There is something to be said about controlling your own destiny and making your own rules. It’s the reason our workplace has seen a huge shift in the number of workers exiting the marketplace seeking adventure, opportunity and the ability to start a revolution even in the workplace. Over the past 10 years, the startup world has grown out of a need to revolutionize a product, marketplace or industry that was stagnant, moving slowly or failing to adjust to it’s customers needs. This is what the technology revolution is all about. It’s the lure of Silicon Valley and its sister technology cities in the US including New York, Boston/Cambridge, Austin and Washington D.C.
Unlike Silicon Valley, Boston/Cambridge, and its sister technology cities, the workplace and HR industry has been slow to evolve for a number of reasons including the foothold legacy companies have had on the industry combined with the slow moving evolution that compliance focused departments and organizations, like HR, sometimes bring. HR and its technologies in the past have not been rewarded or recognized for progression, evolution and change.
The last 36 months have been exciting ones in HR technology. Our industry has seen extreme growth, multiple IPOs from companies like WorkDay and LinkedIn and more than 50 substantial acquisitions including CareerBuilder’s acquisition of Broadbean and LinkedIn’s purchase of Bright.com. For entrepreneurs and investors, this growth and movement means great opportunity.
The human capital and HR technology industry is a tricky one. It’s complex and filled with niche markets within the industry leaving some entrepreneurs, startups and investors confused with the how, why and when to be successful in this space. Niche markets within HR and workplace technology are vast even though the industry is small, interconnected and tight knit. They include but are not limited to sourcing, recruiting, compliance, benefits, workplace metrics, employee management and communication. Providing insights and explanation into this complex industry and its very unique nuances is more complicated to grasp unless you have built a company or spent your career working as a practitioner in the industry.
One company, RevolutionHR recently put the HR and workplace practitioner in the driver seat with the launch of their crowd sourced funding campaign of MaximusLife. MaximusLife combines gamification with career wellness integrating these components into the already established and extremely large wearable marketplace focused on fitness, wellness and healthy living.
MaximusLife launched one of the first crowd sourced campaigns in the HR technology industry late last week. They are leveraging the crowd sourcing platform of Indiegogo to reach forward thinking human resources professionals, workplace leaders and employees looking to integrate career wellness into the already booming healthy lifestyle and wearable industry.
MaximusLife’s goal is lofty as their software integrates with the established wearable technology industry. Instead of focusing on hardware, the company is software focused and is integrating with leading wearable companies like Misfit Wearables fitness and lifestyle tracker, Shine. Lifestyle apps and trackers like Shine will integrate MaximusLife’s software and career wellness components into the already familiar wearable technology focusing on holistic wellness of healthy, fitness, life and work together all in one device. For the first time the individual employee work related goals, which are called quests within MaximusLife, will live on the same platform as wellness and other personal goals or quests.
In 2012 Shine successfully raised over $800,000 in their own Indiegogo campaign and heavily influenced Brady Bruner, RevolutionHR’s CEO to use crowd sourcing to drive awareness and engagement in the HR and workplace technology industry.
While RevolutionHR is not the first HR technology company to launch a crowd sourced funding campaign, the trend will surely grow in popularity. This is largely due to the success of RevolutionHR’s MaximusLife campaign and Jeff Pulver’s employee communication startup, Zula that raised $5.5 million using the OurCrowd platform earlier in 2013
Will the future and growth of HR technology be in the fate of HR practitioner’s hands? Here’s to hoping. I welcome the idea of putting the workplace practitioners and their employees guiding the future of workplace technology. Let’s continue to drive the revolution.
A version of this was first posted on Forbes.