The popular Silicon Valley concept of “looking for the duct tape” means spotting instances where there’s no perfect existing solution so users DIY their own, often using simple but versatile tools like Google Sheets or Google Forms. Searching Google for the term “I use Google Sheets for”… is a good way to see exactly which problems don’t have perfect solutions and represent a new business opportunity.

Google Forms is often used as a form of “duct tape” in this sense when it comes to checklists. iAuditor noticed this dynamic and is leading the charge in its space. The company builds an app that lets companies create safety and quality assurance checklists. This turns out to be a big business, with 1.5 million users in 85 countries performing over 600 million checks. While businesses historically hired quality assurance specialists and trained them to use cameras and checklists, nearly all employees now have both cameras and checklists in their pockets, via their smartphones. Consumers buy phones to stay in touch, read social media, watch videos, and play games. But once they have a phone with them at all times, businesses can leverage their personal devices for other purposes. And by making it easier and more anonymous to report safety violations, employees are more likely to adhere to the guidelines.


The app’s pricing is very strategic: it charges to unlock the ability to set permissions for different user groups. It’s a good way to price discriminate, as a company that really cares about safety doesn’t want a non-qualified worker to be able to go into settings and edit a procedure to, for example, skip a step they don’t like.