? or atleast I was not aware before Zoho Creator thoughts were born. We figured out that, either the pricing is ridiculous (or) the web service itself is not intuitive for HR kind-of folks to create their at-the-time-need apps. Now, our goal became evident – keep it simple and make it affordable (at the best make it FREE).