Paperform Is on a Mission to Democratize Technology

Diony and Dean McPherson, founders of Paperform.

Paperform, the no-code online form creation tool, aims to help non-technical people make forms quickly and easily without sacrificing branding. The husband and wife duo behind it all are Diony and Dean McPherson, who say their mission is to “democratize technology.”

“The problem came to us quite loudly, and there was obviously a gap in the market for powerful forms that could take payments and represent the owner’s brand, so we set to work building a solution in mid-2016 and launched at the end of the same year,” says Diony McPherson, when describing how the idea for Paperform was developed during our interview.

The Starting Point

While Paperform may be a successful startup now, the founder’s intentions were to build something much more subdued. “Initially, Paperform began as a lifestyle business, something we could run from home. But, the business grew like crazy toward the end of 2018, so we made the conscious decision to actively grow the company and drop the idea of a lifestyle business.”

Like many startup founders, the McPhersons created Paperform as a response to what they saw as a clear gap in the market at the time. “Our friends and colleagues were left wanting [more] when it came to other online form builders. Although there are lots of options for no-code form builder platforms, we realized that a lot was missing in the ones available at the time.” And so, Paperform was created to provide a more intuitive, highly customizable, and robust platform for form creation.

When creating the product that would come to be Paperform, the founders were ambitious and driven. “We spent a few hours every day on product dev and setting up the business. After a couple of months, we had an MVP in place, and we launched the product on BetaList. It was good to get the product into people’s hands so quickly. We had some great feedback and a lot of validation that this could be something.”

A few key features that set Paperform apart from its competitors is their inclusion of free text rather than drag and drop, customizable capabilities to accommodate branding needs, and a manifold of features to allow users to take payments, sell products, and book appointments.

Paperform website, 2021

Lessons and Insights

Being co-founders and spouses posed unique challenges for Paperform. As the company began to grow rapidly, hiring was at the forefront of the founders’ minds which entailed crafting a company culture that would support not only the business but the relationship it was founded on. “We focused on hiring a team that shares our core values and is made up of people that we want to invest in. Coming to work is fulfilling and fun every single day,” Diony McPherson says.

Additionally, they have learned a great deal along the way. When asked what insights Diony McPherson had to offer aspiring entrepreneurs, she had some great insights to share. “Don’t spend too much time focusing on your competitors. You’ll just damage your creativity and ability to innovate. Instead, focus on what you are good at, where your talents lie, and what you believe is lacking in the market. Your main considerations should be yourself, your product, and your customers. “

Looking to the Future

What’s next for this innovative, accessibility-driven startup? With new no-code options popping up every day, companies competing within this sphere can face the challenge of keeping up with new innovations and innovative companies. 

“Paperform is at the forefront of the no-code movement, and I think we are going to see a lot more companies devising no-code systems in the future. Keeping ahead of the competition is always a challenge, but we will continue to develop our editor in order to give our customers the features they want in a way that is easy and accessible for them.”

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