An idea for the future of data collection is what started everything.
Our founders saw the value of information once it became accessible on the web. In 2001 — a time when data was mainly locked away on desktops and servers and compact discs — the idea of ‘the cloud’ was liberating.
That was the way of the future, and our founders recognized that the true game-changer would be the technology that let people simultaneously collect information while updating databases. If software could refresh data on a server in real-time whenever new information was collected, no one would have to copy or curate data that already existed somewhere else. With that idea, Stan Liachev and Cal Brown founded the company that would one day become WorldAPP.
It would be a few years before consumer trust would catch up with our founders’ vision. Cloud skeptics, still concerned about security, were reluctant to migrate their significant business processes to an Internet-based platform. But they definitely saw the value in online satisfaction surveys; it was a use case that resonated very well with them.
Back then, WorldAPP was known as “Automated Online Surveys”. But we quickly realized that we also wanted to use the word “services” in our name because customer partnerships were (and still are) a major part of our secret sauce. We believed it would be important for our customers to know that working with us meant we wouldn’t just sell them a tool: our services would help them create the surveys, too. To reflect these beliefs and offerings, we changed our name to "Survey Software Services” (SSS).
The first product SSS brought to market was Key Survey, which officially launched in 2002 after a long development period.
It might’ve been in development for even longer had co-founder Stan not saved us from pre-launch limbo. Stan hung a proclamation on a pillar in our first office in which he threatened to leave if fellow co-founder Cal didn’t stop trying to make changes to the product. His tactical maneuver paid off. Key Survey launched shortly thereafter, and we finally invoiced our first customers. Who were these historical figures who started us off on our way to greatness?
Two college students! Fast forward two years into the future, and we’d successfully graduated to our first enterprise clients.
Over time, we realized that the name “Survey Software Services” referred to something that was too much of a niche (and was too long to type out over and over).
So Stan and Cal went on the hunt for a more fitting domain, one that would present us as a global technology company. They eventually agreed on “WorldAPP” in 2005, and the new name saw great results! Later that year, WorldAPP sold its first international subscription to a company in the UK. That company eventually dissolved, but the founder reached out to Cal and Stan to become WorldAPP’s first international reseller.
Thus, the UK office was born.
The Next Big Thing
At the same time we were establishing international offices, we were also expanding our home team and introducing another product: Extreme Forms. After years of working in the survey space, we started to recognize that our customers really needed form and business process optimization to become more efficient and productive. Thus, we created the Extreme Forms product. The forms market was much larger and more complex than what we were used to. Our challenge was to develop a new platform that could securely handle those intricate business processes, which is why we first launched it to existing Key Survey clients who already trusted us with their data. The next step was to market Extreme Forms to the previously unexplored space of inspections, audits, and forms automation.
Our Time to Shine
The emergence of smartphones and the mobile boom changed everything. With the introduction of the iPhone, people began to realize that they could do anything and everything remotely. C-level executives quickly shed their reservations about data security, and demanded to go mobile immediately. Because we were (and have always been) a mobile platform, the demand for Extreme Forms suddenly became very high. Everyone wanted WorldAPP, and we were excited to deliver. We were in a great position, and the changing market allowed us to bring our products to that wider audience we always knew was out there.
Today, the WorldAPP team has one goal: to help great companies run better. That magic happens when we couple WorldAPP’s software and talented employees with our fascinating clients—who teach us something new every day.
Stories of happy, successful customers are what motivate us to continue learning and innovating. As long as we’re making a difference for our amazing clients, we’ll keep thinking up new ways to make our great company better at helping yours.