And so it begins…
Hours from now we will finally be able to tell the world about what has made us so excited over the last year. Well, maybe not the whole world, but at least all the accountants and consultants attending this year’s Sleeter Conference in Las Vegas.
Our www.methodintegration.com website does a good job explaining what Method is, but admittedly there isn’t much mention of who we are as a company, and why we embarked on this never-been-done-before mission of ours. It makes no mention of our deep experience with QuickBooks integration, and our hands-on knowledge of the small to medium sized business market. So, what better topic for the first Method Blog post than to tell you who we are and where we are going.
A long, long time ago, in far away land….well actually, back in Toronto in 1999, we founded our software company Alocet Incorporated. We began by developing a product called “LM Software”, which was an industry-specific scheduling product for landscaping and lawn maintenance companies. LM is still around today, but in 2001 it was quickly overtaken by our next generation product “QXpress”. With QXpress we recognized two things:
- Nearly all of our users were also users of QuickBooks. So rather than trying to get them to convert to the accounting system we had developed in LM, it was a far smarter idea to use QuickBooks for accounting, and QXpress for scheduling and invoicing – and have seamless integration between the two products. Not just a cheesy QuickBooks “link”, but true QuickBooks connectivity that WOWed users. This worked well.
- Also, we found that there were many industries similar to our original lawn maintenance and landscaping industries, and by making a few tweaks and increasing the flexibility, we could dramatically redefine the market of who could use our product.
So, QXpress took off. There are over 2000 companies using QXpress daily. However, as great as QXpress is, it is still a “boxed”, off-the-shelf product. It is limited by the same restrictions that face ever other traditional industry-specific software product. These restrictions really all focus around the previously unavoidable “90/10” rule. Industry-specific software is built on the premise that all companies within an industry are the same. When in reality, all companies are different in some way. The 90/10 rule is: your company’s needs are 90% similar to your industry peers and 10% unique
The idea for Method
In spring 2006 we began brainstorming on how to solve the “90/10” rule. The idea evolved over time to be something bigger than any of us here could have imagined.
When I say big, I really mean it. Method will be able to tailor itself to any small and medium sized business, no matter what industry they are in, no matter how simple or complex their needs are.
It solves problems not just for the end users, but also for the accountants and consultants who are charged with the task of recommending software to their clients.
Also, in creating Method, we stumbled upon an even bigger realization. We are not the only software company looking for a solution to the 90/10 rule! Everyone is looking for that solution. Therefore, why not open Method up to developers and let them take advantage of our research and development? Our ambition for developers is to allow them to recreate their industry-specific program using Method in about a week – and get all the benefits of an AJAX-enabled, web-based app with the added bonus of real time QuickBooks synchronization.
Method is a big deal. We are excited and passionate about what we have created. During the Method Beta period (November 2007 through April 2008) we trust that you’ll get excited too.
Vegas, here we come. Finally.
Paul Jackson – Founder