saas.unbound is a podcast for and about founders who are working on scaling inspiring products that people love, brought to you by . I’m your host, Anna Nadeina, Head of Growth for In episode #38, we talk with Aytekin Tank, Founder & CEO of Jotform, an online form builder that enables businesses to create customized forms.


The Journey of JotForm: From a Simple Form Builder to a Powerful Automation Tool


We are taking a deep dive into the journey of JotForm, an online form builder that has evolved into a powerful automation tool for businesses. We are exploring the background of JotForm, the inspiration behind its creation, and how it has grown into a successful company with millions of users worldwide. Aytekin, the co-founder and CEO of JotForm, shares his insights into the secrets of his business success.


From Developer to Founder

Aytekin’s journey started with a background in computer science and years of experience as a developer for a media company in New York. During his time there, he was responsible for creating online forms for the company’s editors, which became a repetitive and uninspiring task. Aytekin wished for a product that would allow users to create their own forms easily without the need for his assistance. In 2005, he decided to take matters into his own hands and founded JotForm.

When JotForm was initially released in February 2006, it was offered as a free product to users. After receiving positive feedback and witnessing a steady increase in signups, Aytekin released a paid version the following year. This decision proved to be successful, as JotForm continued to attract more users and generate revenue. Aytekin’s dedication to providing a high-quality product and maintaining a bootstrap mentality has been key to JotForm’s long-term success.


The Importance of a Bootstrapper Mentality

One of the elements that sets JotForm apart is its bootstrapper mentality. This approach allows them to make decisions quickly and adapt to the changing needs of their users. By maintaining a focus on product development and growth, JotForm has been able to continuously improve its offerings and stay ahead in a competitive market.


The Evolution of JotForm

Over the past 18 years, JotForm has grown from a simple form builder into a comprehensive automation tool. They have achieved this by continuously focusing on improving their core product while also expanding their suite of tools to cater to the diverse needs of their users. By listening to customer feedback and conducting extensive user research, JotForm has been able to identify areas where it can provide additional value and develop new features accordingly.

One of the biggest differentiators for JotForm is the depth of their product. While they offer a simple and user-friendly form builder, they also provide advanced features and integrations that allow users to automate their workflows. This approach ensures that JotForm can cater to a wide range of industries and departments, from healthcare to education to nonprofits. By understanding the specific needs of its users, JotForm has been able to build a product that solves real problems and helps businesses streamline their processes.


The Role of Founder Branding

Aytekin’s founder branding has played a significant role in JotForm’s growth. While it may not directly bring in paid users, it has allowed him to connect with people, share his knowledge, and learn from others. By being accessible and engaging with the JotForm community, Aytekin has built trust and goodwill, which ultimately benefits the company. His founder branding also serves as a way for him to stay connected to the needs of users and incorporate their feedback into the product development process.


Scaling the Company and Prioritization

As JotForm has grown, scaling the company and prioritizing tasks have become essential. To ensure a good user experience and maintain consistency throughout the product, JotForm relies on teamwork, cross-functional collaboration, and a deep understanding of user needs. By dividing the company into smaller teams, each with a specific focus and a shared goal, JotForm can tackle multiple areas of development while still maintaining a cohesive and user-centric approach.

One of the challenges of scaling is managing the increasing volume of requests and support tickets. To address this, JotForm utilizes user research, usability testing, and customer interviews to gather feedback and make informed decisions. They also invest in the quality of their product, constantly striving to improve usability and maintain their position as a top choice among users. This commitment to excellence has resulted in a loyal user base and continuous growth for JotForm.


The Power of Automation

Automation has been a game-changer for Aytekin. By automating routine tasks, such as email processing and prioritization, Aytekin has been able to save time and focus on more important work. One of his best automation hacks is using Gmail labels and filters to prioritize emails based on their importance. This simple yet effective technique has transformed his email management process and allowed him to stay on top of his inbox.


The Future of Automation and AI

While JotForm currently utilizes AI in areas like fraud detection and spam prevention, Aytekin recognizes that AI will play an even bigger role in automation in the future. As AI technology advances, automation will become faster and easier, enabling businesses to save even more time and improve their productivity. Aytekin is excited about the potential of AI and is continuously exploring ways to leverage it in product offerings.



JotForm’s journey from a simple form builder to a powerful automation tool showcases the importance of a strong product, founder branding, and a focus on user needs. By prioritizing the development of their core product, continuously improving their offerings, and embracing automation, JotForm has become a trusted and successful solution for millions of users worldwide. As the future of automation and AI unfolds, JotForm is poised to continue making a significant impact in the industry.


Head of Growth,