Interview with Art Holland (Splarchive)
Splarchive is a free online service that converts your files to PDFs and stores them for you online for you to search and access from any device.
I interviewed Art Holland, Splarchive co-founder to find out more. This interview is the twenty second in a series of DW interviews. Big thank you to Art for the interview!
How would you describe Splarchive in under 50 words?
Splarchive routinely converts all of your online data from email to databases and web services to custom PDF’s. These are accessible online to desktops and mobile and down-loadable.
What made you decide to start working on Splarchive?
It actually started when I was doing some consulting for a medical practice that wanted to convert it’s medical records to a cloud-based Electronic Medical Record system. I talked to the doctors about who would actually control their medical records and they kind of freaked out. I thought, there must be a good answer to enabling the doctors to take advantage of the EMR while also enabling them to still control their medical records. From this, Splarchive was born. It seemed like a problem that everyone with important data in the cloud needs a good answer to.
How did you come up with the name?
Since our core premise is about archiving and the original company is called Splarky and the domain name was available…
In regards to your background, you created Disney’s initial website, how did this come about?
It was in 1993 when I first heard about the Mosaic browser and the World Wide Web. I was an IT Director at Disney and started to play around with it and thought, holy crap, this is an amazing way to easily publish information online without having to go through one of the online services (AOL, Compuserve, etc.) We created a website, the Buena Vista MoviePlex (Buena Vista is Disney’s film distribution company) which was a virtual movie theater using images to guide you through a theater to find Quicktime movies of trailers for our current film releases. I pitched it to film marketing who loved it and we got funded to put together a team to build and deploy it. Disney did control disney.com, but at the time it was only being used for email by a couple of guys. So we deployed our first site.
How long did it take you to put together the first version of Splarchive and how much time has been spent on it since?
The first rough version of Splarchive took about a month. It then took about 6 months to really design, build and test it.
Has Splarchive got the feedback and growth you expected since launch?
We’ve been pleased with the overwhelming response since launch. The adoption rate of user sign-ups is ahead of our projections and the reviews from industry columnists have all been positive. The current version of Splarchive is a late stage beta and even in this early form, it’s over-delivering and ahead of schedule. We’re grateful for all the encouraging feedback and enthusiasm the Splarchive users have expressed to us. As the general public becomes more aware of their cloud-based vulnerabilities, we think the value of our evergreen, agonistic approach will attract broader users seeking more control of their document archiving.
How has work been split up between yourself and David Vogler?
David’s a designer with a deep understanding of product design and marketing and I’m a developer. We both share a passion for Internet services and how they are built, used and sold.
Who do you see as your target audience?
We think it has great institutional relevance as well as for individuals.
Who is your biggest competitor?
Backupify is probably closest to what we do though we also convert all of your data to PDF. This protects you not just from cloud service problems but also insures that your data will always be accessible regardless of how the data might have been stored in the cloud.
What is the biggest hurdle you have faced or are still facing?
Clearly, getting the word out and getting people to appreciate the vulnerability of their valuable data.
What has been the most technically challenging part of building Splarchive?
Getting high quality PDF’s created regardless of the source and making sure we only process the stuff submitted via email that we should be processing.
What are you most excited about at the moment?
David and I are focused on building a variety of new services that leverage mobile technology. Like Splarchive, the common bond across all our products is solving a problem or fulfilling a need with simplicity and elegance. Our company, Beta Bros., has over a dozen apps in the pipeline for both the iOS and Android platforms. Along with the further growth of Splarchive.com, we’re exciting with the slate of services we’ll be launching in Q4 of this year.
Can you convince the reader to start using Splarchive in under 50 words?
What if any of the cloud-based services you use including email, social, photos etc. folded tomorrow? Protect your cloud-based information with Splarchive.
Finished reading? Check out Splarchive!