“Advanced, powerful survey software shouldn’t cost 150k. In the age of cloud technology and software as a service, it’s absurd. Just because you CAN doesn’t mean you SHOULD.”
– Christian Vanek, CEO & Founder, SurveyGizmo
Way back in 2005…
Our founder, Christian Vanek, was just a scrappy, overworked software developer in Massachusetts on the phone with a researcher planning to build another survey by hand.
This wasn’t the first survey project he’d been tasked with creating. In fact, it was a growing trend among his marketing clients.
It wasn’t that survey software didn’t exist, it just cost more for one year than these marketers could spend in five. Paying for the current software was completely and totally out of the question, but data still needed to be collected and analyzed.
And so, being the clever, resourceful, and somewhat exasperated programmer that he was, Christian Vanek set out to build software that would help his clients without destroying their budgets.
Fueled by a Robin Hood-like need to provide a cost-effective option (and many, many liters of Mountain Dew), Christian combined his own experience with dozens of client phone calls to create the first version of SurveyGizmo.
Scott McDaniel, a client of Christian’s and a Director of Internet Marketing himself, saw the infant software product and was immediately intrigued. He joined SurveyGizmo as a co-founder, handling what Christian referred to as, “the business stuff.”
To help spread the word about their survey tool for the common marketer, Scott and Christian traded a handful of consulting hours for a booth at an upcoming email marketing event in June of 2006.
Instantly, the clock started ticking.
They needed a working demo, and they needed it fast.
Scott sat down and built a new user interface in ten days, and Christian frantically meshed it with the back end he’d been working on with his clients.
After cramming a 24” monitor into their carry-on bag because they couldn’t afford to check it, the sleep deprived pair took their tool for its first public test drive.
The friendly SurveyGizmo name, along with features that had been designed completely through customer conversations, struck a cord at the conference. Christian and Scott’s ten year roller coaster ride had begun.