Happy Birthday to Us! As of today, June 2, 2016, CloudCalc, Structural Analysis in the Cloud, officially turns two years old. So far the growth and development of CloudCalc has been as fun, exciting, and unpredictable to watch as that of any human two-year-old. So forgive me if I act like a proud papa and start regaling you with all the cute stories about my baby.
For example, I could tell you about CloudCalc’s overdue delivery. The due date was originally June 1, 2014, but problems arose that caused a complicated delivery. 11 days before the due date, my computer overheated and crashed, threatening an anticipated 10+ day repair period (you can read about that episode here). But things worked out OK, and CloudCalc popped out, ready to meet the world, only one day late, on June 2. Other famous June 2 birthdays? The Rolling Stones’ Charlie Watts, Jerry Mathers (TV’s “the Beaver”), and the Marquis de Sade.
Or I could brag about how CloudCalc has been such a fast developer, seeming to learn something new every couple of weeks. In fact, since the initial launch two years ago, there have been 29 updates to the program (which works out to something new learned every 3.5 weeks). Examples of new skills that my baby has learned in the last two years? Response Spectrum Analysis, localization (addition of British, Mexican, and Indian structural sections), compatibility with tablets and smart phones, CIS/2 import, collaboration via model sharing, Hide/Unhide functionality, selection by Group Name, parametric multi-bay/multi-floor generation in the Design Wizard, graphics enhancements, and expanded Help capabilities, to name a few. Now, I don’t want to cast aspersions on anyone else’s kids (yes I know that everyone develops at their own rate), but it doesn’t look to me like any of the other structural engineering software is developing as fast as CloudCalc.
Or like many parents, I could start reciting the percentiles of peers that my baby has outperformed. According to the experts, CloudCalc is already performing at a higher percentile than many of its peers – specifically the 36% of tech startups that don’t make it to their second birthday. Ultimately, 92% of all tech startups fail – but we are confident that we will outperform that peer group as well.
So maybe I should talk about how well behaved CloudCalc is – after all, we have done pretty well maintaining our “no bug” policy. (If you do find a bug in CloudCalc, please remember that CloudCalc has just entered the “terrible twos” — a period when we prefer to think of behavior issues as “asserting one’s independence”. But then please do report that bug – or that “assertion of independence”– to us, and we promise to fix it ASAP.)
Yes, I can be a proud papa when talking about CloudCalc. But in all seriousness, I do have reason to be one. When we launched CloudCalc two years ago, we didn’t really know what to expect. We had a vision – laid out here – of the new paradigm that we wanted to bring to the structural engineers of the world. But simultaneously, we had questions. Could we validate the technical viability of delivering structural engineering software in the cloud? Could we get our message out to our market through social media and other internet channels? Would people hear that message, try our product, and embrace it?
Well I have to say that getting CloudCalc to where it is today – just like raising any offspring to the same point – has been harder than expected, but at the same time, more exciting and rewarding than expected. Yes we had some (minor) missteps here and there, but startups, like kids, can be very resilient. I’m proud to say that up to now we’ve maintained the goals that we set for ourselves two years ago, in terms of setting the direction of development of engineering software in the modern era.
But we couldn’t have done this alone. The African proverb tells us that “It takes a village to raise a child”, and in this case it is certainly true. Two days ago we surpassed 3,000 registered users! We thank all of those who have used CloudCalc, and especially those who have provided us with the feedback that has helped validate our concept as well as guide our development roadmap both over the past two years and well into the future. Please continue being the village that helps support and guide CloudCalc through childhood, the teenage years, into adulthood, and beyond. I personally can’t wait to see what each passing year brings – every child that I have ever known has improved immensely with age, and I assure you that CloudCalc, having barely started on its path, will as well.
Welcome to the CloudCalc virtual birthday party! Have fun on the Moonwalk. Whack the piñata. Remember to pick up your goody-bag on the way out. And when you get home, or back to your office, make sure to keep using CloudCalc, the scalable, collaborative, cloud-based structural engineering software. www.cloudcalc.com – Structural Analysis in the Cloud. Keep your eye open for our improvements — remember, everyone gets better with age.
By Tom Van Laan
Copyright © CloudCalc, Inc. 2016