Five years ago we set out to make it easy for anyone, in any industry, anywhere in the world, to find the app versions of their ideal business forms in the GoCanvas App Store. Arguably, a lofty task – at the time we had about 700 apps in the Store, so were a long, long way from achieving our goal. And then there were those nagging questions – Which forms should we prioritize for what industries? Where would we acquire the forms? How would we get companies to share their forms? And last but not least, how would we get all these forms converted into mobile apps? Fortunately, about the same time these questions were being debated over countless Peruvian chicken dinners with bad 80’s music playing in the background in Northern Virginia, there were forward-looking folks around the world (literally) who were fed up with the huge inefficiencies of trying to collect, share and extrapolate insights from paper forms. They wanted something more effective and wanted it on their mobile device. The stars were starting to align.
We started connecting with (and getting contacted by) people working in the construction, healthcare, human resources, education, energy, security and safety industries, to name just a few. They were located in all kinds of locales, including the U.S., Ireland, the Netherlands, Mexico, Italy, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Singapore, South Africa, the UK, Norway and the Philippines. Having worked with all of them personally, I can attest they are a very diverse group, but with at least one shared commonality: They saw an opportunity to dramatically improve the way their industries function – that subtle, irritating, and never-ending aspect of business life called paperwork. They didn’t just want to automate their forms on mobile devices, but rather wanted to actively promote new technologies to their colleagues, and yes, even their competitors; to raise the bar for how information is collected, shared and analyzed. They represent the epitome of leadership.
So why did we decide to work together?
Well, they had the content (industry-specific forms), and we had both a platform and a partner program. GoCanvas provides a way for folks to convert paper forms into apps and setup their own co-branded app store within the GoCanvas Mobile Application Store. The application store started to rapidly proliferate with not only our new Partner’s content, but also from another unlikely source. GoCanvas believes in making the transition from forms to apps super quick. In addition to the tens of thousands of templates in our mobile application store, there’s also the Send Us Your Form (SUYF) program that invites GoCanvas users to send in their forms, and if they’re willing to share their forms with the broader GoCanvas community, we’ll convert them to apps for free. To date, 5,000+ businesses have shared their forms with the GoCanvas community, which is why we can honestly say there are ambulance inspections, mechanical bull riding waivers, timber frame construction inspections and a ton more unique bedfellow apps available.
Building and scaling the App Store has taken time, and has not been easy. It has required fortitude, patience and just countless hours of hard work from too many excellent people to name. So, to all of our Content Partners and creators, I say, “Thank you.”
Thank you for sharing our vision and joining us on this journey, for teaching us so much about 400+ industries, for sharing your content, and for just being decent, wonderful people to work with. To the GoCanvas App Builders and Content Curators in Virginia, Iowa and California, I owe you all a profound thanks. You always make it happen, and work so diligently to help our partners and user base – you all rock – and I am grateful to work with each and every one of you. Last but not least, thank you to our dev, sales, marketing and finance teams. They collectively drive continuous improvement with the Store, and share a common passion to always make it better.
We are committed in 2016 to our original App Store mission, but are not resting on our laurels. Over the next year, there will be continuous, compelling changes being deployed. We look forward to the challenge of providing unique content that can be downloaded and completed from your mobile device, so watch this space!