About fifteen years ago I came home to the U.S. after several years in West Africa and started doing some freelance web development.
Four years later I had more work than I could handle on my own. So in 2004 I incorporated Caudill Web. Shane Kunkle took a big chance and left the security of a big company to join me.
Over the years, we grew slowly, preferring to stay small, and focused on quality. We had the good fortune to work with organizations and projects that we really believed in. It's always been an honor to make a contribution to the work they were doing.
An opportunity to stop reinventing the wheel
A few years ago, we noticed that we were asked to build the same thing over and over again. The international development programs we worked with faced similar challenges: They needed better tools to track their work and report on their accomplishments.
They needed maps to see where they were having an impact. They needed to define performance indicators, set targets, and record their progress against those indicators. They needed to make financial plans, keep track of other funds that were leveraged alongside their own, and deal with currency conversion. They also needed better day-to-day collaboration tools: A place to share conversations and calendars, along with geotagged and captioned photos, and key documents like signed agreements and printed reports.
Most importantly, they needed to be able to tell people what they did with their money.
To solve this problem, often a new project would have a bespoke database program built just for them. This custom software was expensive, took a long time to come to maturity, and was typically discarded as soon as the program ended.
We thought there might be a better way to solve this problem:
- Software that was adaptable and not program-specific
- A system that was reusable instead of disposable
- A service that projects could subscribe to year-to-year, instead of making a huge upfront investment
- A web-based platform that could be easily updated and continuously improved
With a small fraction of the money that projects were spending on custom software, we could build a platform that would last, adapt, and improve over time.
DevResults takes off.
In 2009 we stood up the first instance of DevResults. It wasn't much but it was a start. A few other programs started to use it, and we worked to make it more capable.
In 2011 the first USAID mission started using DevResults. In 2013 we went from three people to six, and revenues doubled as well. Our customer base expanded beyond US-funded projects to UK and European organizations and host-government agencies. We stopped taking on new consulting work.
Last year, in 2014, DevResults was on track to double in size again, and we realized that we would need to make some tough decisions. Having our focus divided between DevResults and the consulting side of the shop was hard, and wasn't fair for the customers who had been with us for years.
So we partnered with Sonjara, a local web development firm that shares our values. They took on much of our consulting work and became familiar with our technology. By the end of the year we were comfortable knowing that our longtime customers would be in good hands.
On December 31, 2014, the last non-DevResults website was moved off our servers, and our last non-DevResults agreement expired. While it's been bittersweet to say goodbye to everyone we'd enjoyed working with over the years, we're energized to be a one-product company with a clearly defined mission.
100% focused on DevResults
So as of today, we only work on one thing; and to reflect that, we're retiring the Caudill Web brand. DevResults is what we make, and that's the company's name.
I am personally so excited about 2015, because for the first time, 100% of our team's energy will go into making our product better. The company has grown to nine people. We wake up every morning knowing that we're confronted with a big, real-world problem, and that we can make a contribution to solving that problem. It's an enormous privilege to be in this position.
If you're not familiar with DevResults, please take a look at devresults.com. If you're not a customer, we'd love to have you. If you already are, we thank you for trusting us and we will do everything we can to make your work easier and more effective.
Thank you from all of us at DevResults.