Blog Post

2021: Year in Review

Illustration: 2021: Year in Review

Letter from the CEO

2021 was a year of success and change. 2022 promises to be a year of growth and opportunity.

It’s an honor to be able to partner with some of the most innovative companies and developers in the world and help them deliver the document solutions of tomorrow. Throughout this pandemic, our work has been behind the scenes helping schoolchildren learn remotely, helping patients receive healthcare in a digital world, and helping the employees of businesses large and small continue to produce and flourish while working from home. As we mark our first decade as a company, it’s increasingly difficult to identify an industry we don’t currently serve. This is a tremendous accomplishment. None of this would be possible without each and every customer of ours relying on our solutions throughout the years. Thank you always for the partnership and support!

2021 was also a year of evolution for PSPDFKit. While we’ve always been strong believers in building a company that’s remote first, we couldn’t have imagined or predicted that a pandemic would push people all over the world into remote or hybrid work so quickly. If 2020 was the shock, 2021 was the evolutionary response. We saw more interest in our company and products than ever before, and we were lucky to be able to welcome one of the top software investors in the world, Insight Partners, to come on the journey with us.

We have a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity in front of us to change the way the world works with and thinks about paper and documents. That’s a big statement and an even bigger challenge. Paper has been around for millennia. The time to answer what’s next for PDF and digital paper is now.

One of the things I’m most proud of this year is our undertaking of planting 10 trees per customer. Our work in replacing paper has real-world effects, and this was an excellent way of further demonstrating our dedication to this critically important cause. I promise this is only the start.

We live in exciting times — where people from all walks of life, spanning across six continents, can combine their shared values, bleeding-edge technology, and an unquenchable eagerness to learn and improve and directly impact the course of humanity. We’ll build this future together through our shared core values, our combined creativity and ingenuity, and our commitment to our customers. I’m so proud to be a part of this team.

Thank you for your partnership and for coming on this amazing journey with us.

We’re just getting started.

Jonathan D. Rhyne

New Products and Components

2021 new products collage PDF Generation for Web Electronic Signatures for Web, iOS, Windows, and Android Document Comparison for Web, iOS, Android, Mac Catalyst, and Electron Instant Comments for Web, iOS, Android, and Mac Catalyst

In 2021, we focused on delivering improved document collaboration, e-signature, and PDF generation experiences. And with our hosted API tools, we made it easier to embed document processing in your application.

Below is an overview of what each of these products and components does.

  • PDF API — Cloud-based PDF API tools to make it easier for you to process documents in your workflow. You can generate, convert, OCR, watermark, edit, and flatten your documents, and more.

  • Electronic Signatures — Gives you the ability to quickly add drawn, scanned, or written signatures to any documents you work with.

  • Instant Comments — Lets you have real-time discussions with other users directly in your document.

  • Document Comparison — Visually compare two documents by overlaying them on each other.

  • PDF Generation — Create PDF documents within your web or server apps, including generating PDF forms from HTML form layouts.

New Features

2021 new features collage Collaboration Permissions TIFF Image Support Undo and Redo Support PDF- and Office-to-Image Conversion

In addition to our new products, we also rolled out several features that improved current components.

  • Collaboration Permissions — A fine-grained permission system that lets you define actions allowed by individual users when multiple users are working on the same document.

  • Undo and Redo Support — When working on a document, you’re now able to undo or redo the annotations you’ve added.

  • TIFF Image Support — Convert and view TIFF documents in your viewer.

  • Image Converter APIs — Convert PDF, Word, Excel, and PowerPoint files to PNG, JPG, and WebP images.

Culture at PSPDFKit

Illustration of the talent show

Before COVID-19, our company met twice a year on European retreats. But with a worldwide pandemic, we weren’t able to meet, and we had to find other ways to connect. Initially, we had coffee chats one morning a week and happy hour meetups one afternoon a week, but after the pandemic became a constant in our lives, these informal meetups began to fade into the background.

To encourage people to take a break and socialize more, we reworked the format, and in mid-2021, we kicked off a weekly social meetup. These meetups have no format or rules, other than someone is a host and leads the group in an activity or discussion.

We played games like Geoguessr and Werewolf; did team building exercises like Who Wrote That? and Two Truths and a Lie; participated in quizzes like British Pub Quiz and Art or Cheese?; learned about where different colleagues come from in the Where Are You From? series; and learned about things like speaking Chinese, going on endurance adventures, and practicing Ashtanga Yoga.

PSPDFKit Talent Show

In early 2021, we held a PSPDFKit talent show featuring 14 acts from our accomplished teammates. The talents ranged from juggling, dancing, and solving Rubik’s Cubes, to musical, artistic, and stand up performances. The best part of all is that we got a new theme song out of it!

Diversity Breakout Sessions

This year, we increased the frequency of our Diversity Breakout Group meetings. We gathered ideas from all our team members with an internal survey, worked on creating a framework to help us scale an inclusive culture, and launched our internship program.

Internship Program

One of the most successful initiatives sprung from our diversity breakout sessions was the creation of an internship program. The objective of the internship program is to provide underrepresented individuals with an opportunity to gain hands-on engineering experience. In November, we had our first new intern join our Hybrids team, and we’re looking forward to learning and growing together!

Quarterly AMAs

Communication and transparency is a cornerstone of PSPDFKit’s culture. That’s why, this year, we increased our AMAs from twice a year to quarterly. Anyone can submit anonymous questions, and topics range from the serious (employee benefits and compensation, product focus and direction, financial health of the company) to the lighthearted (Favorite popsicle flavor? Messi or Ronaldo? Would you rather fight 1 horse-sized duck or 100 duck-sized horses?).

Key Initiatives

2021 in numbers

In a fast-growing technology company, there’s never a shortage of things to do, and how you prioritize is often an important factor in determining success. This past year, we decided to focus on three key initiatives: improving documentation, launching a new website design, and experimentation.

Improving Documentation

In 2021, we focused on making it easier for developers to integrate our SDK in their workflows and applications. We worked on improving our documentation by creating more than 2,000 new guides and adding more than 250 code samples. We also simplified our getting started journey by creating a platform picker for our free trials. To get started with our SDK, you simply select your preferred platform, frontend or backend, project, and integration type.

New Website Design

A new website design went hand in hand with improving our documentation. One of our goals is to provide the best possible user experience for our customers, so launching a website that supports that vision was the first step. In this overhaul, we focused on updated and cohesive branding.

Experimentation Week

For years, we’ve championed monthly Experimental Fridays, which is free time for colleagues to work on researching and solving problems — whether it’s something in their day-to-day work, relevant to their platform-specific community, or facing a wider community of developers. This year, we took that a step further and kicked off Experimentation Week as part of our goal of promoting and encouraging innovation through intentionally creating opportunities for constant experimentation. Across the company, teams brainstormed new ideas and presented their top contenders to the company. We then picked projects we were interested in and devoted a week of our time to coming up with proposals, solutions, and prototypes.

New Blog Posts Published

2021 blog post published

At PSPDFKit, we value sharing knowledge and writing. That’s why a big part of our success can be attributed to many of the blog articles we write throughout the year. This past year, we published 134 different blog posts and had more than 600,000 users consuming our content! Some of our most popular blogs are shown below.

New Customers

We’re incredibly appreciative for the opportunity to work with so many amazing customers. In addition to maintaining our longstanding partnerships, in 2021, we welcomed 136 new customers to the PSPDFKit family.

Here are a few of the new customers we met this year!

2021 blog post published

Additionally, as an end-of-the-year thank you to our current and new customers, we planted 10 trees in each of their names through One Tree Planted. Our team is committed to improving the environment by empowering digital transformation through our SDK and by supporting organizations that create a healthier climate, protect biodiversity, and help reforestation efforts.

Future Outlook

It’s been a big year for our company in terms of innovation and culture, and we have no plans of slowing down. We can’t help but feel proud of how much we accomplished this past year, and we look forward to what’s in store in 2022. Thank you again for your partnerships and your trust.

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2023: Year in Review