For the next few weeks, read stories from the team at CloudFactory and learn how their mission is bigger than the data they crunch. Story by Mark Sears, Founder & CEO, CloudFactory.
Imagine a factory in the “cloud” where organizations from around the world send their repetitive work to be completed around the clock by a combination of software robots and smart people. Welcome to CloudFactory! We process millions of documents, audio files, video files, and images to extract data and make it searchable, actionable and valuable.
The world is getting more flat every year. Technology is advancing at exponential rates and there is a renewed sense of social responsibility in business. All of this feeds into the future of work and what CloudFactory is focused on today. We exist to connect 1 million people in developing countries to basic computer work, while raising them up as leaders to address poverty in their own communities.
CloudFactory was built to solve two problems at the same time. The first is the explosion of data and importance of data to almost every big and small organization. How do you process and make this data valuable when it is trapped inside multiple formats (paper, audio, video, photos, social media) and world-wide business data is doubling in size every 1.2 years? Most organizations go the direction of technology-powered solutions or human-powered solutions to process their data – but they find that technology alone is not enough and humans alone can’t scale.
The second problem is that of wasted talent and poverty. There are over 3 billion people who live on less than $3 a day, and many developing countries are experiencing a “youth bulge” with 50-80% unemployment among those ages 18-30. Within this extreme poverty though, there is extreme talent.
CloudFactory’s solution is to connect these two groups of people using an advanced technology platform and unique workforce model. We hire thousands of smart people in smart places and coordinate their efforts through cloud software that breaks up work into tiny bits to get the job done quickly.
And the team at CloudFactory is not just smart, they care – about their clients, about their communities and about each other. They care because they are cared for and know the value of a good opportunity. It is a virtuous cycle that leads to amazing results, that leads to happy clients, that leads to more work, that opens up opportunities for thousands of more cloud workers to join the CloudFactory journey.
It all started back in July 2008, when my wife and I took a two week vacation to Nepal and kept extending the trip until we simply stayed to start the company that is now CloudFactory. We have lived in Nepal for over 5 years now, had two beautiful kids, grown to 130 full-time employees and 3,000 part-time cloud workers, replicated our model to Kenya, opened a US sales office, and have been on a wonderful and accidental entrepreneurship adventure that has forever changed our lives.
The exciting thing is that our business is growing and impacting many others now, including people in the communities where we work. Our impact model is based on a simple formula for raising up leaders: LEADERSHIP = CHARACTER x COMPETENCY x COMMUNITY. The goal is to see young men and women of high character and competency that are highly involved in their community – to see them become leaders worth following. It has been two years since we hired the first 25 cloud workers and we are now seeing some fun ripple effects with over 2,200 community service projects done by CloudFactory in 2013. We look forward to sharing more about our business, the journey so far and the journey ahead in the coming weeks. A big thanks to VentureCompassion.com for the opportunity to share our stories.
Learn more about CloudFactory at cloudfactory.com.
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