Mid-Michigan’s TechSmith, Growing Globally, Surpasses $50M in Revenue

3/15/13Follow @XconomyDET

Late last month, the Okemos, MI-based software company TechSmith announced it had surpassed $50 million in revenue in 2012.

TechSmith’s top sellers are Camtasia, which enables even novice users to create interactive videos, and Snagit, screen-capture software that allows users to grab and enhance images. Both products earned awards from PCMag. “We provide great value and our products are stable and easy to use,” says Jim Hidlay, the company’s vice president of sales.

Hidlay says TechSmith, which was founded in 1987, has had double-digit growth every year for the past dozen, with the exception of 2009. Company president William Hamilton founded the company to create custom software but soon realized there was a need for products that helped people utilize ever-changing technology to communicate with one another. Snagit was the first commercial software product TechSmith launched, and Hidlay says the fact that it’s been around 20 years helps consumers feel they can trust it.

Although TechSmith’s picture today might be rosy, that wasn’t always the case. Hamilton told Xconomy in 2010 that an “unfortunate partnership” in the early years hindered the company’s growth. “I made a bad business decision and got into a business relationship with a company that turned out we didn’t have a level of compatibility that we thought,” Hamilton said at the time. As part of the partnership’s split, Hamilton gave the other company the local database interface technology it had been working on and started from scratch. After much iterating, TechSmith released the first version of Snagit in 1991.

Today, TechSmith’s team is up to about 260 people, and Hidlay takes pride in the fact that TechSmith is selling desktop, mobile, and cloud-based products globally. In fact, the company has seen much of its recent growth in overseas markets. It just released new Japanese versions of Camtasia and Snagit, and a brand new e-commerce site in Japanese to go with it. Hidlay is also excited about a newer TechSmith product called Coach’s Eye, which offers shareable instant video analysis and slow-motion review to smartphone users. Hidlay says it’s used by everyone from Olympic athletes to gym teachers.

Hidlay admits that for all the company’s global success, it does get a bit lonely being the only software company of its kind and size in mid-Michigan. “There are a lot of tech jobs in mid-Michigan, but they aren’t in IT, they’re in places like Michigan State University and the State of Michigan,” he adds.

Sarah Schmid is the editor of Xconomy Detroit. You can reach her at 313-570-9823 or sschmid@xconomy.com. Follow @XconomyDET

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