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Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Terrific Twos!

Today, SafelyFiled turns 2!  On 11 Jun 2012, we opened up our operations in a small office on the University of IL campus.  We had computers, furniture, a problem to solve for millions world-wide and a vision!


Day One - SafelyFiled Office Set Up
Since we're only 2 years old, we know that most of the world has no idea who we are and why we exist. So, we thought we'd use our second birthday as an opportunity to re-introduce ourselves.

The photo to the right was taken on day one in the office.  Our Chief Engineer, Dr Susan Hinrichs and our CTO, Terri Caldwell, are pictured here sitting on the floor.  We had just set up our office (behind the glass wall in the background) for our summer interns from the University of IL.  Susan was a lecturer at the University until we gave her so much work to do at SafelyFiled she had to give that up. Her expertise is in computer and network security.  Terri Caldwell is a retired Air Force veteran and recently retired from Cisco Systems with expertise in program management, software testing and process certification.  She lives and works out of our Columbus IN office.

Our COO, John Dore, and CEO, Mark Snow live and work out of Chicago IL.  They both have previous start-up experience.  Instead of thinking of retiring and playing golf until they can no longer do so, they decided to start a company to help their fellow baby boomers, many of whom are "sandwiched" between caring for elderly parents and assisting young adult children.  You can read more about each of us on our website

Why did we create SafelyFiled?

Mark's dad was an organized man but when he passed away rather suddenly, Mark and his family had a hard time finding all of the paperwork and account information that was needed to close out his estate.  As organized as his dad was, keys to the organization passed away when he did.  Determined to not let the same thing happen to his family, Mark first looked for a solution that already existed to help families with this but couldn't find one that met security requirements, ease-of-use and ability to track both digital and paper files he knew was needed.  So, being entrepreneur-minded, he came up with the idea for SafelyFiled and then brought in Susan to design the security and code the product.  Terri was brought in to help drive the product to completion and help put together a team of interns and contractors to pull everything together.

What's been happening since we started?

Since we've launched our initial version, we've had feedback from our customers and have made many improvements.  SafelyFiled is now available in multiple languages.  We've added features like automatic notice of uploads and easier sharing.  We've launched SafelyMD, a free version of SafelyFiled that is designed to give paramedics instant access to important health information about you.  And we've designed and launched a professional version so accountants, financial planners, elder law attorneys and just about any professional can easily and securely communicate with clients and keep clients organized.

What does the future hold?

Last week our SafelyMD service was selected as a semifinalist in the Livestrong foundation's Big "C" competition, a competition among new businesses with products and service that can help cancer patients and their families manage treatment and care.  The finalists will be chosen in October.  But win or lose, we are proud that our contribution to patient care, not just for cancer patients but for any person and family dealing with a medical or age-related issue, has been recognized.

Though we have clients based overseas, we are in the process of setting up a company based in the UK, so we can provide better service and expand in the European Union.  Working with our European colleagues, we anticipate some interesting challenges and opportunities as we grow outside of the US.

A Big Thank You

To our current and future customers and beta testers!   Thanks for helping us constantly improve our  product; making it even better than we originally imagined.  We look forward to helping you get and stay organized, while generating an avenue for your family's and/or client's involvement as needed.  At the very least, we can simply help you to never lose an important document again.

And to the current staff, Carol, Monica, Susan, Terri, John and Mark, and to all of our interns and contractors, thanks for all your effort, enthusiasm,  and good ideas that have gone into making SafelyFiled the great service that it has become.

Two years old - hard to believe.

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