The Sopranos final episode cut to black and Mad Men debuted. Moviegoers flocked to see Spider-Man 3. “Umbrella” by Rihanna and Jay-Z topped the charts. The first iPhones were sold, and people began to realize that technology could be user-friendly. 

It was the summer of 2007, and something else happened: Two entrepreneurs who had previously worked together at a Silicon Valley startup, Darrell Benatar and Dave Garr, founded a new company to help companies create great digital experiences.

Their vision was a software platform that would enable companies to quickly and easily understand what their customers think and feel—by watching and listening to them as they use their product, website, or app. 

Big Data was starting to catch fire, with more and more companies analyzing click rates, search logs, and other digital exhaust to try to get a read on customer behavior. Darrell and Dave presciently predicted that the human perspective could get lost and that brands would need ways to bring greater customer empathy into their decision making.

They called the company UserTesting.

Fifteen years later, UserTesting is a category leader in video-based human insight and a publicly-traded company on the New York Stock Exchange, whose mission to empower every organization with the breakthrough perspectives they need to deliver truly exceptional customer experiences found such resonance in the market that more than half of the world’s top 100 most valuable brands according to Forbes, rely on our platform to drive innovation, empathy, and customer understanding.

Mission. That’s a good word for how we at UserTesting feel about our company. We’re not merely selling a product or service; we’re working to fill a critical gap in the digital age—an empathy gap

As the world shifts to primarily digital experiences, companies face a huge challenge in trying to understand customers they rarely see or personally interact with. Analyzing data can help, but it misses a key dimension. Really grasping who customers are, what they want, what they love, and what they hate requires a human perspective.

Our calling is to bring authentic customer perspectives into the equation, so that customer empathy drives decision-making, not just numbers.

As we say on the UserTesting website, and we mean it, 

We believe the path to human understanding starts with shared insight—seeing and hearing how another person engages with the world around them and taking in their perspective.

On this 15th anniversary of the company’s founding, I’d like us to reflect on the company’s journey and the many things we have to be proud of.

  • In 2020 we crossed $100M in revenue, and in 2021, we began trading under USER on the NYSE. We’ve grown to 2,500 customers in 45 countries and capture tens of millions of minutes of video each year.
  • We opened our European headquarters, based in Edinburgh, Scotland, in July 2019, and our APAC headquarters in Singapore in 2022.
  • We’ve received numerous company awards and are proud to have been named to the Inc. Best-Led Companies of 2021, Inc. Best Workplaces 2022, and the Fortune Best Workplaces in the Bay Area 2021 and 2022 lists. 
  • We’ve navigated the challenges of a global pandemic and found ourselves working even harder to help companies understand rapidly changing customer sentiments and behavior.

UserTesting’s success is, of course, a team effort. So happy anniversary to our customers, founders, partners, contributors, employees, communities, investors, and alumni.

Here's to an even better future!

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About this author:

Andy brings 20 years of enterprise SaaS experience to UserTesting. As a former product executive at Oracle and Salesforce, he saw the critical role that customer centricity plays in creating great experiences. By helping companies become more customer-centric, he has grown multiple enterprise SaaS businesses to hundreds of millions of dollars.