- Interview with Edgar HIPP, CEO of Docxtemplater.
- Explore Edgar’s entrepreneurial journey and the challenges he faced.
- Learn about the benefits of using Docxtemplater’s template-based approach and its target customers.
- Exciting future plans including new features like PDF conversion and upcoming projects.
In this interview, we will explore Edgar’s entrepreneurial journey, the unique features of Docxtemplater, and the future plans for this remarkable software.
First Part of Interview: Founding the Company and the Product: Docxtemplater
Edgar HIPP, a talented programmer with a strong entrepreneurial spirit, embarked on his journey by founding the Docxtemplater project in 2013. The inspiration behind the project came from his desire to make document generation simple and quick to generate business proposals (in Microsoft Word format). Starting as an open-source project, Docxtemplater gained traction over time and evolved into a commercial venture in 2017, with over 300 customers embracing its capabilities.
What sets Docxtemplater apart from other solutions is its template-based approach. By using tags within templates, users can automate document generation effortlessly. This flexibility and convenience make Docxtemplater a game-changer for businesses seeking efficient document creation.
Second Part of the Interview: The Unique Benefits and Typical Clients
According to Edgar, its ease of installation, robustness, and lightning speed make it a valuable tool for companies that need to generate a large number of documents daily.
Docxtemplater’s customer base are companies with at least one developer. The customers need to generate Word, Powerpoint or Excel reports using data coming from their application.
Third Part of Interview: Sales and Marketing Strategies
By offering a free, open-source version on Github for all most commonly used features, the software has gained wide recognition and trust from the developer community.
To meet the diverse needs of customers, Docxtemplater offers a flexible pricing model. Modules can be purchased separately, allowing customers to tailor their solutions to their specific needs.
Edgar also explain the new pricing model that is now separated in 5 plans.
- The opensource version
- Buying a module
- The PRO Plan
- Then ENTREPRISE Plan
- The PREMIUM Plan
You can learn more about the pricing changes in this article
In addition, the company ensures timely assistance and quick resolution of any questions or concerns.
Fourth Part of Interview: Future Plans
Edgar shares his vision for Docxtemplater’s future, with plans to introduce new features. Among the upcoming developments are :
- the integration of a new module to convert docx to PDF
- the simplification of the code base and API for smoother operations
- the development of additional projects for developpers in the near future.
We hope this exclusive interview with Edgar HIPP, CEO of Docxtemplater, has provided you with valuable insights into the remarkable journey behind the software and its promising future.
Thank you for being part of this journey, and be sure to stay tuned for more captivating updates from Docxtemplater!
00:00:10 – 00:00:21
Salah (interviewer) :
Hello everyone and welcome to our introduction video. We will be interviewing our owner and founder Edgar to get a better feel of our product and our company. So could you please introduce yourself, Edgar?
00:00:21 – 00:00:50
Edgar (Owner of doctempalter) :
Yes. Hello, I’m Edgar Hipp and I’m the creator of docxtemplater. Docxtemplater is a project I have created in 2013. It’s been ten years now. Docxtemplater is a library that allows you to generate documents using a template and data. So, for example, one of my customer is working in the chemical industry and every week he wants to generate reports that comes from data sources he owns.
And the data sources tell them how many errors there were in the last week. And so they want to have a generated report of tens of pages to know exactly what where the issue issues last week. Okay.
00:01:08 – 00:01:19
I have over 300 customers worldwide, so it’s been a very successful product and I have also several free users who are using the open source version.
00:01:19 – 00:01:31
Thank you. Now I would like to ask you more questions about the product as you get a better feeling of it. What makes docxtemplater unique compared to other products of software generation programs?
00:01:31 – 00:02:00
Yes. So simply it is very unique because it is way simpler to use than other products. The other products require you to have the knowledge of the format of knowing how to edit the format, which I have. So basically what you do when you use docxtemplater is you don’t have to worry about anything about the internals of the docx format because I handle them for you.
00:02:00 – 00:02:33
Okay. And so you, you have a very easy to use syntax that you can use inside your word documents. And with this easy to use syntax, you can create some templates. And once you have integrated docxtemplater into your code, you then can generate the documents from your application. So when I compare it to other solutions, basically you have to code a lot and you have to take a lot of developer time to use the other products.
00:02:33 – 00:02:45
And for my product you just use the development time once and then you can do your stuff simply from world. You don’t have to worry about having one developer working on this every day.
00:02:45 – 00:02:52
Okay, now I would like to know for our future potential clients, how do you suggest the user test your software?
00:02:53 – 00:03:15
Yes, they have three ways to test the software. The first one is to use the demo and it’s also the simplest one. You don’t have to have much technical knowledge to to use it. If you are not used to coding, you can get around with it. So you go to docxtemplater.com and you go to the demo web at the demo site page.
00:03:15 – 00:03:41
Yes, to the demo page. And uh, with this demo you can try your own templates so you can change the template that you want to use and put in some data and then click generate and it will generate your document. And on this demo all modules are activated, all modules are turned on, you can use it online and you can test it.
00:03:41 – 00:03:54
So that’s the first way. Then you also have. The second way is to use the free version. The open source version is available for use for free and there’s no limitations to it.
00:03:55 – 00:04:09
And thirdly, you can also buy the software that you want to use, either the image module or some other modules. And if you’re not happy with it, you can get a refund within 14 days.
00:04:10 – 00:04:18
Now, now that we know more about what makes it unique and how to use it, I would like to know who is your typical client?
00:04:19 – 00:04:58
Yes. So I don’t really have one type of typical client. I have very big companies that are using the software because they want to generate many documents. And I do that for them. So for example, I have Dell or also the the French posting service and also a lot of energy providers like, in France EDF, but I don’t think I have EDF, but I have the German version, also an energy provider who, who needs to generate invoices and so on.
00:04:59 – 00:05:14
And then I also have way smaller companies, some startups or some small, small businesses, even, uh, even single developers who are creating their own company. They can also purchase my, my software.
00:05:15 – 00:05:23
So to my understanding, it’s not only big companies, but it’s companies that want to generate lots of documents.
00:05:23 – 00:05:24
00:05:25 – 00:05:31
Now, I would like to know, is it possible to use docxtemplater without any knowledge of coding like myself?
00:05:32 – 00:06:08
00:06:10 – 00:06:20
And, if you don’t have any developer at your company and you want to integrate docxtemplater, I can help you with that with the premium version.
00:06:20 – 00:06:31
So for the installation part, you do need some coding knowledge, but once it’s installed, anyone can use the products. Very well. Now, how have clients benefited from docxtemplater ?
00:06:32 – 00:06:57
So there are three, three major points which make docxtemplater very useful for my clients. The first one is the simplicity, so it’s very easy to install. You just have to run one command and copy a little bit of code and then it will work on your website. And also it’s very simple because everything is done in your templates.
00:06:57 – 00:07:22
So you write your template and the data will be filled in automatically. You don’t have to worry about any of the internals of the docx format because the internals of the docx format are very complex. And if you want to to get deep into that, you have to have one developer just doing that all day and it’s going to cost you way more than using docxtemplater.
00:07:24 – 00:07:47
Then there’s also the robustness of docxtemplater, it has been used by several thousands of customers with over probably over 1 million generations so far. So it’s been very robust because while it’s been battled against time. So everyone who has a bug will usually contact me and I will fix the issue.
00:07:47 – 00:08:14
So with time, I have released hundreds and hundreds of versions of the module which always improved robustness so that it works with all kinds of inputs. And lastly, there is the speed of docxtemplater. It’s written in a very optimized way so that the documents will be generated very quickly.
00:08:14 – 00:08:20
So three words to remember : speed, robustness and simplicity.
00:08:20 – 00:08:20
00:08:20 – 00:08:26
Very well. Now, how do you ensure the security and privacy of your client’s data?
00:08:27 – 00:08:55
So docxtemplater, when you buy it. It’s made by design that you will have access to the package and you will install it on your own server. So whenever you use the template, you know that everything is inside your data, inside your servers, inside your cloud. So you don’t have to to worry about any documents going anywhere outside of your company.
00:08:55 – 00:09:15
So that’s the design, how it’s made and about security, I take it very seriously and I do follow best practice for security. And also I try to minimize my dependencies so that there’s always no possibility of a security issue.
00:09:15 – 00:09:22
Now to go back on the speed, can I know how fast is docxtemplater to externally to actually.
00:09:22 – 00:09:35
Yeah. So specifically I have done some tests and with the 50 pages document, you will always get to result in less than 1 second except for very special cases. But it’s very quick.
00:09:36 – 00:09:49
So it’s quite fast. And another question. This question is more about the founding of the company. This is the second part of our interview where we would like to know how did you come up with the idea of docxtemplater.
00:09:49 – 00:10:20
Okay, so docxtemplater was created first. It was an open source version. So in open source project in 2013, it was a spinoff of some other product that I made, and this project was given several features. And one of these feature was the document generation and our users at the time, really liked the document generation. So I decided to make it open source so that other products can use it.
00:10:21 – 00:10:24
And so that’s how it got started.
00:10:25 – 00:10:31
Okay. Now more of a personal question we would like to know what inspired you to start your own company?
00:10:33 – 00:11:04
So I know that I always wanted to be a business owner and I wasn’t looking specifically for this opportunity because the docxtemplater for me it was just a side project, but because I have maintained it well and a lot of users asked questions at some time in 2015, I started receiving a lot of requests to add some features, so I made them pay for for the new features.
00:11:04 – 00:11:12
And when I had enough customers that I worked with directly, I decided to create a product offer.
00:11:14 – 00:11:26
Okay. Now for the third part of our interview, I would like to ask more about sales and marketing. So first question is how do you market and sell your product to your potential customers?
00:11:27 – 00:11:54
So my main acquisition strategy is using GitHub. So all my clients, usually first try the free version by using GitHub. And if they have an issue, they will open an issue on GitHub and they see that I’m very fast to respond to such issues and they can test the software and see that it will work with all of their inputs.
00:11:54 – 00:12:12
All of their docx inputs. So my main marketing is just to have a great products and currently we are working on the possibility to add a blog and to also add a LinkedIn page. So we will also have some other marketing channels.
00:12:13 – 00:12:17
And can you tell us more about your pricing model?
00:12:17 – 00:12:40
Yes. So I have four different possibilities. So the first one is the free version, which allows you to use the template for free for after. The second one is to use a module. When you use a module, you have a specific need for some feature. For example, the image module or the Excel module because you want to generate Excel documents.
00:12:41 – 00:12:51
So when you purchase this module, one module will give you access to our support where we respond to any issues within two business days.
00:12:53 – 00:13:21
Then you also have the pro version, which is a set of modules where you also get support within two business days. And then lastly, you have the enterprise plan which gives you access to all modules and to a better support in 24 hours time. And then there’s also this new option of the premium license, which gives you access to all the modules as well.
00:13:21 – 00:13:25
And also I will install the software on your hosts.
00:13:25 – 00:13:38
Okay. Now that we know how you market your products and what your pricing model looks like. I would like to know more about your strategy. That’s been the most effective and successful in acquiring and retaining new customers.
00:13:39 – 00:14:13
So for acquiring customers, I think the best strategy so far has been to use well, to make a very polished free version. So GitHub version is very polished and it works very well. So my customers know that I work well and then they are they are totally okay to buy the product because they already love what I’ve done and also,
00:14:13 – 00:14:28
they really like my support. So I get quickly back to them. So they like to stay as a customer because they know they will get the support that they deserve.
00:14:30 – 00:14:37
So customer support is a strong suit of ours where you actually get back to your customers on a regular basis.
00:14:38 – 00:14:38
00:14:38 – 00:14:46
And now lastly, let’s talk more about the future plans. Uh, where do you see your company and your products in the future is going on?
00:14:47 – 00:15:14
So in the near future, I will be developing new features. For example, one of the features that has been asked a lot is the PDF Generation feature. So this will come out in the following months. And then also I will be simplifying even more the code base so that it will be easier for my customers to use the software and also to install it.
00:15:14 – 00:15:23
And also for me, I want to do some internal refactoring so that it makes it easier for me to add new features.
00:15:23 – 00:15:27
Okay. And are there any other products or projects that you’re currently working on?
00:15:28 – 00:15:53
And so my main activity is docxtemplater. I work on it 90% of the time and, while I have a little bit of spare time in which I do some other small projects,and some other small projects that I may be planning to commercialize in the future, but currently it’s just potential I don’t have a concrete project.
And for all these people that are interested, where can they follow docxtemplater online.
00:16:00 – 00:16:24
So simply you can follow us on our blog blog.docxtemplater.com and we will also be publishing new content on LinkedIn and on our social media.And if you have any questions, you can also ask to book a meeting by going to docxtemplater.com and clicking on the talk with sales button at the bottom right.
00:16:24 – 00:16:25
00:16:26 – 00:16:36
All right. Well, I hope we’ve answered all your questions and that this interview has been very successful on my part. Thank you very much for our founder and owner for accepting this interview.
00:16:37 – 00:16:38
Yes, thank you very much.
00:16:38 – 00:16:43
We hope to see you again on our blog and if you have any other questions book a meeting.