The Business Case for choosing GraphPad

I’ve been working on GraphPad for about eight years now, taking input from thousands of users and developing features based upon an dozens of use cases.  All told, I’ve probably put in 6 – 10,000 hours working on it and if sales of GraphPad through the App Store was the end goal, GraphPad would be a complete financial failure.  But that isn’t, and for that matter, never really was.  My goal for GraphPad was to create a frame work to address a particular user problem, cases where simply completing a form or even taking pictures was simply not enough.  Business problems that require an accurate detail drawing as a necessary part of a document – whether it be an inspection, estimate, proposal – what ever.  And the truth of it, that applies to a Lot of industries – from general contractors and realtors, to city inspectors, termite inspectors, and roofers – and those are just examples of customers currently using GraphPad.  But in order for GraphPad to really be successful, I really need it to be adopted by larger organizations; companies that have 100’s if not 1000’s of user that need my product.  So given that companies that size could probably develop their own software, why should they chose GraphPad?  I have 3 simple reasons:

1). Cost:  Anyone who’s tried to develop software knows that the costs of development are astronomical.  I know of several major companies that have attempted to create their own drawing programs with mixed results.  How do I know?  Because employees from those companies have been the ones who were promoting GraphPad to their management.  In several cases, the reason I was contacted was because they compared the drawing ability of GraphPad to their in-house product and were able to complete their work in a fraction of the time.

2). Quality:  GraphPad is being used by 1000’s of users, so a lot of the issues companies might encounter with a new product have already been addressed, whether it’s bugs, missed requirements, usability or features.  GraphPad is a known quantity, so companies can actually test most of their use cases without ever spending a dime.

3). Time:  Choosing GraphPad reduces the development time to almost nothing.  Depending on the number of forms, symbols and calculations; there’s a strong possibility the App itself can be used as is, and companies can just update the library and start user testing.

Oh, and did I mention cost?  I almost need to put that in again, because not only will companies save on development, they’ll save on requirements gathering, maintenance, and ultimately (which is the whole reason for implementing GraphPad in the first place) the cost of the business completing their forms.  Some of the metrics I’m getting back are savings of 3 hours per day per user and reducing the turn around time from hours or days to minutes.  What kind of savings will that generate for Your business?

GraphPad – Engineering drawing made easy!

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GraphPad R7 – Free to use

I updated the base / free version of GraphPad, removing the 30 day time out as well as the limitation on the number of drawings that can be created and saved.  Users can now create as many drawings as they like, however, a number of features have been disabled such as the library system, the calculation of lengths and areas, etc.  In order to get access to those features, users will need to purchase either GraphPad R7 Pro or lease the Configurable version of GraphPad.

My goal is to increase awareness of my product and get additional feedback on GraphPad; how it draws and other suggestions on how I can improve it.  I encourage users to contact me if they come across and bugs or have any ideas they’d like to share with me.

Enjoy!

Rob

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Quick Note on GraphPad Crashing

I recently had a new user who was distressed because after doing a lot of work, GraphPad crashed and he thought that his drawing was lost.  I’ve made an earnest attempt to fix all the crashing issues in GraphPad, however, it will still crash in certain circumstances.  The App does save your current drawing every time user switches mode, however, i.e. change from “Points” to “Lines”, or “Arcs”, etc.  When you re-open the App it doesn’t automatically go to the last drawing but simply opens a new blank page.  To open up your previous drawing, just go to the “File” button and select “Open”.  A list of drawings is displayed and you simply need to select the name of your drawing or the latest “DrawingX”.  A best practice would be to save a new drawing under a meaningful name immediately after you start it.  Companies that use Graphpad as part of their business typically use either an address, customer name of work order number for the file name.  I encourage users to follow this practice as well when using GraphPad.

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GraphPad – A-B Measurements

Video demonstrating A-B measurement tables, that not only capture data directly from the Leica Disto D2 laser tape measurer, but also allows users to plot the data out as either lines or curves in GraphPad, providing a visual check that the data was captured correctly.

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GraphPad – Capturing Pool Liner Measurements

The following video shows how easy it is to customize GraphPad, in this case for capturing the measurements for a pool liner.  Users can already create their own tables in GraphPad and its already integrated with the Leica Disto laser tape measures, so the only customization necessary was to call a function to draw bezier curves based on the measurements in a table.  The lines created can then be used in area and length calculations for completing an estimate.

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GraphPad – Images with Textfields

The following video show how to add an image with Textfields to the library system for re-use.  These mini forms are an extremely useful feature which is only available in the configurable version of GraphPad.

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GraphPad Pricing

There are 3 versions of GraphPad, each targeted at a particular market and priced accordingly.  The Freeware version is, as you might expect, primarily for marketing – maximizing the number of people who are exposed to GraphPad and who will hopefully check out my website and blog.  It serves a dual purpose, to allow users to try GraphPad before having to purchase one of the other versions.  The hope is that not only will it give users a chance to try my product but that it will also reduce the number of negative remarks on the App Store – at least for the paid products.  The pro version is really just for consumers who happen to like the way GraphPad draws.  I invested a lot of time in creating the drawing engine and while I think it’s great (I wrote it after all), if that’s all GraphPad is being used it would be hard to justify spending a lot of money on it.  After all, there are a lot of other drawing Apps available.  It’s hard to justify spending $20 on GraphPad when there are other options for quite a bit less, and to be candid, I don’t make enough money of it to put anymore time into it either.  The configurable version of GraphPad, however, is a different story.

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The configurable version was created for companies to use as part of their business.  Its not just so someone can create the occasional drawing, but rather it’s designed to be optimized for a specific purpose – the completion of an inspection form or the creation of a detailed estimate or proposal.  By configuring GraphPad with the companies forms, their libraries of symbols, geometry and standardized text and by integrating it with their backend systems it can dramatically improve a companies efficiency.  How much, you might ask?  How ’bout 3 hours per day, per estimator?  That’s the metric I was told by a foundation company whose salesmen wrote 3 or more estimates per day.  Rather than having to take notes and write up the quote on a computer back in the office, they could do it all right on the iPad while still on-site.  Or how ’bout the time to turn around a citation, from 1 day down to 10 minutes?  Again, rather than having to go back to computer and drafting things up, send the citation directly from the iPad.  These are the types of problems GraphPad was designed to address.

So when considering leasing GraphPad, companies should look at how it can streamline their processes, and how it needs to be configured in order to optimize it’s use.  When configured properly, GraphPad can not only save a significant amount of time and money, but may also introduce new opportunities as well.  In cases like these GraphPad is a bargain!

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