Peter Yared | Crain's San Francisco

In this ongoing series, we ask executives, entrepreneurs and business leaders about mistakes that have shaped their business philosophy.

Peter Yared

Background:  

Sapho integrates existing business systems that employees need to do their jobs and notifies them of important information and relevant actions that they need to take in a single click. Sapho is used to improve companies' internal workflows. 

The Mistake:

My mistake was I bought a bunch of software and no one used it.

I was brought into re-platform the older systems at a media company. I was the CTO/CIO. They had older systems, legacy systems. So we modernized every system with the best software. We built a content management system from scratch.

What was really surprising was that I thought once people had access to modern software, everyone would start using it.  What we found was that no one would.

There were people who have to use a certain system -- order management, account coordinators and the finance system accountants. When you modernize those system, those people are generally much happier. Daily users were overjoyed. It worked well for them.

But this vision that everyone else would all of a sudden use these systems and be having conversations --  when that didn’t happen, I was very disappointed.

People didn’t want to use the new systems because they changed all the time and you needed different passwords. People don’t like going to a foreign system and having to figure out how to log into it once a month. It’s like going to 10 different bank websites, once a week. People don’t like it.

People are less inclined to go to 10 different systems as part of their work.

The Lesson:

It led us to this realization, we should make it work as easily as Facebook and have push notification on the phone.

If you look at Web 1.0, you go to a portal with squares for data and look for weather, stock tips. Now, you want push notifications if a stock moves a lot. It’s all shifted from pull to push. 

The whole model has shifted but it hasn’t happened in work systems. If something happens, it doesn’t tell you. People are less inclined to go to 10 different systems as part of their work. You expect to get things sorted in an organized feed-- that’s a big shift.

That’s what led to Sapho.

 

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