Geocodio's statement on how we're handling Covid-19.
We all find ourselves in uncharted waters right now.
However, we feel as prepared as any business can be. As a small team, we have purposefully designed our infrastructure to be able function without us, and from a financial perspective Geocodio is run conservatively. Many of our customers have trusted us since we were founded in 2014, and we wanted to return that trust and give you a peek inside to reassure you that Geocodio as a business and people (knock on wood) will be okay.
Geocodio has been run 100% remote since the beginning. Working from home is our normal way of working.
We have been following social distancing practices since the first week of March and self-isolation since March 12. We are in regular contact with medical providers and are following health practices and preparations that, so far, have all been several weeks ahead of official guidance and indeed go far beyond that official guidance.
But what if one of us does fall sick? In the event that one of our founders is incapacitated, the other founder already has full access all of their work and machines. In the event both of the founders are incapacitated, one specific trusted individual outside of the organization has the legal authority to access Geocodio systems. They only gain that authority if and only if both of the founders are incapacitated. Plans and protocols have been drawn up for this event, and the designated individual is aware of the protocols and where to find them. This protocol has been in place since 2017.
With the pandemic increasingly impacting the economy, many have become concerned about the financial health of their vendors. We have been profitable and customer-funded from the beginning. The 2008 Financial Crisis made a lasting impact on our founders and as a result the business is run quite conservatively, and we have never had to seek any form of outside funding. Due to an expense structure that can proportionally contract with reductions in revenue and low overhead, we do not anticipate having any cash flow challenges in the short, medium or long-term future. Even if our revenue were to decline by 90%, Geocodio could continue to be a customer-funded business for at least eighteen months given current projections before our founders would need to begin considering outside funding options.
Our infrastructure is distributed across multiple physical data centers, operated for full redundancy. Our infrastructure is spread over 11 data centers in two continents. The golden rule in our infrastructure design is redundancy: ensuring that there is at least two of everything. This ensures that even in the case of a catastrophic hardware or data center failure, there is always another dedicated unit to take over to ensure that there is no data loss or service disruption. Even in the complete loss of several data centers, Geocodio’s API will still be able to continue to function.
Everything from our server infrastructure to app code has been built with self-healing features and strategies in mind. This means that unexpected issues can initially be resolved without human intervention. This saves valuable time and reduces the chances of downtime or service disruptions. Self-healing strategies include automatic failover for internal services, advanced queue monitoring to ensure that spreadsheet jobs do not get stuck or left behind. It also includes the ability for the API to continue to function even when major internal services are unresponsive.
So far, the only change we’ve had to adjust to is the new responsibility of homeschooling. Accordingly, during this time, you might see:
Rest assured, we will get back to you and will continue to fix issues that you report. It will just take us longer than before.
We want to remind people that any data used in context of a person’s health, including their address or especially their infection status, is protected health information under HIPAA and the various Canadian provincial health data laws. This means that a person’s address, even if detached from information about their health, is still protected personal information if used in a health context. We do have a HIPAA-compliant service that you could use, for example, to geocode patient data. However due to the significant compliance costs of running such a service, we cannot give away any HIPAA-related geocoding for free. (Sorry.)
If you have a Covid-19 related project that does not relate to people’s personal information, like Matt Stauffer’s project to connect out-of-work restaurant workers with resources in Atlanta, please drop us a message. We might be able to help. The more detailed you can be, the better.