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Reflections on Why We Build our Products Ourselves

by | Dec 14, 2016

Many of us have heard the following sales pitch many times over our careers: We’ve got a product that’s carefully crafted with the “best of breed” components and tuned for optimum performance and quality as a turnkey solution. Oh, and it is also backed by our Fortune 500 company resources.

Hard Question: Do you know something of value that actually works like that? Or is it more likely that those beautiful, perfect building blocks don’t interoperate quite that well, that they each have different performance characteristics, their new feature development schedules differ, their QA processes are not equally good, your customer issues don’t seem to matter to them, and every once in a while, one of them raises their prices big-time so you have to replace them in a hurry. If you’re creating a mediocre product that would be fine…but if you’re like us, you won’t settle for that.

Snowbound is a relatively small company and we realize we can’t engineer quite everything ourselves. However, for the goals we have set for ourselves: a) performance, b) quality, c) customer satisfaction, d) rapid technological advance and e) backwards compatibility, it turns out that much of what we do is best done by our in-house experts.

Our latest release of our RasterMaster Java and .NET libraries underpinning our newest VirtualViewer HTML5 Java and .NET document viewers have a large set of powerful new features that our customers need. They include much faster performing Microsoft Office support, pattern-based text search, split and merge document manipulation, DWG support and much more. To get it done in a reasonable timeframe was the work of many hands, all working for Snowbound.

So, what are the attributes that allow us to get this done?

1) We are independent, which means we can ensure that we satisfy our customers, our partners and our markets.

2) Performance matters to our customers and having control of the full product allows us to achieve and improve the performance our customers need.

3) Our OEMs, customers and system integrators often have special requirements that few will satisfy. We earn their trust, loyalty and repeat business by being responsive to them.

4) Our in-house experts understand and control the full operation of our products, allowing us to carefully engineer them to our standards.

5) When a customer has a problem (it happens), we distinguish ourselves by knowing how to fix it quickly, earning loyalty from the world’s top corporations for over 20 years.

6) Those same loyal customers know we’ll be there year in and year out, advancing technology that will be there when they need it.

7) In this increasingly lawyer-driven business climate, our customers need to know that there is no intellectual property or malware minefield in our products because we alone created them.

8) Our employees enjoy creation, finding it more rewarding than assembling building blocks, and stay with us way longer than industry averages. It’s not about trimming costs, it’s about building something valuable and important.

So there it is in a bit more than a nutshell. As has been announced many times, growth comes from small companies with a vision and a desire to create the very best products. As an independent product company, we have the ability to listen and the desire to focus on building the best possible products for our customers. That’s what we do and that’s what we enjoy. We hope to share our results with you.

Season’s greetings and here’s to a great 2017!
Simon