Asking around the office every time you need a phone number or email address for a colleague or client can be a royal pain in the neck. When we couldn’t find the perfect tool to help us manage and share contact details with each other, we decided to build one ourselves.

Inspired by a tool we built for a large government agency, Contactzilla is a collaborative contact management system that centralises contacts, allows users to share address books and sync with their mobile devices.

The Minimum Viable Product

We decided that Contactzilla’s primary feature should be shared address books that allow every member of the team to have access to the latest contact details wherever they are.

We also decided that the first version of Contactzilla should be entirely focussed on that one feature. This would help us to learn more about our target audience and decide what features to add next.

Following the Beta release, we collected loads of helpful feedback from early adopter which allowed us to get a feel for the kind of people who wanted to use Contactzilla, and what those people wanted out of it.

Once we knew what our users wanted, we were able to start adding features that we knew they would love…

Iterate, iterate, iterate

Contactzilla’s early adopters provided tons of suggestions for great new features. We sorted through these suggestions to pick up the most commonly requested features, deciding which ones were achievable and in keeping with the product.

From this feedback, we were able to add features which allowed users to label contacts, flag and delete duplicates, upload contacts from a wide range of sources, add notes to contacts and sync their address books to all their mobile devices. We also made sure every Contactzilla user had a private address book where they could store their personal contacts.

Contactzilla was picking up users left, right and centre and was even getting some great press (like this article from The Next Web). The time had come to start charging…

Time to make some money!

Contactzilla was rocking but, so far, no one was paying for it. We worked out a pricing plan and integrated a payments system which allowed users to pay for their accounts monthly with their Visa, MasterCard, American Express and Discover cards. Existing users were emailed with plenty of notice to update their billing details before the new pricing plan came into effect.

Where’s Contactzilla now?

Contactzilla currently has over 3,500 users, holding over 3 million contacts and is growing by the day. We are continuing to work on Contactzilla to grow and improve the product based on user feedback.

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