Seattle’s Geedra and the Value of Knowing Your Industry

May 28, 2012

12:00 pm

In 25 years of managing construction operations, Kieran Gaffey’s greatest accomplishment is saving the State of Washington $100 million. But it wasn’t fun: he “painfully” sifted through and categorized thousands of photos to disprove a legal claim against a building.

He knew the process could go faster if photos were taken and stored more efficiently, so he teamed up with Rob Mathewson to create Geedra, a cloud-based photo storage platform for buildings. Architects, contractors, and inspectors can upload their photos to track the history of a building: how it’s built, any leaks or accidents along the way, and routine maintenance later. As Gaffey’s experience showed, this can reduce legal risks and lead to huge savings.

Mathewson and Gaffey worked together before on Construction Documentation Services, which sends technicians out to take photos of building conditions. This background – and actively interacting with customers – has definitely helped Geedra as a startup:

“I need to be in constant communication with the folks on the front lines to ensure that we’re building value and meeting their needs,” explains Mathewson. “In general, a startup can’t afford to hunker down in product development for weeks at a time before coming up for air to get customer feedback. That’s a sure way to paint yourself into a corner.”

An apt expression for someone in construction.

Founded in 2009, Geedra is based in Seattle and showcased last week at our Tech Cocktail Seattle mixer. Its basic plan is available free, with paid plans for adding more photos and more accounts.

building photos

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Kira M. Newman is a Tech Cocktail writer interested in the harsh reality of entrepreneurship, work-life balance, and psychology. She is the founder of The Year of Happy and has been traveling around the world interviewing entrepreneurs in Asia, Europe, and North America since 2011. Follow her @kiramnewman or contact

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