This week, we had the opportunity to speak with Wiktor Walc, CTO at CKSource. We discussed their beginnings, how the company evolved, and what differs CKSource from other similar companies.
Please present CKSource to our audience.
In short, at CKSource we try to make online writing as easy as possible for everyone; end-users, developers and creators.
We deliver rich text editing solutions similar to Google Docs, Dropbox Paper or Microsoft Word but with one essential difference: our solutions are software components that you can integrate with any web application. You can fully customize them to fit better into your application, enhance them with your own plugins and host them on your server.
Please describe the story behind the company: What sparked the idea, and how has it evolved so far?
CKSource was founded in 2006 to officially develop and support the open source project our founder, Frederico Caldeira Knabben had started developing 3 years prior after concluding there were no quality rich text solutions available for the CMS he was responsible for at the time. CKEditor’s name comes from his initials (FCK, then CKEditor).
In 2017 we officially launched our new editor, CKEditor 5, which has been developed from scratch to accommodate modern needs of users. The product was received very well, since it provides a robust and productive environment for any application possible with ready-to-use features like collaborative writing, document version control and more.
Company may have started as a single-man Open Source project to provide a simple WYSIWYG editor but since then we’ve come a long way. So now with our 18 years of experience and a team of 60 people, we will keep doing what we’ve been doing, being a market leader and driving an inspiring change in online writing..
What is the mission of CKSource?
Helping organizations and software creators of all sizes and scope to develop software solutions that enhance connectivity as well as productivity, all thanks to our writing components.
What services do you offer?
Apart from our rich text editors, support and in-house building by demand, we offer many premium editor features as services. For collaborative writing, we offer Real-time Collaboration, Comments to leave remarks in and outside the editor as well as Track Changes for suggestion mode. We also offer Export to PDF and Word and Revision History to view and manage document versions.
All of these mentioned features offered both as SaaS cloud solutions or on-premises features.
What separates you from other similar websites/companies?
There aren’t any other similar companies that do what we do at the level we do. We are fully focused on providing a software solution that will last for the years to come and even cover your future needs. This makes us trendsetters when it comes to our features, especially after the launch of CKEditor 5. In fact, we are the only company offering a rich-text editor with high quality real-time collaboration and track changes.
We built CKEditor 5 from scratch because the previous version had its limitations, especially regarding collaborative writing and other modern requirements of our users. Coupled with the support we give our customers, the ease we provide to build a collaboration solution in any application within hours is unprecedented!
We do listen to our community and customers’ needs and provide them every single feature they need and make constant updates and improvements to not fall behind the times. One thing we can say is, the world does not not stop moving so, always pick a rich text editor that gets regular updates, whichever editor you might choose!
Who are your typical customers, and what do you think is the main challenge that your product solves for them?
Since we provide such a solution everyone needs, our typical customer profile is quite diverse. We have huge corporate customers, startups and everything else in between. Their common ground is the need of a business-level writing solution with an effortless implementation.
Creating an online writing component sounds easy, but considering the mountain of diverse needs it needs to cover, not really so. Many people dive into building their own rich text editor, just to realize how complex it gets, and just how much effort it requires. After covering these basic needs of diverse platforms and users, we still make sure our editor can help an average user create content faster. Thanks to features like auto formatting, keyboard shortcuts, paste from Word, and on top of it all, an intuitive UI, the editor can provide this efficiency for users.
Plus, with the rise of the need for even more complex writing solutions like collaboration, creators and developers of business solutions are realizing it’s just much easier to have a team of 60 to deal with the iceberg of WYSIWYG for you, so they can truly focus on customizing their writing solution for their own end-user. So we provide our customers exactly that!
How do you envision the future of your industry?
Nowadays, especially with the rising number of remote work, online collaborative writing solutions with features that make being apart easy for users while keeping them productive have become an essential. There is simply no escape from it and collaboration is here to stay. And real-time or otherwise, such complex solutions, on top of the things we mentioned in the previous question, take rigorous, endless effort to keep up with. So as we see it, especially for business customers, online writing software that can offer all-around solutions and experience will be on the rise.
On the other hand, as one can suspect AI’s role in online writing will become more and more important. There are already many solutions that help you proofread and rewrite your text as well as the technologies that help you complete your text as you write. Gmail (and slowly Google Docs) Smart Compose or Copysmith.ai are some examples of these. In the future, instead of writing everything by yourself, AI will be writing more and more for you, reading your intentions upfront more efficiently.