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Every startup hits this milestone

Gary Liu
18/08/17 2:14 PM

Your first paid invoice.

August 17, 2017 was that day for Cradle. A moment that was realised after an incredible journey of six brave souls, coming together from all walks of life (and parts of the world) to build a product that will hopefully make a difference in how people communicate with one another. It was only 12 months ago that James, Todd and I sat on the top of Todd’s new rooftop, getting scorched by Denver’s relentless summer blaze, while drawing up the initial business and technical requirement for what is now called Cradle (it wasn’t always called Cradle). We had no product, employees, nor funding, and we weren’t exactly sure where to build our office (or if we should bother to have one at all). We were faced with a countless number of questions and uncertainty, but one thing was always clear to us:

The world deserves a communication tool that can help customers talk to the right person at the right time.

This idea became an unwavering reminder to all of us that we have a golden opportunity to improve upon something that had almost become an afterthought. Just think, when was the last time you rejoiced over a successful phone call with a customer service or business owner because it was done efficiently and quickly? And more importantly, the last time you had a crappy phone call that was marred by static, cheesy wait music, and an endless loop of “Hold on, let me connect you…”? We have all been there, rolled our eyes, and cursed into the microphone, because we felt disrespected by the lack of humanity (or even humans) on the other end of the call.

We have all become fed up with this crap but what are we actually going to do about it?

A year later, we are still trying to solve this puzzle but the missing pieces are coming together and we have a much better understanding of where to find the others. Cradle has since evolved from a paper mockup to an app that is used by 30 companies and a little over 100 iOS and Android users. Still humble numbers but we see them as real people with genuine problems, who are depending on us to solve them. These companies range from startups, wine companies, professional services, tattoo artists and even an aviation tracking company. We have built several product offerings that cater to companies with different business needs:

  1. Small businesses owners can have a second number on their cell phone to take business calls without having to get a landline plan from their provider
  2. Medium businesses can set up a cloud phone system for their entire organisation with a few clicks and benefit from features such as a custom voice menu, warm transfer and role based routing
  3. Multi-regional companies can be easily connected through one centralised phone system but still benefit from having a local presence with a unique local number

In the coming months, we are planing to launch a desktop app for both Windows and MacOS so we can help office managers and those who prefer to take calls by their desks and on their headsets.

The road to today has not always been smooth as we have already had a few stumbles along the way, but we are a company that is not shy to admit our shortcomings. Rather, we encourage every Cradler to “walk in the shoes of a customer” when they are designing, coding and/or selling and make feedback an essential part of our customer life cycle. We are incredibly grateful for the patience that our Beta customers have given us and we are more than ready to now showcase Cradle to the rest of the world.

If you or you know anyone who could benefit from a robust (yet human-friendly) cloud phone system, please send us a note and join our Partners program.


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