The Story Behind An Early Roompact Demo Gone Wrong… and Having Faith

Early Days at Roompact

We often get a lot of questions from professionals and colleagues about what it’s like to start a software company. The process from idea to product is an interesting one and one that requires one to take on a good deal of risk and a willingness to be adaptable and learn. Our CEO and Founder, Matt Unger, reflects…

The idea for Roompact came to me on June 12, 2013. For 6 months after that date, I worked on Roompact alone. It was tough. I wasn’t getting enough sleep and I was investing my own money in making the company a reality. My bank account usually wavered between -$5 and +$5. I had gone down a path in which I felt like everything was on the line–my personal reputation, my financial reputation, and my pride.

Additionally, I was pitching a product that didn’t fully exist yet. I didn’t even know if there was a market for it. I’d get incredibly nervous before meeting with anyone. I was still selling a concept. I’d get stressed. I’d get scared. I’d wonder if it would ever work out.

There’s one thing that I always told myself before every meeting: 2,000 days from now, everything would be okay. Our software would be great, we’d have plenty of customers, and our processes would be humming along. One foot in front of the other. One day at a time. Just string 2,000 days together.

By June 2014, the cavalry had arrived. I was no longer alone. I was joined by Ryan, who worked on programming, and Dan, who ran sales and anything else that needed to get done. Christian, our now Chief Technical Officer, had a summer internship with us correcting the programming errors that Ryan and I made. I still remember doing demos from our 150-square-foot office at Level (a coworking space in Chicago).

During those early days, there was one demo, in particular, that stands out. It was the largest school we had demoed with at that point. Midway through the demo, our software broke! Dan calmly tried to stretch for time and sprinted over to over to me to get my attention. I frantically tested our software to see what was wrong as Dan continued to stall.

I finally found the issue and fixed it as quickly as I could. Overall, it took about four minutes to get Roompact back up and running. Those four minutes felt like an hour. (I can’t imagine how long they felt for Dan!) This situation happened often during demos in our early years. Through it all, I told myself: 2,000 days. One day at a time. Just string 2,000 days together, and everything would be okay.

We’re a long ways past those early days. Our software is stable. It has more features than I ever expected. And we’re gaining clients at a rapid pace. Although there’s always more ahead, it’s good to occasionally reflect on the days that got us to this point. I’m really proud of everything we’ve accomplished so far. It’s incredible.

There’s a reason why not many people choose to do what we’ve done. It’s hard. In our co-working spaces and at conferences, we’ve seen many other companies come and go. Through it all, there’s been one thing that’s consistent: Roompact.

Developing a new software company requires dedication. It also requires faith–faith in yourself, faith in your idea, faith in your product, and faith in people. There is no way Roompact could be as successful as it is today without the support of clients and team members.

Thank you to everyone that has supported us along the way and especially those that believed in us in the beginning. We’ve accomplished a lot in a few short years, and we’re poised to deliver even more.