Parabola users take action in response to COVID-19

April 6, 2020
Sachi Yokose

Over the past few weeks, we've seen many customers jump to action in response to the Coronavirus pandemic. Watching them rise to the occasion and build things to help their communities has certainly provided motivation for us during this challenging time.

This post is all about highlighting those customers. Check out the awesome Parabola heroes and their projects below. If you are also using Parabola in response to COVID-19, let us know how we can help by submitting this form. You can read more about how we're trying to help here.

Devan Sood

1. How does your project contribute to addressing/responding to the current COVID-19 crisis?
COVID-SMS
is a FREE tool that anyone can use to track the impact of the disease in their county and state. Some might not be aware of how to get real and reliable data, but we pull data directly from Johns Hopkins and send it straight to your phone. The easiest part is signing up - just input your name and zip code, the bot does the rest.
2. How did you come up with the idea?
While in quarantine I had been teaching myself how to code slowly, first by using simple tools and making little “fun” projects. Using the Twilio API I created a YodaTranslator and a Kanye Quote-of-the-Day bot. I had basic familiarity with how to useAPIs, but I’m not technical by any means. Once I saw JHU post their data publicly, I knew I wanted to create an SMS bot around it. Luckily for me, someone in a Facebook group I’m in posted that they had created an API wrapper around the JHU data. Immediately I took his API and started to tool a flow together in Parabola.
3. Can you summarize what your parabola flow does?
At first the flow was a bit more complicated because I had to ask for peoples’ county, and matching an input string up with JHU data was difficult to get right 90%+ of the time. Now, we’ve simplified the flow to just ask for zip code. We then take the entry and find which county & state it belongs to, then match it up with the JHU data. Once the data is matched up, the current month and date is added into a column, any repeat phone numbers are deleted, and finally it’s ready to send messages. If there is any error based on location or phone number, it notifies me (and the user) that there was an error, otherwise two separate messages are sent depending on if people have started to recover in your county or now. Finally, on day 4 it asks the user to share the service to keep their family & friends informed too.
4. Tell us about your experience bringing this project to life.
The initial flow only took me an hour. Once I started to debug and add complexities, I started putting in more time. Now, almost perfect, I’ve put in 15ish hours all around, and I’m using 5 different tools. On the front end of the covidsms.com site, I’m using a form builder widget that automatically exports to Google Sheets. Then a Zapier integration imports that entry into Airtable and also sends an SMS through Twilio, onboarding the service to the user. Then Parabola takes over, each day it imports data and runs the flow on schedule. The only other Zapier trigger is if the person texts “stop” to take them off the list to keep the subscriber list updated.
5. What do you do in your usual 9-to-5?
I’m a growth & product consultant, I help tech startups reduce friction to grow exponentially. Learn more and get in touch with me here.

Thomas Morselt

1. How does your project contribute to addressing/responding to the current COVID-19 crisis?
Press shares a lot of info about the number of deaths and cases. But for the public this becomes confusing. The only thing the public wants to know is: "Are things getting better now we are in quarantine". I have created a growth rate calculator of number of deaths and cases for the Dutch Population: http://theflatterthebetter.glideapp.io/. As long as this number is positive (above zero) there is a growing virus, once it becomes a negative number you start to flatten and eventually stop the virus. This app tracks this growth rate daily, a Twitter account tweets the growth rate numbers daily. All automatic. While my project is specific to the Dutch population, it's easy to create a new project for a different company. If anyone is interested in using my set up for another country, please DM me on Twitter or connect on LinkedIn.
2. How did you come up with the idea?

Getting tired of all different kind of numbers that doesn't say much.
3. Can you summarize what your Parabola flow does?
Extracts data from a API, cleans the data, adds two growth rates and exports to a Google Sheet.
4. Tell us about your experience bringing this project to life.

Parabola is a great tool. One of the essentials in a nocode toolbox. Giving a lot of people who cannot code the opportunities to create digital products. Feels like a superpower.
5. What do you do in your usual 9-to-5?

Business developer of a SaaS company.

Join the response

Be sure to check back as we will be continuing to update as more customers share their stories with us.

Additionally, if you're also building something in response to COVID-19, let us know by submitting this form.

It's an unprecedented time, but these stories from our customers make us feel incredibly proud of the Parabola community. Hope it brings a smile to your face too.

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