At Doejo, we’re constantly creating custom solutions to everyday problems, or simply finding ways to make software more efficient—Like platform applications improving the way you organize audio recordings, or find affordable body shops for car dents, or choose the right college, for example.
An old Forbes article randomly caught our eye highlighting this growing need: building software as a custom business solution. In a post written by General Electric VP and global technology director Bill Ruh, he says we’re in a budding Industrial Revolution-like movement “maximizing the potential of the “Industrial Internet,” a software-driven movement that will advance industry and improve lives by connecting people and businesses…”
He uses the analogy of the Industrial Internet being the “the Facebook or Twitter of things enabled by customized, innovative software,” improving the way we communicate and therefore perform—improving and simplifying notifications, scheduling, reminders, payment processing, etc. With this comes the benefit of value-adding efficiency and shortcuts, taking the friction out of day-to-day processes and improving connectivity.
Speaking of connectivity, this brings up another Forbes article by Axeda Corp. founder Dale Calder, who asks readers in “The Internet of Things: Like Facebook, But Bigger,” to “imagine the power and productivity that would be unleashed when everything you use and interact with is being extended by an army of developers.” This brings to mind the way iPhone’s apps now empower your phone to act as a TV remote control, a flashlight, a GPS, an eBook reader or an ATM, for example. At some point, someone, somewhere thought, ‘my iPhone could easily use the camera flash as a flashlight,’ and then made it happen.
Here’s a look at how Doejo is building software as business solutions for clients or as in-house projects. These are examples of how you can take existing technology people are already familiar with and apply it in a new, novel ways. Many of these problems were simple hiccups requiring simple solutions as well, we found over the years.
Wiggler: Internal Groupon project management tool
Back in 2011, we built Wiggler, which provides Groupon execs with a customized project management platform so they can stay on track of the surging company. Think of it as a corporate to-do list. Providing group management notifications, tracking copious milestones and organizing internal priorities are functions of Wiggler―from operations, marketing and legal to HR, product services and even mergers. We designed this private application to keep a staff of about 50 Groupon managers well coordinated smoothly and simply.
Weungry: A group ordering platform that’s GrubHub meets Seamless meets Evite
Weungry is an in-house project that provides a platform for restaurants to post their menus online for e-commerce ordering and group ordering, with a focus on the user experience. If a whole office wanted to order food, for example, a user can send an e-vite to the staff to order from Weungry and pick what they prefer from the menu. The administrator can then set a budget and either cover the cost singularly or have each person in the office enter his or her credit card information, streamlining the payment process before placing the order.
Another software solution we developed while working on Weungry was in improving faxes sent from online orders to the restaurant itself—many restaurant that use GrubHub for example, require orders be sent by fax. And we all know how unreliable faxes are. So our developers equipped Weungry to confirm that faxes are processed properly. This led us to create a separate application where you can take photos of documents to fax from your phone.
TextHog: Easy expense tracking for the iPhone
In 2009, we created in-house expense tracking app TextHog. TextHog became one of the first message-based (SMS) expense reporting mobile platforms in the iOS market. We wanted the app to let users email or text everyday purchases into one location to track and manage spending.
Data is compiled into graphs for visual learners and spreadsheets via Quicken and QuickBooks for tax filing. Users can snap photos with their camera phones of receipts, create tags, categories, bill reminders and set budgets to stay organized.