One hundred million.
One hundred million. Six years ago when I joined SurveyMonkey, I told myself that was the number of surveys we needed in order to be the undisputed world heavyweight survey champion. And now, we’ve passed that mark.
My name is Craig Burkhead and I work on the data infrastructure team at SurveyMonkey.
Our team monitors and manages the massive flow of data that comes through SurveyMonkey’s servers each day in the form of surveys—and their responses. Survey data at scale is literally our job, and even for us, 100,000,000 is a hard number to grasp.
One hundred million is about one survey for every three Americans (or nearly one survey for every person in Japan). One hundred million is more miles away from the Sun than the Earth is (93,000,000 miles on average).
If each of the surveys that have been sent on SurveyMonkey were written on a single piece of paper, they’d make a stack 6.21 miles high—about the cruising altitude of commercial jetliners. If you lined them up lengthwise, they’d be 19,000 miles long, 79% of the circumference of the Earth (or a little less than 4 times the length of Asia, from Turkey to Japan).
That’s a lot of paper. How many trees did that save? 6,500 by conservative estimates.
I could go on, but at the end of the day the number isn’t what’s most important. What’s important is what comes out of those surveys. Our mission is to help people explore their curiosity in the most natural way possible—by asking questions. How many answers did people get from those surveys? Countless.
And how many lightbulbs, dings, and ah-ha moments did those answers bring? It’s impossible to say. But however many it is, we feel pretty good about it.
We’re not stopping here, either. We’ll continue to expand our reach, opening new data centers, adding new features and, new capabilities, and ultimately giving people new ways to help people understand the world.
Stick around to see what we come up with next. Personally, I can hardly wait for when we celebrate our 200 millionth survey a few years from now!