ForwardMetrics is a San Diego-based startup about to launch its new strategic planning web application, FM Navigator.

ForwardMetrics' logo

ForwardMetrics is located about thirty minutes of downtown San Diego in Encinitas, CA. The San Diego startup scene has loosely-affiliated networks developing in various locations in and around the city. ForwardMetrics is an example of a startup outside the EvoNexus-centered downtown area.

Ozzie DiVinere and Scott Warner founded ForwardMetrics in 2011.

Left to right, Ozzie DiVinere, Andrew Hard, and Scott Warner

Left to right, founder Ozzie DiVinere, marketing director Andrew Hard, and founder Scott Warner.

Ozzie and Scott saw a need for a flexible, easy-to-use strategic planning tool where non-technical users could simply drag-and-drop items to reorganize their plans. Their tool, called FM Navigator, will be coming out of beta and into public release within the next few days.

The team built a significant amount of custom code to create a uniform user experience across many devices. They found that existing drag-and-drop libraries could not provide a consistent experience across desktop browsers, tablets, and mobile devices.

ForwardMetrics' development team, led by Scott, built a custom JavaScript library for the user interface. The library connects to a PHP backend on their servers. All items on the screen that are dragged and dropped are immediately synced with the servers and then between all browsers with the same plan open. If a user one browser and her colleague is working in another on the same plan, you can see each others' changes in real-time.

A screenshot of tasks in ForwardMetrics' FM Navigator web application

Screenshot of tasks in the FM Navigator web application

Another focus of the application is the metrics' visualization. Visualizing plan projections and milestones is important to the tools' target market.

Metrics graph screenshot in FM Navigator

Metrics graph screenshot in FM Navigator

Another aspect of the software I found impressive during the demo Scott gave me was the language translation. Language translation is one of those nasty, time-consuming, big problems that's hard to get right. The market for strategic planning tools needs language translation because there are many international customers.

FM Navigator handles this problem by translating an initial set of languages. Then as users work through the application in a different language, their users can vote on which translations are appropriate, essentially crowdsourcing the solutions. More information can be found about ForwardMetrics' FM Navigator product on their FAQ page.

If you liked this post about ForwardMetrics, you should also check out these other San Diego posts on Antengo and EvoNexus.