Back in early June, my wife and I were at a launch party for a DC-based tech startup. We were wearing formal business attire and had the look of people you should take very seriously.
Actually, we had just posed for a picture wearing some pretty goofy hats, which were part of the assortment of props people could wear before, during and after getting their pictures taken.
I’m not sure what GoCanvas CEO James Quigley was thinking when we struck up a conversation at the party, while I was still wearing that hat. When I got home that night, I googled GoCanvas and was very impressed by this company that had a great mission and was doing really interesting things with data collection in the mobile space. I also was impressed that James and GoCanvas had this Stupid Paper video that showed they knew how to laugh and not take themselves too seriously.
Last week I joined GoCanvas to focus on marketing and help them tell the story of how they’re revolutionizing mobile business. The real story is that they’re doing a great job already, but there’s also a lot of opportunity.
Here are 5 reasons why I’m beyond excited about joining the GoCanvas team.
1) GoCanvas is revolutionizing mobile apps for business
Canvas is focused on helping businesses radically change how they collect, capture and share information. This has the potential to really revolutionize businesses of all sizes and verticals. It starts with helping businesses replace paper forms with mobile apps, but there is so much more. Pictures, GPS data, calculations and other information, which couldn’t previously be captured, now becomes available. By helping businesses collect information via mobile apps, GoCanvas helps their clients become more efficient and save money and time on data collection, while also unlocking new opportunities to use that data in interesting ways.
2) GoCanvas solves real problems for businesses
Companies are using GoCanvas to solve and prevent problems that happen all the time with data collection. These problems include:
- Lost or damaged forms. Businesses lose money all the time because they lose invoices or spill coffee on a form, which ends up in the trash
- Forms with handwriting that is illegible
- Lost time from having to transport forms back to the office or try to find where a certain form is located
- Wasted paper. If a business wants to update a paper form to change what information it wants to collect it has to throw out all old forms and start over. With GoCanvas, it’s a simple app change
- Data storage. Paper has to be stored somewhere and this takes space, time and money. GoCanvas helps businesses store their data in the cloud.
- Development/deployment. If a business wanted to create its own apps to roll out to employees or partners for mobile data collection, it would have to create separate versions for iOS, Android and Blackberry. That’s more money, time and testing. With GoCanvas, you create an app and it automatically works on each of those platforms.
3) GoCanvas is actually helping companies go green
Canvas is good for business and good for the Earth. GoCanvas saves its clients roughly 2 tons of paper (around 800k sheets) per month. I believe we have a responsibility to do what we can to preserve our natural resources, and it’s no secret that paper comes from trees. According to the Ecology Global Network, nearly 4 billion trees are cut down each year to make paper. Papermaking also creates additional pollution and chemicals that are released into the environment. GoCanvas helps companies reduce their reliance on paper for data collection. That’s good for the environment and it helps businesses save money. Many companies jump on the Go Green bandwagon and don’t do much; GoCanvas is actually driving the train.
4) GoCanvas is truly customer-centric
In today’s world, it’s not enough to just have a great product. You have to have great customer care, listen to customers, and use customer insights in marketing and product development. You have to listen and make people feel special...across online and offline channels. A great thing about GoCanvas is that they actually talk to their customers, listen to them and build features that help them achieve their goals. During training last week, I lost track of how many times I heard “this was a customer request,” when learning about a product feature.
Going paperless isn’t always a snap, but GoCanvas makes it pretty darn easy. Everyone that signs up gets a 30-day free trial and a phone call from a GoCanvas employee to help walk people through the process of getting started. GoCanvas also lets first-time users send in one of their forms, and we’ll turn it into an app for free. This isn’t always easy, but it puts customers first.
Also, as part of the interview process, GoCanvas asks every potential hire to chat with an actual client. It was great chatting with Cal, who was using GoCanvas in his roofing/remodeling company to get rid of paper forms and the hassle of having to collect them from his team in the field. Being customer-centric definitely signaled that GoCanvas would be a great fit.
5) Ante Up - GoCanvas gives back
One of the most unique things about GoCanvas is the Ante-Up program, which enables employees to give the platform to a nonprofit for free and take paid time off to help the nonprofit implement it. As part of this program, GoCanvas also holds an annual awards ceremony honoring a nonprofit that has especially innovative use of mobile technology. Before I joined GoCanvas, I was able to attend the 2013 ceremony, where Michael Grover of Sabi Sand Wildtuin, South Africa’s oldest private reserve, spoke about using the technology to help stop rhino poaching. You can read more information about this here.
I had a great first week at GoCanvas last week and I’m excited to dive in and contribute...or at least not mess anything up.
If you or anyone you know is interested in saving time, money and paper and revolutionizing their data collection, feel free to contact us!