The Art of The Possible: How 1 app saved millions of lives
While Sophia ‘Puff’ Story admits she “fell into tech” around eight years ago, the mother-of-two is now leading the push to use technology for good as Co-Founder of 3 Sided Cube USA, an innovative app development and digital product agency.
Puff sat down for a virtual chat with Laura Croudace, Technology Impact Evangelist at Cirrico, as part of The Art of The Possible campaign, highlighting the vast array of doors that tech can now help open for positive social causes and charitable organisations.
How it started
Puff Story is a bridge-builder for ideas, a champion for equality for women and girls, and a leader at 3 Sided Cube, a technology agency which makes apps for good. Puff however made it clear from the start of her chat with Laura that she is by no means a technical person, but it’s her desire to see the positive change that has been the biggest asset since her arrival at 3 Sided Cube.
As Laura points out, you could be forgiven for assuming Puff’s background was in technology, but it was in the world of marketing and advertising where she first cut her teeth.
3 Sided Cube’s Founder and CEO Duncan Cook approached her while on maternity leave, offering them flexible working hours she was looking for – something Puff rightfully points out wasn’t that common eight years ago. Now, Co-Founder of the US side of the business, Puff is leading the charge of “building tech for good to change lives for millions for the better” with the Webby award-winning agency.
Not bad for someone who inadvertently found herself in the world of tech less than a decade ago.
While she now has eight years of experience in the industry, Puff maintains she still isn’t necessarily a technical person – something she is keen to highlight isn’t an impediment when it comes to working in tech. When asked by Laura about what advice she could give to someone who feels they don’t have a good enough background in technology, the best thing, according to Puff, is to try and talk to people working in the industry; getting a real insight into how things work and exploring those skills you may have that are transferrable.
Laura then asked Puff about the best advice she had received herself:
“Listen more than you speak.” When attempting to change millions of people’s lives for the better, it’s listening that Puff feels is at the heart of achieving 3 Sided Cube’s goals.
Making the Impossible Possible
When asked about those reasons she hears from organisations who feel daunted by the implementation of technology into their business, Puff admits she has heard a myriad of reasons why companies are apprehensive about taking that leap. In terms of allaying those fears, however, Puff returns to the power of planning to make the seemingly impossible very much possible – something Laura supported by admitting the importance design and planning have for Cirrico and their clients.
“The size of the charity will often impact on the number of project stakeholders. Stakeholder management in charities can be tough, and take time. It’s important you know who your project stakeholders are, how they work and what their optimum communication channels are. Especially when you have key milestones that involve sign off. “
Tech in 2030
With so much happening in the tech world, Laura then asked Puff to take a look at her tech crystal ball to try and predict what role technology will play in the world in 2030. The answer: a BIG one.
Gender equality is a fire that burns particularly fiercely for Puff. Speaking as a woman working in tech, creating an equal working world for that next generation of women and girls clearly drives 3 Sided Cube’s US Co-Founder. Some of the same themes Puff brought up led to Laura explaining some of the fabulous work Cirrico is doing with Cirricommit.
So, knowing what she knows now after working in the industry, what would Puff say to her 21-year-old self?
“You can change the future by merely changing your attitude. If you believe it’s possible, you can make that happen. You can turn it into a reality.”
Too small to succeed?
While 3 Sided Cube has worked with some huge brands and has been responsible for some hugely successful apps, Laura wanted to know some of the work the company has done with those organisations who had maybe thought they were too small to create any meaningful impact through technology.
One of those organisations was the Child Brain Injury Trust (CBIT). A small charity who does some incredible work providing support to children with brain injuries and their families. 3 Sided Cube has helped CBIT scale up their services with a mobile app that means the charity can now help families around the UK.
No matter the size, tech is adaptable to be able to provide benefits for every organisation.
Having worked on numerous incredible projects during her time at 3 Sided Cube, Puff had no shortage of options to choose from when asked which campaign she had enjoyed the most. Perhaps unsurprisingly, though, it was the remarkable work the company has done with the American Red Cross in their task to increase blood donations in the USA. With only 52% of people turning up for their appointments to donate blood, 3 Sided Cube came up with a concept that put more power in the doner’s hands, allowing them to arrange appointments on their own time – the Blood Doner App.
Seven years and 2.5 million downloads later, Blood Donor is now the most popular way to sign up to donate blood in the US, saving quite literally millions of lives and generating millions of dollars of revenue for the American Red Cross in the process. While it’s easy to look back now and assume the app was always going to be a success, as Puff points out, the concept was so new at the time there was a lot of unknown about just how well the app would be received.
It’s hard to argue about that!
Sophia ‘Puff’ Story is the Co-Founder of 3 Sided Cube INC, a global app development agency with a mission to ‘build tech for good’. With offices in The UK and The USA, the team helps NGOs, brands, and businesses to have an impact, change lives, and solve big problems worldwide. Clients including The American Red Cross, The World Resource Institute, LUSH, RNLI have benefited from Puff’s expertise in aiding in the adoption of disruptive technology to create change. Puff is known for her contagious laughter, love of neon colours, and unrelenting passion to help organisations to make a real difference and being a champion for mothers, women, and girls.
Where to begin?
To learn more about The Art of the Possible and how Cirrico can help develop a technology strategy fit for your organisation, please get in touch.