Recently we had an opportunity to speak with Brad Rubin, the CEO at CIVL, LLC about CIVL
Please share with us the backstory of what motivated you to create this app.
As a member of countless charities, non-profits, and organizations, we noticed that the communication was completely fragmented and inefficient. Most websites weren't updated with the latest and correct info, emails got either sent to spam, deleted, or ignored, and social media is an absolute nightmare. Besides for the digital noise and toxic environment, to stay updated as a member you need to check Twitter for news, Facebook for chat, Instagram for pictures, LinkedIn for volunteer and job opportunities, Meetup for events, SurveyMonkey for polls, etc. It's ridiculously inefficient. In addition, many people are now leaving social media due to privacy issues and other concerns. We wanted a simple and quick way for organizations to reach their members easily and in one place.
What features do you hope to roll out to your app in the future?
We have an incredible development team and while we have a long list of features we are working on, our team will be launching soon our artificial intelligence feedback for our organization admins. The AI will be able to provide incredible data and feedback based on the members chat. This will help admins keep their finger on the "pulse" of their group.
What has been the most rewarding aspect of the creation of this app?
We have several categories of organizations on CIVL and we care about each and every one. However, non-profits and charities have always been a passionate focal point for us. Being able to help a charity improve their communications so they can concentrate on their prime directives has been incredibly rewarding.
What is the coolest or most innovative feature of your app?
While we love to tout the efficiency of platform and simplicity of the design, when we reach out for feedback from our members one of the top comments is always that our users love not having to be on social media to stay informed. The backlash against social media is intense now and we happened to be well-positioned as a solution and superior alternative. In addition, CIVL has a development wing which white labels our platform for organizations who want their own individual app. We create a proven and customizeable app with all the features of CIVL but dedicated solely to your group or campaign.
What surprised you most in your journey to create this app?
As I mentioned, we wanted to solve the fragmentation problem that existed in organization's communications. Working with many groups and campaigns, it surprised me just how pervasive this problem is. We have incredible relationships with our organizations and offer many services to help them with their goals. This includes graphic design, press releases, and even small business management advice. So I would say the overwhelming need of an effective solution/solutions surprised me but also was encouraging for us.
Which other mobile apps or technology have inspired you?
I'm a big fan of Slack which is a competitor of ours. Slack is fantastic and has a dedicated following however many people find it too "techie". We have a small business owner on CIVL who describes us as "Slack for the rest of us". I was really proud of that!
Do you have any recommendations or advice for others wanting to create a mobile app?
So many people will tell you that you can't do it. What they actually mean is that THEY can't do it. It's hard work, it takes a lot of time and dedication but you can absolutely do it! Use the negativity as motivation and just keep pushing forward. You're going to hit obstacles and sometimes those obstacles lead you in a better direction.
How did you decide which platforms to release your app on and do you plan on releasing your app to other platforms?
This was a long conversation in the beginning. We initially were going to be web-based until we reached out to several organizers of different groups. These people spend very little time at a desk on a computer. They LIVE on their phones. It became apparent that we needed a mobile-first solution. Since we didn't want to leave anyone out, we of course launched an iOS and Android version. That being said, we will be releasing a web-based platform which will offer expanded features and broader capabilities for especially larger organizations.
How is your app different than the rest of the market? Which unique need does it fill?
Similar solutions out there tackle one or more of the features organizations need but not all of them. Then there are the platforms that are great, but turn off a lot of people because the user interface is too technical. We created CIVL to be easily used and understood by everyone. We have young people using CIVL for their sports teams and senior citizens for their social clubs. Both have told us how incredibly easy CIVL is for them. More importantly, organization admins have repeatedly told us how much more engaged their members are. It's incredible what you can accomplish when your communication works.
You can view CIVL here
For more information, visit: http://www.civlapp.com