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CrazyEgg Interview with Hiten Shah, Founder and CEO
Having been in the web world since it began, I know that web professionals are always trying to perfect their craft. There are loads of web analytics tools which can provide reports of who went where, how, when. There are very expensive testing tools on the market. When I first heard about CrazyEgg, I had to check it out. I love optimizing a web site until my fingers bleed. Isn’t it our responsibility to get the best return on investment for our clients (whether external or ourselves)?
I really like what the CrazyEgg team is doing. They are providing a quick, easy-to-use, reliable way to test web pages. I wanted to find out more so I gave the CrazyEgg CEO, Hiten Shah a call. I hope he does not mind me saying this, but he has one of the best minds of anyone I have ever met. A great business mind to go along with the web side. I really enjoyed our conversation and hope you will get something out of it as well.
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Below is a partial text transcript of the audio interview. Please listen to the audio for the entire discussion.
Allen: Why don’t we start with a little background about who you are and where you are from.
Hiten: My name is Hiten Shah and I am one of the founders of CrazyEgg. We had an Internet marketing company that did SEO, Internet marketing and consulting. I started it about 4 years ago with my brother-in-law. We decided to create some web applications and CrazyEgg is one of the biggest so far.
Allen: What does CrazyEgg do and why the name CrazyEgg?
Hiten: CrazyEgg helps you visualize your visitors. What that means is that it gives you a clear understanding of where people are clicking on a web page with visual heatmap and visual overlay. It is mainly a testing platform that helps you improve your web site. And so we decided to use it for our heatmap, data visualization software called CrazyEgg.
We came up with the name very randomly some years ago because we wanted to start a web design company several years ago but that never happened.
Allen: I have seen a lot of press and a lot of it talks about CrazyEgg as an analytics tool. Do you consider CrazyEgg an analytics tool?
Hiten: I do not consider CrazyEgg a web analytics tool. I think of it as a testing platform to help people improve their web site.
Allen: What is your role with CrazyEgg?
Hiten: We wear many hats here. My official title is CEO but that does not go far in a startup. I usually take care of all of the support and product development.
Allen: What is the value proposition for CrazyEgg?
Hiten: People should signup for CrazyEgg because they want to improve the design, layout and content of their web site. And they want to make people convert into buyers or any kind of goal on your web site, CrazyEgg can help you get there.
Allen: In the CrazyBlog there was a mention of 5 million tracked clicks – how cool is that? Is this the kind of number you were expecting?
Hiten: We are already past 5 million and are at about 7.5 million as of today. We wanted to get it out there and we knew the pain we had. We are very happy with the results so far!
Allen: How many signups have you had since the launch? What’s the feedback been like?
Hiten: We have 30,000 users and have had lots of great feedback so far. Lots of feature requests and ways to improve. Lots of people submitting bugs which is exactly what we need and we have been working fast to fix the bugs and add the features that people are looking for.
Allen: Who are the CrazyEgg competitors?
Hiten: That is a very tough question because I consider CrazyEgg a testing platform rather than a web analytics. Many people would consider any web analytics software a competitor even though I do not. We want to provide something different than everyone else.
Allen: Whats the makeup of the CrazyEgg team?
Hiten Shah: There are 3 of us on the business end and we have 2 full-time programmers and we had a design firm create all of our design and UI stuff.
Allen: We must talk about the technology behind CrazyEgg – what is it that makes those maps and charts so cool?
Allen: Alright… I love web analytics, it is something that started with my auditing background – and I wonder if I there is any thought around combining CrazyEgg with any of the stats programs currently available?
Hiten: I think that is a good possibility which we would have to see how people react and how it fits into the picture. We do collect a lot of things that web analytics collects and we will be adding more features to show more data than we currently show.
Allen: Any thought about adding some filters? For example, when I hit the test page as the owner, my clicks and visit should not be recorded. I think this is a big bug in the application.
Hiten: We are hoping to have a feature (ip blocking) within the next few months so that the data does not show up in your reports. It is in the works!
Allen: Any thoughts on adding an agency package – so I could add say all of my clients to one master account?
Hiten: We are planning on something like that in the longer-term six months so agencies can log in and see their clients results. That is definitely in the works as well, great idea!
Allen: Apart from CrazyEgg what other web apps do you like?
Hiten: Very interesting question – I like things on my desktop more than on the web. Overall I like the web apps that entertain me and I like delicious, youtube and digg for the entertainment value.
Allen: So you mention YouTube – what do you think of the deal with Google purchasing them?
Hiten: Someone was going to buy YouTube – I think it was great – they made a great name for themselves and when people think of video online, they think of YouTube. It was almost a nobrainer that someone was going to buy them.
Allen: Where does CrazyEgg go from here?
Hiten: I see CrazyEgg going to a place I can’t even imagine right now. We want to make sure that people can easily test things on their web site and are constantly making improvements. More people are on the Internet today and it is important to constantly improve things on your web site and that you are converting visitors a lot better than before. So we want to provide a testing platform to easily do these things and easily understand what is going on with their web pages.
I expect the Internet to be everywhere like a road you are traveling down, maybe even plugged into your brain and I am excited to be a part of it.
Well we have reached the end of our interview with Hiten. Thanks to Hiten for participating and to you for reading and listening. CrazyEgg has a very bright future ahead of it!
If you would like to participate in a conversation on CenterNetworks, or if you have any comments or questions, let me know.