A company once told me someone had offered to build permanent disability calculators for their website in three months for $7,500. One said six months and $20,000. Recently, another suggested it would take them a year and $40,000. My response is usually some variation on “You’ve got to take that deal. You’re wasting your time talking to me.”
It’s no big secret that building a great product takes a lot of work. The important thing to remember is that just because something is easy-to-use, that doesn’t mean its easy-to-make. 1
Let’s take the iPhone for example. Everyone will concede its an easy phone to use. However, it was released more than two years ago on 6/29/2007. 2 In that time the other players – BlackBerry, LG, Nokia, and Palm have all been trying to catch up. If this easy-to-use phone were easy-to-build everyone would have their own version.
Look, there’s no special magic to building a website like this. Really, anyone can do it. All you have to do is learn the calculations inside-and-out, deconstruct the math involved in the various calculations, learn some client and server side programming languages, learn a content management system, make it all work together, keep current on changes in the law, start all over again each time the law changes, and earn the respect of the workers’ compensation community. Once done, you’ll have your very own workers’ compensation calculator website!
To return to the lesson of the iPhone, building a touch screen phone that can play music and surf the web is totally doable. Doing it right is another matter entirely.
A few weeks ago I launched a Social Security Number verification tool powered by Verify!®. Since its launch its become a very popular tool. One of the coolest things about having these calculators is finding out all of the new ways people think of to use them. These new and unintended uses are almost always far more interesting than the original pedestrian reasons for which a tool was created.
I thought of this one during a deposition last week when a deponent couldn’t recall when they first came to the United States. I just fired up the cell phone web browser, went to the calculator page, and asked the follow up question. [↩]
While these are all very cool while you’re sitting at your computer, I found out (much to my dismay) that this system didn’t work at all when using these online calculators from my cell phone! 1 Well, I’ve updated the calculators to make them more compatible with more phones.2
Save yourself from your own workers’ compensation claim and just leave that heavy rating manual at home.