About Doordeck

Looking forward — Doordeck’s plan and ambitions for 2019

January 14, 2019

2018 has been a year of exciting change for Doordeck. After spending a couple of years developing both software AND hardware for our smart building access platform, we found ourselves repeatedly coming up with the same issues with our hardware products, while customer feedback indicated that the software side of Doordeck was by far our greatest strength. Ultimately, with an already-competitive and sprawling market for access control hardware, and with the high costs and risk involved in making hardware as a startup, we reached the conclusion that our skills were better used elsewhere — to create a really unique and powerful software solution unlike anything else on the market.

With that in mind, we shifted our focus for Doordeck onto producing a smart, efficient, and entirely software-based solution for ‘keyless’ building access control; instead of reinventing the wheel by producing our own and exclusive hardware, we redesigned Doordeck to be compatible with the world’s most popular existing access control hardware. In a nutshell, it means we can now upgrade an entire building’s security system to be unlockable from a smartphone — and have the entire system rolled out in just 15 minutes. No downtime, new wires or new hardware needed. Of course, this greatly simplified the installation process and removed many of the obstacles and inconvenience usually associated with ‘smart’ access control — plus it meant there would be a wealth of buildings out there that are already Doordeck-compatible.

Doordeck self-setup in action

With this new strategy in mind, we spent the first half of the year developing a pioneering new ‘self-install’ process, which would enable our customers to install Doordeck on their own — bringing smartphone access to their premises in a matter of moments. Essentially, we’ve spent much of 2018 aiming to make Doordeck a self-service product, delivering Doordeck in a way which requires very little interaction from ourselves, and allowing us to scale rapidly overnight like no other access control company in the world.

To promote the Doordeck self-installer and to prove the scalability for our new approach, in September 2018 we launched Doordeck Free — a promotional campaign offering one free door to anyone. The campaign had several advantages: it would be inexpensive to run, it would create numerous ‘test sites’ and it would provide us with useful market research data for minimal outlay, helping us to gauge the appetite for our service and to identify potential clients and premises with an interest in Doordeck.

We had a clear set of aims when we launched the Doordeck Free campaign:

  1. Overnight global rollout
    At the start of the year, our customers were almost entirely based in the UK. Four months into the Doordeck Free campaign, I’m delighted to report that we now have users in 26 countries across four continents.
  2. Upsell potential
    By giving interested parties a free taste of the product, we hoped to drive up further sales — something which I’m very pleased to say has been the case.
  3. Making a virtue of our uniqueness
    It has been a longstanding principle (and a major selling point) that Doordeck is a winning product because of the ways it differs from existing access control solutions, rather than the ways it mimics them. We’re happy to work with other companies to produce products which marry their hardware solutions with our hugely flexible software because we know this is the easiest solution for the customer, rather than landing them with unnecessary upheaval and expense. Our usability is our greatest asset.
  4. Increased brand awareness and global reach
    In many ways the most important aspect of all throughout the campaign: we wanted more people to experience Doordeck and we wanted them to be spread over a far greater area than our pre-existing customer base. Since launching Doordeck Free, word of mouth has been fantastic and we’ve fielded more enquiries about our product than ever before.

It’s been extremely gratifying to see how much progress we’ve managed to make in such a short period of time, and how useful the whole campaign has been in a number of ways. Following the success of the Doordeck Free campaign, we’re now retiring the promotion (although the first door of any new customer order will still be complimentary) but we hope to continue to build on our recent successes next year and consolidate our position as the pioneers of access control. Expect to hear more about this in 2019, and we can’t wait to show you what we’ve been working on!

William Bainborough
CEO of Doordeck