What is Procore?Procore isn't a story of overnight success.
It's a story of trial and error and perseverance.
I've always been a builder at heart. From a young age I was fascinated by construction. My father always seemed to have a construction project underway. Watching those projects take shape, I learned that I was drawn to people who value hard work, and who see building as their craft and calling.
In the eighth grade I started working in a cabinet shop after school sweeping the floors. I worked construction jobs while in high school and college, and I ended up choosing to swing a hammer full-time on job sites in the San Francisco Bay Area rather than complete my last two years of school.
In 1993, my life and career took a turn into technology when I met a man who would become my mentor for the next decade. He introduced me to creating software, another form of building that became a new passion.
I found myself at the center of the technology boom in Silicon Valley, learning to code and solving enormous engineering challenges. In 1996, I started my own software development company focused on web applications. The timing could not have been better. That company grew, and by 1999 I found myself working like crazy and also married, with a newborn son.
The need for Procore came from actual problems I was having as the owner on a construction project to build a new home for my family. Phone calls and fax machines were the default communication modes with my contractor. When I looked at the sheer complexity of coordination, and the lack of streamlined communication, I was shocked that anything ever got done on my own construction project.
My first step to improve this situation was to build a web-based collaboration tool around our Microsoft Project schedule for the job. This tool made it possible to gather feedback from team members as to what was actually going to happen against the plan. We began to avoid mistakes on the job site by just getting everyone on the same page. My construction experience, combined with my knowledge of software development, seemed to be solving a big problem. That's when Procore was born.
I decided to take a year off from my software development company and focus on discovering the needs of the construction market. I visited job sites and learned about the inefficiencies that Project Managers faced on a daily basis. A daily job log, two week look-aheads, a system for managing RFIs and a way to share project schedules were the first tools that I built into a new web-based application that I called Procore.
Procore didn't take off right away. After a few years of building the company, I almost lost my shirt, my home, and just about everything else. Back in 2002, most people working in construction didn't use email for work tasks. Only a handful of my target customers had any Internet access at the job site. Smart phones and tablets were still years away—and widespread adoption of these devices by project teams was more than a decade in the future.
So I saw the opportunity, but the market I wanted to serve wasn't ready yet. We had to show most of our early customers how a project management software application was going to make their work—and their lives—better. If it wasn't for a few early adopters and the steady partnership I found in Steve Zahm, Procore would have gone out of business many times in the early days.
In the years since, Procore has grown to be the most used construction software application on the planet. And it's my sincere intention, and that of the hundreds of Procore employees with whom I have the pleasure of working, to continue that growth. We are always focused on making Procore better, faster, and more useful. My passion has always been in construction. I still value hard work, and the rewards of building something from the ground up.
When people ask me what my goal is for the future of Procore, it's simple. I never want to stop providing people in the construction industry with tools that make their lives easier.