As typical for a tech start-up, very different individuals who shared a deep passion met in a booth at a quaint restaurant to plan how they could disrupt an industry. The three, Joe Weisman, Leif Gjestland and Charlie Yarbrough founded CfMC (Computers for Marketing Corporation) fifty years ago with the intention of democratizing market research by putting the power of statistical analysis literally at the fingertips of researchers and opinion pollsters.
On August 9th, Joe, Leif, and Charlie will be recognized by The Computer History Museum for their contribution to the region’s tech growth. The company they started with home-grown computer hardware and code that created punch-card programming for survey data tabulation thrived, with a record of longevity few companies achieve. The technology they developed has undergone an unknown number of iterations and transformed an industry along the way. Even though the company’s name was changed in 2015 to emphasize the focus on voice-based data collection and processing, many long-time customers still think of it as CfMC, which is understandable given the close relationships that developed over the years.
The vision of maximizing insight from survey research is being carried on at Survox, by many of the employees who worked alongside the original founders. The company’s focus has and continues to be primarily on voice, as verbatim response remains the gold standard for uncovering true intent. We’re even more encouraged about the future with the shift in interaction with technology. Digital assistants, autonomous vehicles, and scores of other technologies won’t require a physical interface, so speaking to devices will become natural, thanks to intelligent automation that’s effective in understanding natural language.
We’re diligently working on ways to frictionlessly collect and analyze voice response to discover insight with a high degree of confidence. Our ability auto-generate and deliver personalized voice-based surveys, dynamically updated with everyone’s transaction information, and translate those conversations into text for real-time trend and sentiment analysis is already a reality.
It’s our goal that our foresight and passion continues to match those of our founders as we continue the journey to grow and adapt while pushing the boundaries of technology to improve market research and opinion polling.