How to Launch Your Own Software Product: Q&A with Rafael Lima from SolidFace

November 30, 2015

11:00 am

Rafael Lima

If you are a developer, at least once you’ve had this passing thought: “Maybe I should launch my own software?”  Rafael Lima had been working as a CAD software developer for over 10 years before he finally took the leap of face and co-founded his own software product company SolidFace in 2008.

Learn more about their product journey and beating the competition in today’s interview.

1. Can you briefly introduce yourself and tell us about your company and product?

“I’m co-founder and CMO at SolidFace Technology Inc – a company specializing in CAD software production.

The idea to launch our own company came when we discovered the increasing search of 3d CAD products and the lack of great competitors. The niche had enough room for another player to tap and we decided to take our chances.

To stand out from the crowd we’ve decided to focus on the next elements of what we believe to be a great software product:

  • Realiability
  • Compatability
  • User-Friendly
  • Excellent Support

Having some great guys on board with over 15 years of experience in developing CAD software specifically, judging from the user’s feedback we can now say that we’ve met out product goals.”

How many people are currently involved in the project?

“We are still a small technology company our team consists of just two sales rep, three tech support ninjas, two lead developers and two founders – Oscar Lima and me, Rafael Lima.”

So CAD software is rather popular. What sets you apart from the competition?

“Besides 3D modeling capabilities that were already mentioned, SolidFace has strong 2D drawing functionality that also can be seen as an alternative of AutoCAD market.

Basically, our product offers an easier transition to parametric modeling as it doesn’t need  to learn complicated constraints operation as SolidFace uses automatic parameterization embedded during the sketch or modeling definitions.

As 3D printing, virtual and augmented reality markets are booming, the demand for such type of software will continue to grow.

By offering a lighter, more powerful and affordable solution, we managed to get a good share of users on board already and expect to double the number by 2017.”

What was the main challenge you’ve faced when launching your product?

“One of our top challenges was integrating Parasolid/Siemens 3D kernel. This engine is consider to be the best for 3D modeling and is used by most other CAD software companies.  We’ve decided to use the same central engine to make our product compatible with all of the other software, meaning a user could choose to switch any time without loosing access to their designs due to unsupported format.”

Did you bootstrap or raised additional investments?

“We have managed to bootstrap both of our companies, UniCAD and SolidFace. It was made possible due to our the amazing team, who offered both great experience and some financial help. Now, we are strategically re-investing the sales profits into further research and development by managing to keep our running costs low and expanding our user base extensively. We still have not used any kinds of loan or investment money.”

What’s your advice for those interested in selling their own software product online?

“You must absolutely love what you do and do it as hard and best as you can. Any tech market is pretty hard to crack in terms of competition, so you have to focus on creating an impeccable product. Be ready for a lot of hard work and never stop searching for ways to improve your product, especially by offering features your competitors lack. At least, that’s what worked for us.”

You can learn more about SolidFace and CAD software they are offering at their website.

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Dianna is a former ESL teacher and World Teach volunteer, currently living in France. She's slightly addicted to apps and viral media trends and helps different companies with product localization and content strategies. You can tweet her at @dilabrien

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