2021 was hard for many of us.
We hoped for it to be the end of the pandemic. Instead, it became the year after the shock, the time that forced us to adapt, to keep on living with more distance.
All with a new way of doing things, not only in our personal lives but also in our jobs.
During our company meeting in December, which I was hosting, I asked each team member to unmute on Zoom for a second (part of our new reality, isn’t it?) and say one thing they are grateful for this year.
Most said they’re grateful that their loved ones are safe.
We can adapt, we can have online meetings for a while longer, we can do pilates at home, travel in-between Covid waves. We can cuddle under the blanket in winter and enjoy our cocoa at home. As long as our people are healthy and well.
For those who lost a dear one, my deepest condolences. I am heartbroken by all the pain and unfairness of it all.
A good friend told me recently that what helped him is thinking: “If something happens, see if you can do something to fix it and do it immediately. If you can’t, accept it, as it’s not in your power.”
So let’s hold on a while longer, and do our best to see this pass.
Changes at Piktochart
At Piktochart, we became a fully remote company when the pandemic started.
We were international before but still kept an office in Penang where most of the team is based, while the rest of us in Europe or the US were enthusiastically planning to visit the paradise that is Malaysia.
Now the entire team is working remotely.
Technology helped a lot.
From jumping on Zoom meetings and Slack huddles to collaborating in Google Docs, WordPress, Miro boards, and of course, Piktochart, daily business continued pretty much as usual. I remember thinking about it four years ago that remote work is quite easy in tech companies because we start out digital. So when we had to be only remote, nothing much changed for us. But it did, massively, for other industries. Thousands of companies pushed digitalization, changed processes, adopted SaaS tools, and, well, adapted.
Thinking of them and everyone really, we decided that collaboration cannot be a premium feature anymore. It is the status quo; we can’t go without it. So in August 2021, we announced in the media: “Piktochart Opens Collaboration Across All Plans. A collaborative workspace, sharing options, and PDF or PPT download are no longer exclusive to paid accounts, while Pro and Enterprise are relaunched with multiple perks.”
Since then, all of our users have been creating beautiful visuals working as a team; making edits, commenting, sharing their work easily. A freedom that I particularly enjoy with Google Docs. Now it had been made possible for the world of graphic design too. How exciting! So many possibilities for creating!
In August we also relaunched the pricing plans with more benefits, to enhance users’ flexibility. All while reducing the cost. Piktochart Pro was dropped to $14/month (billed annually) or $24/month (billed monthly).
Together with a new feature—tables, all plans—Free, Pro, and Team—have received an upgrade in storage for uploaded graphics, by 2.5x, 50x, and 100x respectively.
Committed to improving our product continuously, we released several new features and improvements.
Tables functionality includes inserting a table, resizing, editing, removing/adding columns/rows, rearranging through drag and drop, and copying to clipboard.
Reached 11 Million Users of Piktochart
We’re happy to see how more and more users choose us, and existing ones remain loyal to our visual communication platform. We are grateful to each one of you and are proud to support you in telling your story.
It is an honor to be a part of people’s work. HR professionals create onboarding processes or internal communication documents, marketers prepare infographics or social media graphics, educators and trainers work on learning materials, CEOs focus on stellar pitch decks, salespeople win deals with their presentations, large companies transform through digitization… And we get to build and continuously improve a product that can make their work as effective and beautiful as it can be.
More than a decade ago, early in her 20s, Ai Ching Goh, our CEO, had a burnout. An overachiever, she had been working for a corporation, loving the exposure and experience. Until she got sick. It took three months for her to recover. (Here is an interview with Ai Ching where she tells her story.)
This event triggered a search for the meaning of life very early on and it’s what made her realize that work was going to be a big part of it. So she needed to ensure that she’ll be really happy there. When she recovered, the decision was made. “We’re going to create a company that is more people-centric.” Soon after, Ai Ching and her husband Andrea Zaggia, Piktochart’s CTO, started Piktochart.
Fast-forward to 2021, we’ve just celebrated our 10th anniversary! As Ai Ching tells it, “in November 2011, Piktochart’s minimum viable product (MVP) came into fruition. From four people working day in and night out of a small Penang-based warehouse, our first do-it-yourself infographic platform was born. Ten years later, in November 2021, we are a remote-first 4DWW four-day workweek (4DWW) company with 40 team members from 15 countries.”
I have to tell you that when I joined Piktochart at the beginning of this year and read all the content we have in Confluence about our vision and history, I felt safe to be part of such a special company. People matter, and so does family or personal time. Feedback is given gently. Health is a priority. Our human resources team does the impossible to send swag and gifts all over the world… Customs, language barriers, Brexit changes you say? Nothing stays in the way of our remote team feeling closer.
And of course… having a four-day workweek is significant proof that ten years later, Piktochart continues to care deeply about its people. No salary cuts for Fridays off, no mistrust, no time tracking. And it works. Well, I think you’ve heard by now that we are HUGE fans of OKRs.
Piktochart trusts our employees and this empowers them, it fosters intrinsic motivation. Setting OKRs (objectives and key results) is the tool that makes it all flow.
Piktochart continues to be a family-owned, bootstrapped company. One that has managed to grow without compromising on its team happiness; enhancing it instead. And it competes in a market where some of our competitors have hundreds of millions in funding. The fact that we created a product that users keep coming back to makes all the effort worth it. So next time you log into Piktochart, maybe you’ll remember the story and know that you’re a part of something special.
If you’d like some inspiration for your projects or company, this article includes several insights from our CEO: 10 Lessons (And Counting!) From 10 Years of Bootstrapping
Piktostory Brought VIDEO
In April this year, we officially launched Piktostory (now Piktochart Video), after the BETA version of the platform was released in 2020. Piktochart Video enables users without editing experience to repurpose their video content into bite-sized clips optimized for social media.
If you don’t have an account yet, you can simply sign up for free here.
Our video editing tool is meant to make it easy for everyone to edit videos and customize them in no time, even from their phone if they need to. With Piktochart Video, you can:
- Upload video files from a local computer, Zoom, or Google Drive
- Record a video directly within Piktochart Video, online
- Add automatic subtitles in 60 different languages and edit them as you see fit
- Turn the uploaded videos into multiple snippets optimized for social platforms
- Adjust text properties including font color, font family, font size, background color, and text position
- Change video properties including video background color, video size, video position, as well as choosing between additional aspect ratios
- Add your branded watermark
One Course: Fundamentals of Visual Storytelling
We created a course for everyone who wants to learn how to communicate more effectively with visual storytelling. This course covers everything you need to know to make your story stick—from content, typography, and color psychology to data visualization and images.
You can enroll for free. It allows you to learn at your own pace, gives access to downloadable handouts, and even includes the choice to obtain a certificate of completion.
60 Articles on Visual Communication
We love content. And we love teaching about content. So this year we’ve been creating resources to help you become a better storyteller.
Guides on how to make the best presentations, reports, or infographics. Examples of flyers, posters, and other visuals. Pitch deck advice to get that investment. Brand guidelines. Tips from our remote team to yours. Video content at its best. Everything on business storytelling. The Piktochart blog has been hosting useful and relevant articles on many topics that might be top of mind for you. Make sure you take a look.
New Templates: 1250+ Total
Are you familiar with Piktochart’s templates? We have expert designers who create complex visuals templates, with attention to detail and a crazy amount of research behind them.
We don’t like redundancy in anything, and this is why we prefer to provide users with unique templates, with different icons, elements, and styles instead of thousands of similar copies. This way it’s easier to choose the one that best fits your content, without scrolling for an hour. That we do on Netflix already. 🙂 Having all the elements in one place, you can change and remove them as you see fit.
This year we grew our library, reaching a total of 1274 templates. Simply choose the category (brochures, flyers, infographics, news visualizations, posters, presentations, proposals, reports, resumes, social media) and scroll through all the designs.
Using a template instead of starting a visual from scratch saves you time. Plus, if you don’t have any graphic design experience, a template will help you look like you do.
15 Episodes of Storytelling Podcast
This year we also launched the Business Storyteller Podcast, now available on all major podcast channels. You’ll find 15 episodes with industry experts that will for sure inspire you.
Visual communication, business storytelling, OKRs, employer branding, and much more—choose your topic and get inspired by our guests; industry leaders, CEOs, entrepreneurs, marketing directors, and HR managers.
Localized Pricing: More Global by the Week ✔️
I think we, people feel more global than the logistics and infrastructure behind globalization. We are one step ahead, pushing for all the details in our path to fall into place as well.
Piktochart has been global since it was founded, ten years ago. Still until now, purchasing a Pro or Enterprise plan for Piktochart was only possible in US dollars. As part of our efforts to make the process as smooth as possible, we’re working on localized pricing.
Localized pricing allows users to check out (purchase a subscription or download) with their local currency. From the beginning of December, Mexican Peso (MXN) and Singaporean Dollar (SGD) are supported on our website, with more currencies coming soon.
14 Videos on Visual Communication
Video is king. And often it saves you time. In these videos, we wanted to explain the most important concepts for the times when you don’t have the time to read.
By the way, are you following Natasya, Piktochart’s Communication Design Manager, on LinkedIn? She’s on a roll!
Plus, check out her article: Graphic Design Trends: What’s Coming in 2022 + Expert Tips
It’s a Wrap
So this was Piktochart’s 2021 retrospective. Thank you for being close to us this year and we look forward to 2022.
Here’s to all of you! May the New Year bring fulfillment and new hope for the whole world! And may your stories reach their full potential. We’d be thrilled to help you achieve that!