Zamzar is 10 Years Young

We’re celebrating our birthday here at Zamzar HQ – ten years ago today we launched the Zamzar website with a simple mission:

convert all the files.png

Things were very different ten years ago. In Internet years that’s like 8 centuries …

A potted history of 2006

Cast your mind back to 2006 …

  • The INTERWEBS™ was a small and barren wasteland with *only* 75 million websites online (there are 1.4 billion now)

We were about here on this graph:


  • Twttr was 1 Tweet strong:


  • The iPhone didn’t exist yet (WAT!) – all the cool kids were using Motorola Razr’s. The, er, not-so-cool ones had Palm Treo 700’s.


  • Dropbox was about to get flamed on Hacker News as “not very viral or income-generating” and Facebook’s only users were Mark and his mum [1].
  • ICanHasCheezburger hadn’t been invented (NO LOLCATS !), and the most popular meme of the year was a sneezing panda:

Launching Zamzar

It was into this primordial Internet soup that Zamzar was born. Most of the 9 months of intensive development time for such a key pillar of the Internet was spent on logo design
logo-drawings(obviously the key facet for any budding “web 2.0” service).

We’ve included the best of the bunch for your delectation – extra marks for spotting the malformed sheep motif. Graphic design was not our strongest asset at the time.

Despite the shameful attempts at back-of-a-beermat logo design Michael Arrington covered the launch at TechCrunch, Wired and Lifehacker both jumped onboard with very positive articles, the BBC gave Zamzar glowing reviews and Robert Scoble (he of Google Glass fame) liked what he saw.

The vogue for launching “web 2.0” applications into (seemingly perperobert_scoble_quotetual) beta at the time led Zamzar to be included in the Museum of Modern Betas a fascinating historical record of every-man-and-his-dog’s attempt to jump on the web 2.0 bandwagon.

The “museum” is still charting new beta launches to this day, and Zamzar has the privilege of rating as number 2 on the list of most popular betas of all time (just behind Flickr).

Launching Zamzar was primarily an exercise in “scratching our own itch” in developing software which allowed us to view, edit and save files in as wide a variety of formats as possible, without needing to have every version of every application ever made. We’re thrilled that this turned out to be a useful solution for others too.

Running Zamzar

We’re proud to have run Zamzar as a bootstrapped and profitable web business for 10 years now. If time on the Internet was calculated in dog years (which it should be) we’d be 65 years old.

During that time we’ve:

The fact that we’vemake-something-people-want never taken VC-funding (despite being courted on numerous occasions), allows us to keep focussed squarely on making our products better for our customers.

This is our number one goal, one which is shamelessly stolen from Paul Graham & Y-Combinator – Make something people want.

The Future

Our plan is to keep building products and services which you will love. Products that make handling and using file formats easier for everyone, whether they are new to the world of computers or a seasoned developer.

City urban street art, Shoreditch, East London.We recently launched a file conversion API capable of converting thousands of different file formats right from the command line or inside your own mobile or web application.

We’ll be making this service even better, improving the design and features on our main file conversion website, integrating with a whole bunch of other file-related services, building out some exciting new products (including a self-driving car powered by Word Doc macros) and much more.

If you’ve used Zamzar over these last 10 years then *thankyou*. It has been an honour and a privilege to convert your files.

Here’s to the next 10 years!

Chris & Mike Whyley,
Co-Founders @ Zamzar.

[1] Almost. Actually Facebook had 12 million users, but most were probably Mark’s shell accounts.


Birthday competition results

First of all, a big thanks to all of you who took the time out to enter the Zamzar third birthday competition.

We had a great time reading all of your entries, and a hard time selecting our favourites, but here are the three winners.


view status


view status


view status

We’ve contacted all 3 on Twitter to arrange your Pro accounts.

The honorable mention award goes to jonguntrip for his humorous yet cheeky message. Better luck next time Jon … 😉

Sorry to those of you that didn’t win – We’ll look at running more competitions in future, so stay tuned to the blog, Twitter and our Facebook Fan page for future announcements.

Happy Converting !
The Zamzar Team.

Zamzar is 3 today and we have gifts …

Mazel Tov ! Zamzar is celebrating its third birthday today 🙂

We’ve come from humble beginnings – here is what the very first edition of the service looked like:


We’ve come a long way since then, and now handle tens of thousands of conversions every day. We wanted to say a big THANK YOU to you guys – all the people who use our services, and to celebrate …

We’re giving away 3 professional accounts to the Zamzar service for 1 year !

To enter the competition to win a pro account just send out a tweet on Twitter to complete the following sentence: “I ♥ because …”

Go for something funny / original / amusing and we’ll pick our 3 favourite tweets and list the winners here on the blog early next week.

Happy Tweeting !
The Zamzar Team.

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Happy birthday to us !

Zamzar is celebrating its first birthday today !

For the curious amongst you, we share our birthday with a little known beach footballer, a car mechanic and a chap who enjoyed writing.

Since we launched the site a year ago we’ve added support for a whole host of new file formats and have enjoyed every minute of converting your files 🙂

We’ve got some exciting new features lined up for launch over the coming weeks, and we’re looking forward to sharing them with you … so stay tuned !

Here’s to another action-packed year of converting !
The Zamzar Team.