Learn about how Stefan K. built one of the *first ever* Marketplace apps

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In this post you will discover more about the evolution of K15t software, some big topics they're currently focusing on in the app space, and a rare (not not funny!) photo of founders Mike Cannon-Brookes and Scott Farquhar in the early days of Atlassian.  

The K15t story began in 2002 when two young tech guys from Sydney started a software company to disrupt Bugzilla, king of the bug trackers. 

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Mike and Scott looking excited about the future! 

BUG TRACKING' -> ISSUE MANAGEMENT

K15t founder, Stefan Kleineikenscheidt was fresh out of University and helping his company find a good bug tracker. Through some vigorous googling, a colleague of his fortuitously stumbled upon Jira. That's when they were noted that Atlassian had rebranded 'bug tracking' at 'issue tracking.' From that moment on, Jira was widely used and well loved on Stefan's team. 

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JIRA 1.4 just released: The Atlassian website in 2002 

Soon, Stefan took note of the disparity between users love for Jira and their love (or lack of) the software that his current company built. As a young software developer, this kind of negative sentiment was waring. After two more roles and seven years in corporate IT, Stefan became jaded and accepted that his feelings were standard what with the "limited resources," or "changing requirements," etc. that haunted his day-to-day.

ESCAPE FROM THE IT DEPARTMENT

Aside from resigning to a life of dissatisfaction, there was only one other option that Stefan found viable: To build software of his own! And software that people would actually want to use. Funnily enough, Stefan actually considered applying for a job at Atlassian in Sydney, but stopped short because his partner had just started an exciting job in Germany. So, looking towards a company that he himself loved, he started developing a Confluence add-on as a side project. This add-on would later become the Scroll Exporter for Confluence, an app meant to help people use Confluence for documentation and content management. 

Fun fact: Stefan named the product "Scroll" after the format used by some of the first content managers in history: monks who recorded the knowledge and traditions of humanity on scrolls.

A while later, Stefan met his co-founder, Tobias, who brought energy and expertise to the project. Together, they founded K15t Software in 2009/2010. They eventually became Atlassian Experts in May 2010 and would grow to become Enterprise and Platinum Experts sometime later. Today, they continue to be a Platinum Solution Partner with most of their customers located in Germany, Austria, and Switzerland.

"We called it K15t Software because when we presented our Scroll Exporter for the first time at an Atlassian User Group, they insisted on a company name. We didn't have one, but since Stefan had started the project, we decided to call ourselves K15t (an abbreviation of Stefan's lengthy last name – Kleineikenscheidt) & Friends, which was later turned into K15t Software."

– Tobias Anstett

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Flash forward to K15t today! 

Now that you've enjoyed the story of how K15t's got its start, check out some of the big topics they're currently focusing on in the App space.  

  • Scroll Documents: This is the newest member of our 'Scroll' family of apps which brings document management functionality to Confluence. It allows users to track changes, compare versions and milestones, and better manage multi-page content as a tree of pages. 
  • Help Centers: K15t has had a lot of interest in how they built their own K15t Help Center, which is based entirely on Confluence using Scroll Viewport (fun fact: it's what Atlassian uses for their documentation too)! They're in the process of building a new app to help users easily turn their documentation spaces into something similar. There's nothing to show quite yet but they will be releasing a beta in the near future! 
  • Backbone: K15t's lone Jira app helps break down departmental and organizational borders by syncing Jira issue data like fields, comments, and attachments. 
  • Consistently improving our core family of apps: K15t is always working on improvements to their apps that help people get the most out of Confluence – from helping people export Confluence content in a variety of formats (Scroll PDF Exporter, Scroll Office, Scroll HTML Exporter, etc.) to their content management and documentation apps (Scroll Versions, Translations, Acrolinx Connector, etc.)

Thanks, K15t Team! If you have questions for K15t, please leave them in the comment's section below. 

14 comments

Delyn Simons Atlassian Team Apr 10, 2018

Great learning more about K15t, one of our Solution Partner and Marketplace vendor champions in the Atlassian Community!

I had no idea Scroll Viewport and other Scroll Marketplace apps refers back to monks acting as 15th century “content managers” — love that connection to Confluence being an open and shared workspace that humans have been doing for the last 6+ centuries.

Thanks for sharing your origin story! We're so glad to have you and appreciate all that you do to make this a vibrant, productive, and happy community.  

Nice write up K15t Team! And thank you for sharing your Story.

Happy K15t app user for several years, and enjoyed visiting their office last year and meet the fantastic team. Their culture of innovation is evident in everything they do.

Meg Holbrook Community Champion Apr 11, 2018

Was so cool getting to meet you guys at the Summit last year! (Sweet, sweet unicorn stickers). 

Hey Stefan,
great to hear from you guys here.
Greetz to all of you and keep on making great plugins!

Daniel Eads Community Champion Apr 12, 2018

We're happy Scroll ImageMap users!

Are there any plans to open-source Conversations for Server? We'd love to use it but are interested in merging the video panel with the regular bottom toolbar until a call is started.

Thanks a lot for the good wishes, everyone. And thanks Bridget, for creating this post!

But let me also take this opportunity to thank Mike and Scott and the whole Atlassian Team for creating this great ecosystem, where so many people around can be a part of and build businesses like K15t. Way to go!

Cheers from Stuttgart (Germany),
-Stefan

 

PS: My original story can be found here: https://www.k15t.com/blog/2018/03/why-and-how-i-co-founded-k15t-software

@Daniel Eads, we actually don't plan to turn it into an open-source project. But please get in touch with me, if you are interested in the source code -> Just email <firstname>@k15t.com

Bridget Sauer Community Manager Apr 13, 2018

@Stefan Kleineikenscheidt (K15t Software) it was so fun learning more about your story. I heard lots of good feedback from many members of the Atlassian team. Looking forward to collaborating on many more K15t stories to come! 

Two questions regarding this Help Center topic mentioned at the bottom of the article: is the approach targetting cloud only? And will there be an open call for beta participants?

Cheers from Koblenz (Germany),
Thorsten

Hey @Thorsten Letschert [Decadis AG], we're still working on it, and don't have anything to announce publicly. In the meantime please reach out to support@k15t.com, so that we can put your email on the list for beta-program participants.

I saw Stefan at the Atlas Camp and heard his history. Im glad he didn't decorate anything and just told us everything as it happened, nothing about epic stories and dramatic movie-like things.

You are awesome!

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