How did HelpCloud (formerly known as MyFastPC) start?
Ryan Grover cannot remember a time in his adulthood when he did not desire to be an entrepreneur. For a time, he regretted passing on a previous business opportunity to start his own company. But finally, toward the end of 2011, he decided to dive into our founding business model. In January 2012 he committed to pursuing said business model. In February he put in his notice to resign at Rage Crest Consulting. On March 19th, 2012, Ryan Grover founded and opened MyFastPC. A month later on April 19th, he made his first sale. For those he employed, Ryan’s goal was to empower greatness in others. This is a goal that he has maintained throughout our ten years and still actively pursues today. Ryan and his son Henry:
It’s been 10 years of ups and downs, successes and failures. If you’re a company this young, you understand the growing pains. Our latest challenge has been the pandemic and its impacts on how we run and operate our business. We, like many, have shifted to a hybrid of in-office and remote employees. The silver lining, we now have representatives from California to the Northeast. We maintain our promise to keep all jobs based in the United States. Another silver lining that came from the challenge of the pandemic: many discovered our services as the need for remote tech support grew while people were homebound. Never would we have expected or desired for so many people to learn about our services in such a way. But we are happy to have been there for those that needed help in the absence of their regular support groups or visits to local tech repair shops.
Just last year, HelpCloud joined the Tech Care Association (TCA). We found that the goals and mission of the TCA very much aligned with HelpCloud’s goals to fight for a better World Wide Web. The TCA is open to tech repair companies, tech reuse and recycling companies. From their website, the TCA states:
"The Tech Care Association seeks to unify those in the tech care industry to create the first fulltime professional trade association to take on big tech companies that have controlled the industry's destiny for too long."
You can read more in our blog post here.
Rebranding to HelpCloud
In 2018 we “rebranded” and expanded to HelpCloud. It was time for us to expand what our free and paid services included. MyFastPC was no longer a relevant brand considering that we had expanded to service all mobile devices (tablets, smartphones, etc.) and also had purchased licenses for LogMeIn RescueLens which allows us to connect with a customer’s smartphone camera in order to help troubleshoot and resolve hardware and smart device issues. Additionally, we wanted to build HelpCloud Search, a niche specific search engine that focuses on finding you a resolution to your tech issue. Lastly, with the rebrand, we launched our "Technician by-the-hour" service. With this service we could help resolve any at-home tech issue based on an hourly rate. Best of all, if we don’t fix it you don’t pay.
Growing and further developing HelpCloud’s website has been a blast. I love building niche search engines. As most of the Western world uses a conglomerate search engine, curated with innumerable ads along with invasive tracking and selling of your personal data, we hoped to build a qualitative search engine that promotes only our services (if you can’t find your solution, reach out to us!). With this we have refused to integrate any ad or affiliate network on our website. We are striving to keep it that way. We hope that the world catches onto and appreciates a model for straight-forward advertising of a service when it’s needed, otherwise, enjoy HelpCloud Search or HelpCloud's YouTube channel for free!
Our Favorites "Nicknames" and Memories
By nicknames we mean misunderstood names. Talking over the phone is hard and new customers often misunderstand when our representatives said "MyFastPC" or say "HelpCloud". Here is a list of some of our favorites:
- Health Club
- Health Cloud
- Health Pod
Our Favorite Memories
An all-time favorite was the dunk tank at our field day in 2021:
Every Halloween we have the tradition of going to a local bowling alley. This not only includes a costume contest but also awards for the best and worst bowlers. Here are some photos from the event.
Hank the Tank (Ryan’s son):
Daylen (our Technician Team Lead):
When I asked the question to my coworkers about their favorite memories other honorable mentions were:
- Company provided lunches on Friday
- Old school LAN parties after hours
- Go kart racing at The Grid
- Renting out movie theaters for movie premiers
- Pets of HelpCloud on our Instagram
- Watching movies in the office after hours
My second favorite "memory" from a fellow coworker and it wasn’t necessarily a single memory. He stated that every time we block or remove scammers (and their software) from a customer’s computer, he is happy to know that we saved that customer from any future awful experiences including theft of funds or personal information.
In that same vein, we constantly receive phone calls from customers who know to call and consult with us before engaging with a "scareware" pop-up or a scammer call. Our representatives are trained on the latest scams and tactics, and we also release regular blog posts or youtube videos highlighting the latest scams. For example, here’s our write-up on the "Facebook Military Romance Scam". We are proud to be available 24/7 for our members, to give them peace of mind through expert advice.
My absolute favorite was this comment from Mystee Bristol, "Some favorite memories are just talking to the customers about what they've done for a living, grandkids, pets or even their hardships. We are therapists, cheerleaders, and for some, a good laugh on a bad day." I cannot express the gratitude I feel for our representatives that are kind, empathetic, and patient with our customers. Through the years we have cultivated a core group or coworkers that go above and beyond to be kind and respectful. It does not go unnoticed by other coworkers and especially not by our customers. You can see evidence of this in our company reviews on Facebook and Google.
Lastly, I received a very touching comment from a coworker. It centers on self-care and our approach to a balanced and healthy life. For quite some time, after the unexpected death of a coworker and the onset of the pandemic, we offered a weekly support group. It was run by my wife (who doesn’t work for HelpCloud). She helped facilitate a weekly session where employees could confidentiality confide in one another, helping them deal with loss, grief, addiction, and other issues. I am grateful for her time in order to help our team. The comment from my coworker touched on this:
"I have not always been the picture of health and well-being that I am today. One of the things I have been really grateful for during my employment at HelpCloud is that when I have needed to take a leave of absence to seek help, the company has always been supportive and encouraging. There is a true emphasis on having a healthy work/life ratio, and keeping ourselves happy as well as productive. More than just a place to work, HelpCloud has been a place for me to grow."
HelpCloud’s Vision for our Future
Another 10 years of course! I think we have found who we are. The first ten years for a company is a time of development and growth in rapid phases. In so many ways we have found our sweet spot when it comes to company size and services offered. We especially want to expand our Technician by-the-hour service. We know that it’s a service for any age or person. Lastly, we’re expanding into managed service provider IT services. Learn more here. We will focus on small to medium sized businesses. We’re starting local here in Utah Valley and we are excited!
Google has banned most tech support services from advertising. This was enacted in 2018. It’s been four long years. The pandemic has elongated their promises for a "whitelisting/validation process". I’m all for this. I think 3rd party tech support should verify and validate their services, prove that they are legitimate. The fact that one of the richest and most powerful companies in the world cannot create this is quite discouraging. And not believable (methinks there is more afoot!). While tech support shops can’t locally advertise their services and location, Google for some reason refuses to launch a process that validates legitimate services. It's difficult for some companies to survive without being able to advertise our services or even, simply, our location. OUR HOPE is for this validation process to launch so we can fully advertise our services. We have yet to pay for ads for Technician by-the-hour. We know and hope that one day we can advertise this service and help those folks out that are searching for real-time remote tech support help.
We want to continue to grow our YouTube channel. Listen to Aaron explain where our channel came from and where we hope to go:
Aaron works hard on this channel. While growth is steady and consistent, we’re hoping to come to the forefront of the YouTube tech channels in the next few years.
Lastly, we want to improve salaries and benefits for everyone that works here. COVID has been hard but we survived. And now that we are growing again we can focus on improved wages and benefits, to fairly compensate those that spend many waking hours sustaining and improving the business.
A huge thank you to all my coworkers! A thank you to our customers! Without both these groups, I would not be writing this celebratory post. The credit goes to you!