Yesterday (November 16), Wave turned 5. This kind of milestone is great for reflecting on where we’ve been successful and where we need to improve in order to continue to earn your trust for the next 5 years.
Since our launch, almost 2 million small business owners from all over the world have registered for Wave. I'm humbled that so many people have joined us on our journey. And we’re proud that the tools we’ve built so far have helped you run your business more effectively, and freed you from the tasks that get in the way of you doing what you love.
At the same time, we know there's a lot more we need to do, to make your business easier to run, your finances easier to understand and — our ultimate goal — to make your business goals a reality.
A few months ago we began an intensive effort behind the scenes, to bring you a new generation of tools that will simplify your daily business activities like never before. This past Tuesday we updated the look and feel of Wave. Next up: Over the coming year, you're going to see us steadily unveil a much improved product suite. Wave will be faster. Wave will be easier to use and more powerful, across our whole ecosystem of tools. Wave will be more mobile, on the devices you use most.
We call this effort Next Wave, and it's based heavily on the feedback you’ve given us.
As a first step, you can expect to see exciting improvements to our invoicing tools — you'll hear more about that in a couple of weeks.
Because Wave is a large, complex system, Next Wave is a big endeavor: It's going to take about 12 months to roll out all the benefits across all of the products. And everything will be rigorously tested in alpha and beta periods first, with real-world customers, before features are released to the whole Wave community. You can read about that in this extended blog post.
But it all starts now.
You've trusted us with your small business financial life. We take that very seriously, and over the next several quarters we pledge to deliver on our mission to simplify small business. Please join us as we set a new standard on just how easy it can be to manage your business's finances.
Co-Founder & CEO, Wave
This week, I’ll be talking about one system that’s historically been viewed as being fairly “safe” and virus-free, and an impressive shift in how we’re thinking about city safety.
To begin, let’s look at macs. Historically, people who’ve purchased macs have invested less time and effort into antivirus protection. This is because in the past, people viewed their mac devices as safer, with better safeguards and less viruses attacking them.
Unfortunately, there has been a massive increase in the number of malware attacks that are targeting macs (if you’re not sure what malware is, check out the post where I discuss malware).
From 2010 to 2014, there were 108 malware attacks targeting mac devices. In 2015, there have already been 984. That’s a massive increase that mac users can’t afford to ignore if they want to keep their information safe! Antivirus software that’s up-to-date and running regularly is key to keep your device safe, no matter what device you’re using.
Moving from the bad to the good, I’d like to mention a big security win — safe cities. Every year, The Economist publishes a list of the safest cities, according to a variety of factors.
This year, they’ve added a new key measure — digital safety. Your online security is critical, and that’s now being recognized in meaningful ways. Now, when you travel you can keep apprised of not only your physical safety, but your digital safety as well!
Building software that adds up numbers isn't hard. Building a software system that can handle tens of thousands of new customers a month, with hundreds of millions of transactions — that gets tricky.
But that's still nothing compared to building that software system with the power and flexibility to re-imagine the future of accounting, invoicing, payments and payroll — with room to grow — now there's a technology challenge.
This is what we've been busy with throughout 2015. We've had dozens of engineers, computer scientists, designers and product managers working long days and late nights to build a system that will support great innovation, tomorrow and into the future, to help you run your business with confidence and ease.
The thing is, until now, their work has been invisible to you. It's sort of like building the scaffolding of a rocket ship: The work is essential, but scaffolding alone doesn't get you to the launch pad.
Starting this month, we'll be in a position to start showing the fruits of our labor.
What does that mean? For starters, we won’t be doing dramatic Apple-style unveilings of big, new products. Though we've already gathered a ton of customer input on our prototypes, we want real-world feedback now to make sure that every feature or improvement is easy, fast, and awesomely useful.
So we’re going to go one feature improvement at a time. We’ll take an improvement and offer it to a small group of customers. We’ll work with them to do some real-world testing, act on their feedback, polish up that feature, and release it to the rest of the Wave community. And then we’ll do it again and again and again, in a steady stream.
We have a series of rollouts that we plan to get to you in the next 12 months. What’s on the roadmap? Here’s what I can tell you today:
We're making invoicing more flexible and customizable, to match the way you do business. You'll have more control over templates (what information gets shown), plus added functionality like discounting. Along with that are some beautiful new invoice designs to make your business look great.
We are committed to building smart mobile solutions for your favorite devices.
You’ll see accounting tools that give you insights into changes in your income and expenses. We want you to get more value out of doing your bookkeeping, with less work.
Everything we release will be engineered for maximum performance. Nobody likes a slow web page, so we’re making improvements that could shave up to 90% off the load times for some pages.
We’re even working on ways for you to get money in the bank faster when you ask your customers for payment. By making it easier for your customers to pay you, we can improve your cashflow and make your customers happier, too.
Unfortunately, I can't get more specific than that today. We work in a very competitive industry and we can't tip our hand too soon. And frankly, what we're doing is hard, and we've learned from experience not to promise a feature before it's ready to launch. There are many things that can and will come up that will make us tweak product and delivery plans. We have to stay agile, and be able to adjust timelines and details, in order to give you the most innovative and useful products we can.
As we roll out improvements, we’ll let you know in the “What’s New” section of our Forums, and by email.
It's going to be an exciting few months. Thanks for your feedback and support.
Kirk Simpson, CEO and co-founder
When it comes to staying secure on the web, I strongly recommend that everyone uses a reliable password manager. Password managers allow you to easily use a unique password for every single online service you use.
Having a unique password for each online service is key, because when you recycle passwords, one website hack suddenly opens up your entire online identity.
Unfortunately, password managers haven’t always existed, and in the past you’ve probably reused the same password for multiple websites. In fact, you’ve probably forgotten about half of the websites you signed up for throughout your online life.
A long time ago, I picked a great password, and used it EVERYWHERE. That’s a really bad idea. If one website was ever hacked, then all of the services I used that password for were also potentially compromised.
Now, years later, how do I determine which websites I signed up for, and which ones still have that one old password?
I use the website haveibeenpwned.com.
This site maintains a huge database of accounts that have been compromised. Type in your email address (I even check my old email addresses) and it’ll let you know if you’re on any of the lists of compromised email password combinations. This doesn’t solve the problem for you, but it will at least let you know if any of your accounts have been impacted.
As always, the safest way to manage your online identity is to use a unique password for every service. You should always rotate your passwords regularly (I recommend once every six months).