Archive of posts with tag 'Fulcrum'

Fulcrum Field Day

November 9, 2020 • #

A fun aspect of working on a business product with a product-led growth strategy that you get to use the your product for in your personal life. I’ve used Fulcrum for creating personal tracking databases, collecting video for OpenStreetMap, and even documenting my map collection.

There’s no better way to build an empathetic perspective of your customer’s life than to go and be one as often as you can.

Last week our team did an afternoon...

Workflows in Fulcrum

August 25, 2020 • #

Fulcrum’s been the best tool out there for quite a few years for building your own apps and collecting data with mobile forms (we were doing low-code before it was cool). Our product focus for a long time was on making it as simple and as fast as possible to go from ideas to reality to get working on a data collection process. For any sort of work you would’ve previously done with a pen and paper, or a spreadsheet on a tablet, you can rapidly build and deploy a Fulcrum app to your team for things like inspections, audits,...

Fulcrum's Report Builder

July 5, 2020 • #

After about 6-8 months of forging, shaping, research, design, and engineering, we’ve launched the Fulcrum Report Builder. One of the key use cases with Fulcrum has always been using the platform to design your own data collection processes with our App Builder, perform inspections with our mobile app, then generate results through our Editor, raw data integrations, and, commonly, generating PDF reports from inspections.

Fulcrum Report Builder

For years we’ve offered a basic report template along with an ability to customize the reports through our Professional Services team. What was missing...

2020 Ready: Field Data Collection with Fulcrum

February 4, 2020 • #

Today we hosted a webinar in conjunction with our friends at NetHope and Team Rubicon to give an overview of Fulcrum and what we’re collectively doing in disaster relief exercises.

Both organizations deployed to support recent disaster events for Cyclone Idai and Hurricane Dorian (the Bahamas) and used Fulcrum as a critical piece of their workflow.

Always enjoyable to get to show more about what we’re doing...

Balancing Power and Usability

November 18, 2019 • #

This is another one from the archives, written for the Fulcrum blog back in 2016.

Engineering is the art of building things within constraints. If you have no constraints, you aren’t really doing engineering. Whether it’s cost, time, attention, tools, or materials, you’ve always got constraints to work within when building things. Here’s an excerpt describing the challenge facing the engineer:

The crucial and unique task of the engineer is to identify, understand, and interpret the constraints on a design in order to produce a successful result. It is usually not enough...

Fall All Hands 2019

November 9, 2019 • #

We just wrapped up our Fall “all hands” week at the office. Another good week to see everyone from out of town, and an uncommonly productive one at that. We got a good amount of planning discussion done for future product roadmap additions, did some testing on new stuff in the lab, fixed some bugs, shared some knowledge, and ate (a lot).

Looking forward to the next one!

San Juan

October 21, 2019 • #

We’re in San Juan this week for the NetHope Global Summit. Through our partnership with NetHope, a non-profit devoted to bringing technology to disaster relief and humanitarian projects, we’re hosting a hands-on workshop on Fulcrum on Thursday.

NetHope Summit

We’ve already connected with several of the other tech companies in NetHope’s network — Okta, Box, Twilio, and others — leading to some interesting conversations on working together more closely on integrated deployments for humanitarian work.

Fortin San Geronimo de Boqueron Fortin...

Data as a Living Asset

September 20, 2019 • #

This is a post from the Fulcrum archives I wrote 3 years back. I like this idea and there’s more to be written on the topic of how companies treat their archives of data. Especially in data-centric companies like those we work with, it’s remarkable to see how quickly it often is thrown on a shelf, atrophies, and is never used again.

In the days of pen and paper collection, data was something to collect, transcribe, and stuff into a file cabinet to be stored for a minimum of 5 years (lest those auditors...

Shipping the Right Product

August 14, 2019 • #

This is one from the archives, originally written for the Fulcrum blog back in early 2017. I thought I’d resurface it here since I’ve been thinking more about continual evolution of our product process. I liked it back when I wrote it; still very relevant and true. It’s good to look back in time to get a sense for my thought process from a couple years ago.

In the software business, a lot of attention gets paid to “shipping” as a badge of honor if you want to be considered an innovator. Like any guiding...

Fulcrum as a Personal Database

July 29, 2019 • #

I use Fulcrum all the time for collecting data around hobbies of mine. Sometimes it’s for fun or interests, sometimes for mapping side projects, or even just for testing the product as we develop new features.

Here are a few of my key every day apps I use for personal tracking. I’m always tinkering around with other things as we expand the product, but each of these I’ve been using for years pretty consistently.

Gas Mileage

Of course there are apps out there devoted to this task, but I like the idea of having my own raw...

Weekend Reading: Rhythmic Breathing, Drowned Lands, and Fulcrum SSO

July 20, 2019 • #

🏃🏻‍♂️ Everything You Need to Know About Rhythmic Breathing

I tried this out the other night on a run. The technique makes some intiutive sense that it’d reduce impact (or level it out side to side anyway). Surely to notice any result you’d have to do it over distance consistently. But I’ve had some right knee soreness that I don’t totally know the origin of, so thought I’d start trying this out. I found it takes a lot of concentration to keep it up consistently. I’ll keep testing it out.


The Second Phase: allinspections

June 3, 2019 • #

This post is part 3 in a series about my history in product development. Check out the intro in part 1 and all about our first product, Geodexy, in part 2.

Back in 2010 we decide to halt our development of Geodexy and regroup to focus on a narrower segment of the marketplace. With what we’d learned in our go-to-market attempt on Geodexy, we wanted to isolate a specific industry we could focus our technology around. Our tech platform was strong, we were confident in...

Weekend Reading: Real Time Analytics, Georeferencing, and Fulcrum Code

June 1, 2019 • #

📉 Whom the Gods Would Destroy, They First Give Real-time Analytics

I thought this was a great post on how unnecessary “real-time” analytics can be when misused. As the author points out, it’s almost never necessary to have data that current. With current software it’s possible to have infinite analytics on everything, and as a result it’s irresistable to many people to think of those metrics as essential for decision making.

This line of thinking is a trap. It’s important to divorce the concepts of operational metrics...

Weekend Reading: Hurricanes, Long Games, and AirPods

March 30, 2019 • #

Hurricane Season 2017: A Coordinated Reconnaissance Effort

The NSF StEER program has been using Fulcrum Community for a couple of years now, ever since Hurricane Harvey landed on the Texas coast, followed by Irma and Maria later that fall. They’ve built a neat program on top of our platform that lets them respond quickly with volunteers on the ground conducting structure assessments post-disaster:

The large, geographically distributed effort required the development of unified data standards and digital workflows to enable the swift collection...

Entering Product Development: Geodexy

March 27, 2019 • #

I started with the first post in this series back in January, describing my own entrance into product development and management.

When I joined the company we were in the very early stages of building a data collection tool, primarily for internal use to improve speed and efficiency on data project work. That product was called Geodexy, and the model was similar to Fulcrum in concept, but in execution and tech stack, everything was completely different. A few years back, Tony wrote up a retrospective post detailing out the...

Getting to 1,000

February 22, 2019 • #

I saw this tweet a couple of days back that I thought was interesting:

The topic of “how we got to 1000 users” is an interesting one I thought I could take a stab at…


Weekend Reading: Fulcrum in Santa Barbara, Point Clouds, Building Footprints

February 2, 2019 • #

👨🏽‍🚒 Santa Barbara County Evac with Fulcrum Community

Our friends over at the Santa Barbara County Sheriff have been using a deployment of Fulcrum Community over the last month to log and track evacuations for flooding and debris flow risk throughout the county. They’ve deployed over 100 volunteers so far to go door-to-door and help residents evacuate safely. In their initial pilot they visited 1,500 residents. With this platform the County can monitor progress in real-time and maximize their resources to the areas that need the most attention.


Fulcrum Desktop

January 4, 2019 • #

A frequent desire for Fulcrum customers is to maintain locally a version of the data they collect with our platform, in their database system of choice. With our export tool, it’s simple to pull out extracts in formats like CSV, shapefile, SQLite, and even PostGIS or GeoPackage. What this doesn’t allow, though, is an automatable way to keep a local version of data on your own server. You’d have to extract data manually on some schedule and append new stuff to existing tables you’ve already got.

A while back we built and...

Video Mapping in OpenStreetMap with Fulcrum

December 16, 2018 • #

With tools like Mapillary and OpenStreetCam, it’s pretty easy now to collect street-level images with a smartphone for OpenStreetMap editing. Point of interest data is now the biggest quality gap for OSM as compared to other commercial map data providers. It’s hard to compete with the multi-billion dollar investments in street mapping and the bespoke equipment of Google or Apple. There’s promise for OSM to be a deep, current source of this level of detail, but it requires true mass-market crowdsourcing to get there.

The businesses behind...

A Product Origin Story

September 11, 2018 • #

Fulcrum, our SaaS product for field data collection, is coming up on its 7th birthday this year. We’ve come a long way: from a bootstrapped, barely-functional system at launch in 2011 to a platform with over 1,800 customers, healthy revenue, and a growing team expanding it to ever larger clients around the world. I thought I’d step back and recall its origins from a product management perspective.

We created Fulcrum to address a need we had in our business, and quickly realized its application to dozens of other markets with a slightly different color of the...

Weekly Links: OSM on AWS, Fulcrum Editor, & Real-time Drone Maps

April 21, 2017 • #

Querying OpenStreetMap with Amazon Athena 🗺

Using Amazon’s Athena service, you can now interactively query OpenStreetMap data right from an interactive console. No need to use the complicated OSM API, this is pure SQL. I’ve taken a stab at building out a replica OSM database before and it’s a beast. The dataset now clocks in at 56 GB zipped. This post from Seth Fitzsimmons gives a great overview of what you can do with it:

Working with “the planet” (as the data archives are referred to) can be unwieldy. Because it contains data spanning the...