We’re back with another exciting developer in our Intuit Developer Spotlight series. This one, however, will be a bit different. SnapDsk, one of the app finalists for our 2018 $100K Small Business App Showdown, did the work for me. Team members Clint Vernon (Co-Founder), Cory Vernon (Co-Founder), Jason Molt (Director of Technology), and Kyle Kuczynski (Director of Marketing) together provided comprehensive, written responses to my questions, so I’m going to let their words say it all.
Here we go!
Tell us about SnapDsk.
The name SnapDsk is short for Snappy Operations Desk. We’re a straightforward, simple, cost-effective solution for small business owners, employees, and contractors to quickly and easily find and update the customer information they need while actively taking care of customers in person, over the phone, or thru text message. Our entire focus is on the day-to-day operations of a company.
SnapDsk makes it possible for small business owners to give employees and outside contractors access to their customer information without letting them into QuickBooks while seamlessly integrating the flow of information between both.
This is accomplished through lightning fast natural language search, SMS texting, custom fields, task/job tracking, and a real-time QuickBooks Online sync.
We designed our app for small businesses who want to integrate and leverage a multiplicity of advanced tools in the most accessible and intuitive ways possible.
How did SnapDsk get started?
Cory wrote the first version of SnapDsk back in 2010 in order to fulfill a need we had in our own family business. We had been using QuickBooks Customer Manager with our QuickBooks Desktop instance to manage customer data with our office staff; however, when Intuit discontinued Customer Manager we had to go looking for a new solution and we couldn’t find anything that fit our needs. During that period Cory was working full time running the family business and writing a lot of online gaming scripts and hacks in his spare time so he decided to just build what we needed himself.
The original version of SnapDsk was a desktop app written in Visual Basic, designed to work with QuickBooks Desktop. It’s been a great solution for our own company over these past years and it became apparent to us that it could also be a great solution for other small businesses as well.
As cloud computing and SaaS started to take off, and with it, QuickBooks Online and the Intuit App Store, Cory and Clint decided it was time to rewrite SnapDsk as a web application and introduce it to the world. In 2014 Clint quit the accounting firm he was working for and jumped full time into the family business, helping Cory write the new SnapDsk.
What made you decide to integrate with QuickBooks?
For one, we were using QuickBooks in our own family business. Intuit has the largest share of the small business accounting software market so of course we wanted to be able to integrate with the largest number of users possible. Regardless of Intuit’s market share, had Intuit Developer not created such a fantastic platform for integration, then we would have been forced to go a different way.
We believe that decentralized systems, as illustrated in nature, also work best in economics, business, and tech. Intuit has created a decentralized system in its own ecosystem and we find this incredibly exciting! It is not only the best way to identify and solve small business problems, but it gives those willing to attempt that work a platform from which to succeed. The efficiency and democratization of this approach empowers small app developers and ultimately the small business owners who drive our economy.
How has your experience been working with the team at Intuit Developer?
The Intuit Dev team has been awesome. Specifically, their security reviews gave us confidence when it came time to publish our app – huge value added.
We also appreciate that individual Devs and the Dev Team are legitimately interested in listening to our needs. Being able to sit down with the people who actually write our APIs was incredible. This is something that really came as a result of us being an Intuit App Showdown Finalist, but we’re exceedingly grateful that Intuit was able to make this happen.
So often when going through any type of development and review process it feels like the reviewing group is just there to throw up roadblocks and keep you from succeeding. That has never been the case with Intuit Dev. It’s always felt like Intuit wants us to succeed and has tried to remove roadblocks rather than create them.
You recently were a Finalist for the App Showdown. What lessons did you learn in this process?
Becoming a Showdown Finalist really made us focus on developing our marketing and hone our messaging. We had been so focused on building the app that we had neglected to clearly articulate who we are.
For example, given that SnapDsk is an app that focuses primarily on the day-to-day operations of small business rather than solving an accounting problem, we learned that some ProAdvisors and other accountants didn’t immediately see the benefit. We understand that it’s our responsibility to effectively communicate the value SnapDsk brings to the small business clients that ProAdvisors service every day.
Pricing was yet another revelation for us. We found that we needed to adopt a different pricing schedule based on how our features and functionality are structured. It is fundamental for us that SnapDsk create a huge amount of value at a very reasonable price. Going through the App Showdown we’ve gotten some great feedback on how to best accomplish that goal.
Where are you headed?
Build, Measure and Learn: that is the primary directive for the foreseeable future. We are big advocates of agile development and we’re going to continuously listen to what our users want and rollout small releases to fill those needs.
Our core functionality currently consists of our deep search customer rolodex with custom fields, SMS texting messaging, and task/job tracking. In 2019 we plan to roll out our Scheduling module (don’t worry there won’t be any Gantt charts) as well as our Invoice & Payments module.
In addition to the ongoing development of our core functionality, Custom Builds are an important aspect of our agile framework. We’re interested in building specifically for ProAdvisors who reach out to us, we will continually work to understand who they are, listen to their needs, and then build tools that help them succeed.
We are also excited about attending several upcoming accounting and end-user conferences in 2019.
What are some emerging tech trends you think other developers should be keeping an eye on?
- AI, particularly deep neural networks and convolutional neural networks
- Progressive web apps (movement of all native device apps into an application that’s delivered over the web
- Personalized UX (personal experiences cultivated around user use cases)
- Decentralized computing (like blockchain)
What advice would you give to developers either starting or continuing their app journey?
There’s a lot of information out there and it’s easy to get bogged down in it all. Unfortunately, no one ever gets to act from a position of complete knowledge. Do your homework, but at some point, you’ve got to take what you’ve got and run with it.
Make the first sprint short and fast, get live, then learn from it and keep iterating. Starting a new app can feel overwhelming and isolating, those feelings are natural and you’re not alone. Don’t give up. We all want to build a successful app but in the end the quality of the experience you have and the life you lead is all that really matters.
Learn more about SnapDsk
Thank you to the SnapDsk team for taking the time to provide such in-depth answers. If you want to learn even more, their QuickBooks App Store page is another great source of information.
And here’s what one out of their fifteen 5-out-of-5-star reviews had to say: “Clean design. Straight forward. A great way to quickly access the info you need. A savvy tool to have in your business tool box.”
If their app journey has inspired you to keep going or even get started, then I hope you’ll let us know how we can help you. In the meantime, we have another developer in our Intuit Developer Spotlight series coming soon.