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Fog Creek sales figures revealed?

Has Joel ever revealed his revenue numbers, or was this inadvertent? In his latest Inc. article he states his new offices cost 10% of revenue, then elsewhere give the "downtown rent" average, the floorplan, and talks about the little offices around it being 10x8 which lets you estimate the total size (and thus his revenue) pretty well. He also gives his employee count, which correlates well to the standard revenue-per-employee rules of thumb for a growing tech company.

I know those aren't things you usually think would be revealing, but competitors and potential competitors sure love to eat up any data they can get like that. Just something to think about if you don't want potential new competitors knowing how well you do...
Monday, June 02, 2008
So for those of us that want instant gratification, what did you calculate the revenues to be?
sloop Send private email
Monday, June 02, 2008
$3 million, not including his ancillary income probably.

With his employee count that means he's probably pumping everything back into the company hopefully developing new products, and I'd guess is living off that side income. Good way to grow, I think!
Monday, June 02, 2008
I seem to remember, a long time ago, Joel said here that he was an early Google shareholder (pre-IPO). That stock must be enough to live comfortably on, if he still has it.

That $3M figure may well be right, but I doubt you'll get any confirmation. If true, that means 50-100 new FogBugz users per day, which is a great success.
Odysseus Send private email
Tuesday, June 03, 2008
The thread is just soooo going to disappear ;-)
quant dev Send private email
Tuesday, June 03, 2008
Don't forget that you need a lot more space in an office than just the individual offices - unless the kitchen, shower, library, entry/reception and massive fish tank are going to run through the offices ;-).
Ben Richardson Send private email
Tuesday, June 03, 2008
It would be kind of cool to have a massive fish tank running through the offices.

Not sure how you would clean it, though.
Kyralessa Send private email
Tuesday, June 03, 2008
You'd have to catch it first, anyway.
Berislav Lopac Send private email
Tuesday, June 03, 2008
I think he's already admitted that the Jobs Board alone brings in $500,000 a year.

There is also Copilot.
Tony Chang
Tuesday, June 03, 2008
Not sure how you would clean it, though.

Why do you think he's always looking for interns?
Financial Programmer
Tuesday, June 03, 2008
3 Million for a company of that size in NY sounds low to me.  Just offhand, I'd say the number is larger - less than twice that.

But what does it matter?  What would his competitors do differently if they had the data?

From an MBA-perspective, the one thing I could do is to look at the data to decide if the market was big enough to start a venture in.

For example, Fog Creek has been at it with bug tracking/project management very hard for four or five years now - that is probably 50% of sales or more. 

That means that being an established player with a decent track record means in four or five years you could get about 1.5 Million (maybe 2) selling PM or bug tracking tools.  I think most MBA's would say "market is too small" and get out --- or try the alternative, grow-fast, spend-money-on-marketing approach, instead of growing slow.  Of course, "GrowFast" is far more risky.

So I guess market entry is one thing you could do with the data.  I guess you could also decide if FogCreek is a big enough player that you could undercut to get sales, or if it's too small to invest energy going after.

The serious upside is that Joel can use goodwill of giving out the information to prove he is a "white hat" company, which could lead to sales, investors, and new hires.

In general, I'd say transparency is worth it.  But I work at socialtext.  At one point, we had a burndown chart for our cash. :-)

Matt Heusser Send private email
Tuesday, June 03, 2008
The first thing I thought when I finished reading the article was under $10 million in revenues.

I would put his revenues at between $3-6 million in revenue. Probably on the higher side. So rent+ construction will probably run him $400-600k.

With 21 employees and those types of expenses, he is correct in stating how profitable this is. There profit is probably between $1 million-$3 million/year. That is a lot of money to split between two people.

small businesses with a limited number of stakeholders(in this case 2) are often incredibly profitable.

He has to be turning a huge profit or he wouldn't be spending money on things like this. A lot of it is marketing his brand (which is Joel on Software) and that leads to more sales for Fog Creek.
Tuesday, June 03, 2008
Being able to guesstimate Joel's expenses & revenue may seem sensitive but it doesn't affect him at all.  Ok great you can figure out how much in sales he makes, how is that going to help his competition (or you)?

Yes I know you might think this wasn't your point, but it's what you were saying in your post.

Summary: nobody wants their financial figures spilt, but even if it happen, it doesn't hurt you unless you've been lying on your taxes AND the IRL gets ahold of the data.
TravisO Send private email
Tuesday, June 03, 2008
Joel said:
20 private offices for programmers, 23 adjustable-height workstations for everyone else.

20 developers at a cost of 150k a year (benefits included) is 3 million dollars alone.  Add 23 more employees and you've got anoter 2-3 million minimum.  Those employee costs are probably low in Manhattan and that's before rent or any other costs.  So I'd expect closer to 10 million in revenue than 3 million.
Tuesday, June 03, 2008
he hires people right out of college. I doubt he is averaging $150k per developer with benefits. Its probably closer to $100k-110k with benefits.
Tuesday, June 03, 2008
and he doesn't have 20 developers. He has 21 employees. I would bet half are developers.
Tuesday, June 03, 2008
They must doing more than $3mil.  There is no way they could sustain the business in NY on $3mil unless Joel is losing money on the deal.

Tuesday, June 03, 2008
Here Joel talks about 100K of revenue per employee being representative of a good healthy company.  He states that most companies rarely ever reach the 200K mark.
Tuesday, June 03, 2008
$10 million isn't that impressive.

Markus Frind from makes that much working from his apartment:
Tuesday, June 03, 2008
Apparently their 2006 revenue was $3 million.
Tuesday, June 03, 2008
Chris, the 20 private offices are for expansion time, they are doubling their size because it is too crowded, but that doesn't mean they are filling all the new offices on day one. Divide by two, probably 10 of the offices will be filled on move-in day.
Tony Chang
Tuesday, June 03, 2008
I wonder if Co-pilot has turned into a real cash cow.
samh Send private email
Tuesday, June 03, 2008
An assumption that 20 employees are making 150k each sounds extremely high/unrealisitc to me.
Matt B Send private email
Tuesday, June 03, 2008
$100k/employee is low IMHO.  It is interesting how much revenue our totally unknown company generates in comparison.

Tuesday, June 03, 2008
"$10 million isn't that impressive.

Markus Frind from makes that much working from his apartment:"

1 guy in all of north america can do it so it's no longer immpressive. LOL!
Tuesday, June 03, 2008
"An assumption that 20 employees are making 150k each sounds extremely high/unrealisitc to me."

It was established in an earlier thread that the average developer salary at FogCreek is $145,000.

I don't think they have 20 developers though, I think the current number of developers is 10-12.
Tony Chang
Tuesday, June 03, 2008
And for comparision, $145k is a low salary for a developer in Manhattan.
Tony Chang
Tuesday, June 03, 2008
> And for comparision, $145k is a low salary for a developer
> in Manhattan.

What's more typical?

I'm in NYC and make 195k plus 50% bonus in a typical year.
Wednesday, June 04, 2008
People who think 150k as total employee cost being high are crazy.  These are software developers from top schools working in Manhattan (one of the most expensive cities in the world).  Fog Creek has to start at at least 100k for base salary just to keep kids who would otherwise go to Google.  Benefits are generally around 1/4 to 1/3 base salary.  So that's 125-130k alone.  Any Bonus or raise will get you to 150k pretty quickly.
Wednesday, June 04, 2008
> I'm in NYC and make 195k plus 50% bonus in a typical year.



Working at a major i bank, I make 140k plus 50% bonus in a typical year.
Wednesday, June 04, 2008
they are not paying entry level people $100k to start. very few of their employees probably live in manhattan. they commute from other boroughs.(I think I spelled that wrong). People who make far less than $100k have weird notions of what other people make.

I dont know how it was established that the average salary at Fog Creek was $145k. How would they know? A small company cannot pay that much. No one pays that much on average. Especially since Fog Creek mainly hires ENTRY LEVEL PEOPLE. Yes there are some people who make alot of money, but its not the average.

As I have said before, there are a lot of idiots on this forum.

If revenues were $3 million in 2006, then they probably had between 50%-100% growth with their new Fog Bugz Software. So they are probably around $4.5 million - $6 million for 2007 (may be more, dunno) and on track for higher numbers this year.

This is very profitable. Size of the company does not necessarily mean profitability or success. Most millions in the US are small business owners. I see people on here who are probably mediocre programmers spending their lives working for salary and saying what Fog Creek is doing is not impressive. No they are not google or microsoft, but they are doing well.

They produce a good product. People seem to like working there. They claim to have little to no turnover and they are turning a healthy profit.
Wednesday, June 04, 2008
> "they are not paying entry level people $100k to start"

"between Microsoft and Google the starting salary for a smart CS grad is inching dangerously close to six figures"

> "As I have said before, there are a lot of idiots on this forum."

You can count yourself among the idiots.  Oh, and try to read some other blogs.
Mo pai
Wednesday, June 04, 2008
As of '07, they were paying 75k to start.
emga Send private email
Thursday, June 05, 2008
Check out that link from above:
Fog Creek's stats from Inc. Magazine. Apparently it's no secret. And the find minds here seemed to nail it pretty close:

 Year       2007
Industry     Software
Founded     2000
Growth     423.2%
2003 Revenue     $566,576
2006 Revenue     $3.0 million
Employees     11

Wow, that's almost $300k/employee.
Mr. Analogy Send private email
Friday, June 06, 2008

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