If you take risks, you have a very low chance of success.
If you don't take risks, you have a zero chance of success.
In 1999, Netinfo and the team behind Abv Mail decided to take a leap into the unknown, hardly suspecting they were about to create a product that currently unites more than 3 million* Bulgarians.
Biser Grigorov, one of ABV's first software engineers, who still works at NetInfo as Abv Mail Product Manager, remembers how he joined NetInfo to work on a new project. The team's company was ambitious and wanted to compete with the big players in the industry. They believed they would make it and it didn't take them long to turn their ambitions into reality.
When Abv Mail was born in 1999, people in Bulgaria already had their Yahoo, Hotmail mailboxes. There were also local brands on the market.
However, NetInfo had a different strategy.
Up to 2000, and even after that, Bulgarian emails used ready-made software.
Abv's creators decided to take a risk and develop their own software.
And this was a leap into the deep – they needed serious resources, while nobody could guarantee what the final outcome would be, Abv's team remembers.
However, they did not see the unknown as a hurdle – they saw it as a potential opportunity to make everything easier for the users.
Challenges appeared at the very start: the team was small and none of them had written this kind of software before; the servers that the company had were not enough and were kept in a small space on Sofia's Angel Kantchev St.; furthermore, they were cooled by an... indoor fan.
Still, instead of focusing on everything that may just as well not work out, Abv's team chose to focus on the thing that would work out.
And this thing was Abv.bg.
According to the project team, the actual creators of the products are users through their feedback.
The very concept of the mail service is based on the philosophy that everything is done for the sake of facilitating users. For the team, this is not just yet another task, this is a cause that they are committed to achieve.
At the dawn of Abv, when users were growing by the day, the team worked day and night to secure a stable, high-quality service. Everyone on the team believed in the idea they were creating a product that was actually useful and loved by the people.
After the successful launch of Abv in 1999, the product began growing at very fast rates.
The first years were the hardest period for the product – the team was gaining experience on a trial and error basis.
The first functionality they developed was the mail service. Then the "Cupboard" idea was born, which later transformed into Dox.bg. Users liked the product more and more, and this brought some changes, such as finding a new home for the servers and setting up a professional hosting center in 2003.
In 2015, Abv launched its mobile app.
Currently, figures clearly show Abv's important place in the everyday lives of users: the mail stores 20 million* incoming messages*. Every day, more than 700,000* inboxes are opened, generating nearly half a million messages.
*data source: internal admin system currently used by Netinfo