Interview with Dionysia McPherson
Co-Founder @ Paperform

The Paperform web platform enables anyone to create online forms or product pages quickly, intuitively, and to brand them as they like, all without writing code. The Paperform editor is all about easily creating forms that embody your project or business, sharing those with your community, and taking payments without fuss. Create forms using free text (like a doc), and insert questions or payments wherever you like. Forms come to life and engage your visitors like never before. We want to empower people to create forms that are truly theirs.
Hi Dionysia! Could you please introduce Paperform and what led to your co-founding the company back in 2016?
Hi my name is Dionisya. I get called Diony, only for short, and I'm the co-founder of Paperform. Paperform is a web platform that enables anyone to create beautiful online forms, payment or product pages- quickly and intuitively without any technical knowledge. So really anything from registration pages, through to latest forms or if you need to sell something you can create a page or form that's indelible with us, and the reason that we created Paperform, and when I say we, I mean my husband and co-founder Dean and I, is because we were working in a nine to five jobs, I was working as a project and product manager at Google and Dean was working in a startup as a web developer, and he kept having friends and family members coming to him and asking to have forms built for their businesses and projects and we kind of had a moment where we were like why does this keep happening, there's obviously a gap in the market. What is that gap? What are these people really looking for? And it was quite clear that there was nothing out there that allowed them to manage a form themselves but a form, that was beautiful and branded to their business or their projects. So every other solution out there, they were able to build a form, it was often bulky and they ended up just looking like those form builders formed, stuck on their website, so it's quite clear that there was a need out there, and it was a no-brainer for Dean to start developing something and it was a matter of seeing how widespread that need was.
What separates Paperform from similar products, such as Google forms?
So this is a fantastic question, I love this question. The reason is because it hits on that pin points and hits on why we created Paperform. We have a slogan it's Easy, Beautiful, Yours and they're also the points that differentiate us. Paperform is easy to use, so we have a free text form editor, that means that you come in like a word doc, you start typing free text or whatever copy you want for your form and then you can insert elements, whether it be a question an image a video even HTML to embed something, whatever you like, and people have been programmed to think that drop and drag interfaces are the easiest way to operate and they're not always and definitely in the case of form builders they're not. So our editor is very fast, very easy to use. Being beautiful and being yours go hand-in-hand, but being beautiful is not just about being pretty, it's about engaging, when you have rich content when you have images that engage people, you get a response. Forms aren't just administration, If they're just administration, people will look at them get bored and move on, you really need something that engages with them, and we allow you to have a very high level of customization. The other thing as I said goes hand-in-hand is that they're Yours, so because they're very customizable, they're not jarring on your web page, if you want to embed them or even just to be shared as a stern stand alone page, people can really say that it's your brand, and that really generates trust, and again gets a better response. And then finally I'll add to that is that we're incredibly robust, you can create anything from payments really rich e-commerce pages to very simple questionaries, is it's completely up to you. It's very robust, and very brandable tool. Which is exciting.
From idea to launch, how long did it take to establish the company?
So from conception to launch it really took us about five or six months, my co-founder is a web developer, would get up, Dean would get up at five o'clock in the morning, and he would work for a few hours before his day job and worked hard at getting an MBP up, and at the same time, I started sorting out our trademark our company, legally getting an established, and during that we had a subsidiary in an ultimate holding company looking into all the boxes we needed to tick for that as well as accounting and finances and everything else that goes into establishing a company. It's a lot of work but we did it quite quickly, we had a beta ready by the third month and sent that out to get it in the hands of active users, and then another two months later we were ready to launch. Having said all of that you know we launched with a very high-quality product but a very simple product and we've continued to build on that quite ferociously, which we can't help but do we're very passionate about the product, so we will always be working on it but essentially establishing the company after about five or six months.
What has been the feedback from users of Paperform? What kind of market research did you conduct prior before launching the company?
So, we have a fantastic customer base and we love them, and people who use Paperform generally really love it, really love the product and they express that! They tell us that and they also share it quite well. Because of the way we launched it- really getting the product into the hands of customers early on, they've been part of the dialogue of the product its features and its development, of course we always need to rein that in and to turn it into something cohesive, that's very important but we really emphasize this direct dialogue with our customers. It's been so positive to the point where this is quite amazing, but we didn't do really any paid marketing easily for the first year and we grew 10 to 15 percent month on month, and it was purely because people were talking about Paperform and we got a referral program in place pretty quickly and we've only just launched an affiliate program, which we think will have great results. So the feedback has been really positive about Paperform and we will do it with specific users in mind registration and sign-ups and a few other use cases and what we found is the product is so incredibly robust that the opportunities for the product are endless and the users within a particular customer's remit are very, they're not just using it for one particular thing, they're using Paperform for a bunch of stuff. Doing market research was really difficult for us because the space was so big that there was a lot of conflicting information out there, and so for us getting the product into the hands of our users and continuing that dialogue as we develop the product and the business has been invaluable.
What's next for your work with Paperform? What are the main projects, partnerships, and networks you'll be focusing on in 2019?
So 2019 is an epic year for Paperform, we're really excited. We've got some huge things planned toward the second half of the year but I can't talk too much about that just yet so, I'll stick to the first quarter. We're going to be releasing a whole bunch of direct integrations starting with Google Sheets, MailChimp, Active Campaign, Slack, Trello, that will be in January and then throughout the rest of the year, we'll have more and more direct integrations and along with those will come partnerships. We've also partnered and sponsored with NYU's innovation comp with their School of Engineering, they've got a great startup competition that we love to be involved in. We've also just launched our affiliate program and we'll be continuing to build on that as the year goes on, and we have an a set of e-commerce features coming out at the end of March, and these will bolster the offering we already have for selling products and services on Paperform and making it even easier, so I've got a lot of stuff planned a lot of product-based stuff, we're always product forward and then through that we always find these incredible partnerships there, so we're excited. If you haven't tried it yet go to paperform.co and try it because chances are it'll be helpful to your business.