Scaling Our Product Activity 10X in One Year

We set an ambitious goal in 2016: scale our product activity by 10X.

We measure activity in a few ways, so before I jump into whether we achieved this goal, here’s some quick background:

  • Form submissions are one way we measure product engagement because it tells us when someone is submitting data in the application they built.
  • The equation is simple: more form submissions = more people who are actively using CommCare.

In October 2015, I published a blog about how excited we were to hit 1 million CommCare forms submitted per month. In this post, I also announced our goal to “10X our activity” in 2016. While we didn’t quite hit that goal in 2016, I am thrilled to report back that we crossed this threshold in April 2017, with 10,000,000 CommCare forms submitted per month! And, as of November 2017, we are up to over 14,000,000 forms per month.

Achieving this progress wasn’t easy; it was immensely hard.

Growing our activity 10X since late 2015 took a massive effort from Dimagi staff and our partners. Much of the growth can be attributed to large, national scale projects that we launched during this timeframe. These projects presented unique challenges that impacted nearly every aspect of our business, including: how we develop partnerships, deliver projects, approach growth on small to midsize projects vs. large national programs, and support buying 10,000+ phones at a time.

Why this mattered

Over the years, we built a strong evidence base with more than 51 studies proving CommCare’s impact on frontline programs in low-resource settings. This research validated our work, but — up until this year — we also sought a level of scale to justify our efforts. Supporting large, national scale projects is a major inflection point in our industry, somewhat akin to companies reaching profitability in traditional for-profit industries, so 10 million forms was a huge milestone.

Our next challenge

While we celebrate this moment of success, we aspire to scale CommCare to new heights. I hope (and expect) to be writing again in the future about new milestones celebrating our growth in the number of forms submitted each month, CommCare users, and projects. I also expect our focus to shift more toward sustaining projects at scale because in order for true impact to be realized, scale and sustainability must go hand-in-hand. We believe the key to achieving sustainability is by creating solutions users love. And thus, a big focus in 2018 will be product improvements to enhance our end users’ experience in CommCare.

As we gear up for our next challenge, I feel lucky to be able to work day-in and day-out with the Dimagi team. The talent and dedication of our staff is simply amazing. While the challenges we face together grow each year, they are even more worth fighting for.



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