Video Contest Announcement

Have you been using the new video feature in ResponsiBid? Have you been waiting to see some ideas of others? We’d like to invite you to take part in a fun contest where you can show off your cool ResponsiBid videos to help inspire others who haven’t gotten started with it yet. So here’s how […]

date:  Sep 01, 2016 comments:  0
by:  Curt Kempton category:  Blog Read More

Commercial Bids Release

Commercial Bidding Update Today marks a big day for ResponsiBidders! We just released a big update we are anxious to get in place for a fall release for production users. Would you like to watch a video about the update?

date:  Aug 09, 2016 comments:  0
by:  Curt Kempton category:  Blog, Updates Read More

New module styles released (legacy migration complete!)

Hi ResponsiBidders This weekend we are starting the process of converting all of your modules and past bids to our new exciting format! As of tomorrow you will always edit your pricing, proposal packages, and disclaimers inside of: Settings > Services Notice that you have more options to help you be even more flexible with […]

date:  May 19, 2016 comments:  0
by:  Curt Kempton category:  Blog, Updates Read More

We’re so sorry!

Have you ever had a month that felt like every day was Monday?

What happened:

We were excited as we were preparing to roll out a new upgrade to your ResponsiBid. Beta testers have been using the new bidding system and they’ve been loving it. Before we launched the new upgrade we thought, “Hey! We should use a new server configuration that will make our system bullet proof!” About a month ago, we had researched and tested out a new “server cluster” system that would make everything on ResponsiBid run faster, smoother, and safe from any downtime.

In theory.

As some of you may have noticed, we had more downtime in the last month than we have had in the entire history of ResponsiBid. When we first did our testing on our test servers we were so tickled! Everything ran fast, smooth, and if a server was to go down (we even tested breaking servers on purpose) the whole system went on without skipping a beat! It was so neat to watch as it fixed itself and just kept on humming along. It was an upgrade that we were excited to bring to our users, but we thought it was almost sad that no one would even notice the elegance of the infrastructure. It was destined to be a crown jewel that lived beneath the surface.

Until we realized that it was more of a dragon than a crown jewel.

We noticed after about a week that one server had gone down and not healed. We had to manually heal it, and thought “that was weird”. And then the oddities just kept on going.

So we did what all good development teams do: We called the founders of the technology we were using and asked them to consult with us on the system. They told us that it all looked pretty good, but gave us a few tips (that contradicted what their documentation told us to do) and we thought how lucky we were to get the “inside scoop”.

I don’t think I can even bring myself to talk about the trouble it was to keep it going. It was trial after trial. Of course all of our users were experiencing their spring rush amid this server trouble, but we felt that we were on the cusp. It just had to work… after all, the biggest companies in the world are using infrastructure like this. We just knew it had to work. We’d hit some sticky spots with resulting slowness, but we were going to make it through.

But then Friday the 22nd came.

And we got hit with a seized up server. It wasn’t behaving at all, and we ended up going down for about an hour as we sorted it out. We thought we had just pushed our server to the limit… in hindsight, that was kind of silly to think, since we were using servers about 10 times more powerful than most people would use for the load ResponsiBid has… but we just thought it was the spring rush!

But it wasn’t.

Over the weekend we tested out even bigger servers, and it worked so good. We even used the words “This will melt your face off” kind of speed. So our plan was to upgrade to the new server on Monday night. But we didn’t make it to Monday night. We made it to about Noon Pacific Time. Our alarms started going off, and we thought we could simply make the switch early. But the problem was that the infrastructure we had used had been merging our databases to keep them in sync, and somewhere along the way there was a discrepancy in the syncing. And this caused something that experts would call “data corruption”. It happens every once in a while and it’s something that can be fixed, but can also act like a little “gremlin” in the code until you find it and fix it. We had to go through a process to clean the data which made it so that we had to take everything offline for server maintenance all afternoon.

While our users were trying to work.

It was humiliating, frustrating, and intense. The pressure was so thick that we were feeling sick to our stomachs. I was replying as fast as I could to people who were concerned about what was going on, while trying to get the cleaning process over with. We also decided to leave the cloud infrastructure behind and ditch the cluster setup. We got 2 new servers and went back to what we knew worked. We are using 1 server for the database and a second one for our code. It’s simple, it works well, it’s stable, and we have used it for years. We upgraded to a faster setup than we had previously used (hopefully you are noticing the speed!) and we feel confident that everything is back to the good ‘ol days.

But we are gun shy.

We think we have resolved all the conflicts in the database from the old syncing that we did throughout the last month. But remember, the database is more than 2 GB of data. It’s more than a human could physically read though in an entire lifetime… so we are going to be watching like hawks. And we hope you never have to experience that ever again. I know that I lost about 5 years of my life in this process… and I don’t have much more to give.

So the bottom line:

We researched it, tested it, and pushed the server cluster into production. We tried to make something really special for our users. But it just didn’t work out. We tried to make it work, and we did everything we could to do it. But in the end, as of this moment (which I pray is the end) we have gone back to the structure that we know well, and have cleaned up the damage that the server cluster caused. We have the fastest and most robust system we’ve ever had, and came back to the architecture that we have proven to be rock solid.

We love ResponsiBidders! We want you to have the best. And this time the best isn’t necessarily the newest.

We thank all of you for your patience with us, and we hope you know that we only want the best of you. We work as hard as we can to be your partners in success. You are the engine of America, and we want to help propel you forward!

Happy ResponsiBidding,

date:  Apr 25, 2016 comments:  Comments Off on We’re so sorry!
by:  Curt Kempton category:  Blog Read More

Spring & Summer Webinar Schedule


Webinar Schedule:


Title: Understanding statuses, default and custom
Date: Tuesday 3/29/16 4pm Pacific Time
This is a pretty basic webinar, but there will be some stuff in here for more advanced users too. We will be covering everything from why a status exists to how to build custom statuses to pull off some neat tricks with your follow-up! 
How to join: Click this link within 5 minutes of start time.
(First come first served, limit 25)

Title: The Daily Digest as a Work List
Date: Wednesday 4/13/16 4pm Pacific Time
Description: The daily digest went out one day and added a bunch of organization to your life, but many companies don’t even know how it all works! We will be giving you a full fledged tour of how to use the daily email, plus the live version right inside of your ResponsiBid account. 
How to join: Click this link within 5 minutes of start time.
(First come first served, limit 25)

Title: Killer Follow-Up Strategies
Date: Thursday 4/28/16 4pm Pacific Time
We will show you how to go about setting up the most effective follow-up sequences and strategies that the most successful ResponsiBidders are using. You will learn how to build out emails, SMS (text messages), and schedule phone calls that will keep you organized and your customers totally WOWed! 
How to join: Click this link within 5 minutes of start time.
(First come first served, limit 25)

Title: Using Your Own Email Inbox with Automation
Date: Tuesday 5/10/16 4pm Pacific Time
We will teach you how to use all of the email follow-up automation directly tied into your own email account. You can be sending your auto emails from your Gmail or other email provider instead of using the default ResponsiBid servers. Once you know how to set it up, you’ll notice that you can slide right past the spam filters in a much more wonderful way!
How to join: Details to come.

Title: Using the New System and Why it’s So Much Better
Date: Wednesday 5/25/16 4pm Pacific Time
Learn how to setup your services in a uniform way and make changes in your workflow. You’ll see bunch of new modules, new powers of the modules, and the things that make it all work consistently.Learn all the in’s and out’s of how to fine tune your pricing strategy, and how the pieces of the new builder work for you the hardest. Once you understand the principles of how the module editor works, you’ll have the confidence to customize to your heart’s content. It’s really quite simple, but sometimes it helps to have someone just walk you right through it.
How to join: Details to come in your in-app chat.

Title: Adjustments, Overrides, and Commercial Bids
Date:  Thursday 7/7/16 4pm Pacific Time
See all the tricks and tips on how to adjust a bid or massage the pricing without changing the specifications about the job. You will also learn how to make great commercial quotes using custom items, original modules, and put in place the overrides for all the “bid in person” items you outlined in your original pricing structure.
How to join: Details to come in your in-app chat.

Title: Integrating with Google Calendar
Date: Wednesday 7/20/16 4pm Pacific Time
 Learn how to integrate your appointment scheduling in ResponsiBid with Google Calendar. You will learn how to customize the notes, location, and even how simple re-scheduling can be! There is a lot of magic going on with this feature, but you will totally understand it by the end of the webinar.
How to join: Details to come.

 Title: Packages That Sell
Date: Thursday 8/4/16 4pm Pacific Time
Learn from other ResponsiBid users some of the strategies that have helped them to get the best close rates, upsells, and overall happiness! See how much money you might be leaving on the table, and share your insights with other ResponsiBidders!
How to join: Details to come in your in-app chat.

date:  Mar 23, 2016 comments:  0
by:  Curt Kempton category:  Blog Read More

Google Calendar Integration

Spring 2016 Update! Our update that went out last night was a pretty big one and here’s the rundown: Google Calendar Integration – ResponsiBid will schedule jobs for you in Google calendar, make the notes you need, and listen for any changes to fix follow-up if you move the appointment. Faster servers – We upgraded […]

date:  Feb 25, 2016 comments:  1
by:  Curt Kempton category:  Blog, Updates Read More

New Year Update 2016

Happy 2016 from ResponsiBid! We come bearing gifts! We hope you are as excited for the new year as we are! We added some new features that we know you’ll like. Here’s a quick list: New “Daily Digest” email and report. New scratch removal module. Allow customers to opt themselves into your SMS messages from […]

date:  Jan 02, 2016 comments:  0
by:  Curt Kempton category:  Blog Read More

ResponsiBid Fall Release 2015

What’s New in the ResponsiBid Fall Release for 2015? We’re really excited about the new update that we just rolled out to your account! In short:  We added 5 new modules. Christmas Lights Deck Cleaning Gutter Whitening Lawn Care and Maid Service ​​ What you’ll want to know: These modules are in a different place […]

date:  Dec 01, 2015 comments:  0
by:  Curt Kempton category:  Blog, Updates Read More

ResponsiBid Fall Beta Release

Fall update 11/24/15 We have been building 4 new modules for everyone to take advantage of, but not just that… we’ve simplified the way you interact with the modules. The 4 new modules are: Deck Cleaning Gutter Whitening Maid Service Lawn Care We are really excited to share these modules with you, but here’s the […]

date:  Nov 24, 2015 comments:  0
by:  Curt Kempton category:  Blog, Updates Read More

New ResponsiBid Early Fall Release

Fall update 10/19/15 NOTE: This update is only going to truly affect premium accounts since it deals directly with the new follow-up builder functionality. Here is a formal list of everything included in this update: Each step can be one of 3 things: Email, SMS (text) message, *or* a status change (we’ve been calling it “auto-flipping”) […]

date:  Oct 19, 2015 comments:  1
by:  Curt Kempton category:  Blog, Updates Read More