About Cal.com, Inc.Connecting a billion people by 2031
An open letter
When Peer worked on his previous business, Lean Hire, a hiring business to turn contractors into full-time employees via contract-to-hire he realized how there is very little infrastructure around scheduling, let alone an open-source solution that could be self-hosted and customized.
After a couple of days of browsing the web and finding no results for the google query: "calendly open source" he decided to launch Calendso.com and later incorporate it with Bailey Pumfleet as Cal.com, Inc.
From the very first day, Cal.com was founded with the mission to connect 1 billion people by 2031. We fundamentally believe infrastructure software needs to be open, accessible, and here to stay.
When designing not only the product, but also the organization we've put a lot of thought into longevity of our technology, to ensure we can pursue our vision and connect humans until the end of the web.
Being open-source has a lot of tradeoffs. It has been an incredible growth journey so far thanks to its word-of-mouth nature and developer interest, but OSS is known for making it hard to capture the generated value early on.
A SaaS business can capture a higher % of revenue per customer, but ultimately they will be capped by the people they can reach. Governments, Healthcare, and other highly regulated industries not only prefer but are often required to self-host, which open source makes possible in the most secure and trusted manner.
Our hunch is that SaaS infrastructure is only scratching the surface of the scheduling space and CEOs in the industries agree that the entire market is still in its infancy.
Going head-to-head as a SaaS company against existing market leaders is a fool's errand, hence we are doing similar things in a fundamentally different category: Open Scheduling.
To qualify as an Open Scheduling product, your software needs to be: infrastructure-ready, open source, accessible and extensible.
Why customers should care
Here's why businesses and enterprise organizations choose open scheduling over closed scheduling products:They need to ...
- make changes to the codebase
- white-label the experience
- host the data on their own infrastructure
- comply with strict data policies (HIPAA, GDPR, etc.)
- comply with company policies around third-party services
Here's why consumers choose open scheduling over closed scheduling products:They want ...
- a more secure product
- to not be locked-in if things change
- to contribute to make their product better
- to be part of a community
- to know their own data is in good hands
Given this definition, Cal.com is the category creator and leader of open scheduling with plenty of room to grow the ecosystem.
As a venture-, and community-backed commercial open-source organization we have some leverage and unfair advantage over other cashflow-driven SaaS companies.
While every company has a purpose to make money, we fundamentally believe it’s never the only goal, but the side-effect of having an amazing product, in a massive market, with viral network effects and a strong moat to defend your position.
This is why our roadmap is to create as much value as possible and capture a small amount of it from enterprise deals down the road.
Value creation vs value capturing: If a SaaS competitor has 10M customers and charges 20% of them, our goal is to have 1B users and charge 1% of them.
Company-wide we keep this in mind when thinking about how we monetize features and sell to customers. Maximum impact is our guiding star.
To achieve this, we’re looking to build infrastructure for the masses and not for the niches. It may mean being light on some niche features that other competitors provide, to be more accessible to the entire market. We hope these missing features will be built by third-party engineers and launched in our App Store for Time.
MRR may be a great metric to show initial interest and retention, but the reason why we’ve raised $32.4M in funding was to give this vision the runway it deserves and give us time to focus on value creation and not immediate value capturing.
Open Source, Open Startup, Open Salaries, Open Mind, Open Heart
Being fully open source is not the only thing that makes this organization unique compared to existing alternatives.
We're big evangelists of the Open Startup philosophy of publicly showing our core KPIs and company-related metrics, such as growth metrics, equal employer opportunity data and salaries.
With open salaries, we intend to bring clarity, transparency, and fairness to a historically opaque industry.
We fundamentally believe salaries are a function of seniority, impact on an organization, and outcomes–not based on personal living costs.
Salaries and hourly rates for freelancers are opt-in, which means if a team member doesn’t feel comfortable being public with this sensitive information (often for very good reason), they’re never forced to publish it.
Contrarian to most advice out there, the reception inside of the team has been incredibly positive. Transparency reduces jealousy, increases fairness, and promotes racial and gender equality.
We believe your compensation at any organization should be based purely on meritocracy and what you bring to the table. No manager should know, nor care about your living standards and personal lifestyle.
Our company was born on the web and lives on the web. Our team is fully distributed and works online. We have no physical headquarter and don’t plan to have one. We’re all citizens of the web and thereby equal.
Don’t let people tell you otherwise, but your compensation will always be transactional. And the fairest transaction is money for work.
If the work is of equal quality, it is only fair to pay equal dinero.
We don’t care if you wrote the line of code in Costa Rica, Sweden, or Portugal.
Work = Money.
Here're reasons why you should not join
- we are a young and fast moving startup with a high pace of execution and expectations
- you disagree with our open policies
- you don't like to build in public
- you live in an area of extemely high costs of living
If you find other reasons not to join, please email us email@example.com.
However, if you like to work on open scheduling, please apply. We’re looking for people who are passionate about open-source, open data, and accessibility and who want to work on the truly important infrastructure of the web with maximum impact if done right.
Thank you for reading and being part of this community,
Peer, Bailey and the Team