Luke Hansen, founder and CEO of CompanyCam, didn’t set out to create a startup. He just wanted to find an application that would help his family’s roofing business.
“I built this as a solution for a problem we were having at White Castle Roofing,” said Hansen. “I had searched on and off for months, trying to find software that would help us manage jobs better, and I found a few that kind-of-sort-of worked but ultimately just decided that if I couldn’t find something that could do what I wanted, I would just create it myself.”
CompanyCam, a project management app for contractors, launched on July 1st in the iTunes marketplace. Using photos and GPS, contractors can monitor the progress of all their job sites from anywhere instantly.
Fixing the problem was only the beginning
Hansen had managed to solve the problem White Castle Roofing was having. As it turned out, it was a problem a lot of other contractors were having too because the instant reception of the app has been great.
“That’s an easy conversation,” said Hansen. “It’s just an easier sell because I know very specifically what I’m talking about.”
The new problems that lay before Luke and his team of two employees is how to increase the users and how to know what problems the app can and cannot solve.
“When you try to solve 10 different problems, you don’t solve any of them well”
“None of us are advertising experts, and that’s what we’re trying to do. We’re trying to get this in front of people. We’re learning that as we go. The easy, low-hanging fruit is the people who are having that exact same problem as White Castle Roofing. I think there’s a lot of them.”
The next step is understanding the users who are using the app beyond that specific issue.
“Beyond that is finding the little bit of the outliers there and then trying to figure out what problems we’re solving for them and how we can better solve it for them,” Hansen said.
Sticking to what they know
The one thing that CompanyCam will never have a problem with is an identity crisis. Luke Hansen knows who his company is and what his company does. Don’t think for a second he’s going to change that.
“When you try to solve 10 different problems, you don’t solve any of them well,” said Hansen. “It can create new problems. What I want to do is be able to take photos and notes at different locations, have them automatically organize themselves, automatically stream to the cloud so that everyone in their company can access them so you can sit in the office and see what’s going on out in the field in real time.”
You’ll know where to find them
The Lincoln based app group may have a globetrotting CEO, but if given the opportunity to base his company any city in the world he would still choose the Cornhusker Capitol. Hansen proudly repped the Midwest when asked why Lincoln.
“I want to be in Lincoln personally, but the fact that you have the Hudls, and you have the Bulu Boxes and the Travefys and the Nebraska Globals—they’ve all shown me that you can do this here,” said Hansen.
“Everyone talks about Silicon Valley. I lived in New York for a while. I love New York, the bigger city thing. But the Internet, it’s flattened everything. They’ve inspired me to be, like, ‘I don’t need to be anywhere else. I want to be here, and I can do this here.’”
Jake Hull is the Nebraska editor for Silicon Prairie News and a Community Builder for AIM in Lincoln, Nebraska.