Q&A Series with Endeavor Entrepreneur Jonathan Erwin, CEO and Co-Founder of Red e App
Though times may be tough, it seems everywhere you turn stories of resilience, support and positivity are flooding the headlines. To learn more about how our Endeavor Entrepreneurs are staying optimistic through crisis management and how their businesses, new ventures, and daily environments are changing, we decided to go directly to the source. First up in the hot seat is CEO and co-founder of Red e App, Jonathan Erwin.
How is your company supporting companies and communities during the COVID-19 pandemic?
“Red e App is the first line of communication from company to employee, from manager to employee and for 1:1 coordination among non-desk team members, their teams and managers. Our largest segment of business is front line healthcare workers in post acute senior living, care for children, adolescent and adult disabilities as well as physical therapy and rehab companies. We also serve large, 20,000 employee, hospitality and gaming companies, as well as large industrial manufacturing, construction and mining companies around the world.”
What are the challenges that companies could be facing during times like this and how can your company offer support? What are the benefits of your platform?
“Red e App has been architected from the ground up to support unconnected team members and employees – far different than what you might find in today’s open architected communication systems and platforms such as email, Slack, WhatsApp etc. So, one of the most critical elements in times of crisis is to cut through the noise and deliver pure signal. Not social, not busy channels – but clear and concise communication to create facts, direction and engagement.”
How are you managing a remote team?
“Our remote teams are ALL home bound – developers, call center and success managers, sales and leadership alike. We use Slack channels to coordinate small team communication and meet every Friday to laugh, share, coordinate, align and see each other’s faces! We keep it light and fun with games (Jackbox.TV, ‘bring the oldest cell phone’ contests, funny photos and more). The strength of our existing company culture and camaraderie has us missing each other – a lot!”
What areas do you predict entrepreneurship will flourish in following the pandemic?
“Entrepreneurs are often gritty, fixated and creative and can’t turn off the engine of ideation and problem solving – “for a better world”.
Seriously, here’s what I know – and what I don’t know. My family is stronger. We are more together, more aligned. I know their workloads at school, they now understand what their Dad does for a living and what he does at work all day. We take walks together. We enjoy movies together. We discuss politics and the plight of healthcare workers and harrowing work they are taking on – some of them who have never been as confronted with death and dying as they are now and it is scary. And it helps them with empathy.
My kids aren’t worrying about social media and how people all over the world have taken more exotic spring break trips than them. Why? Because the world is not taking exotic trips and posting their personal lives for all to envy. And guess what? It’s nice. My kids are grounded in family and community and reverence for those who are in harm’s way and we are more interconnected as a global society than ever before.
Maybe they are even becoming little entrepreneurs as they watch the pandemic unfold – I see it in their eyes? They ask the simple questions…how will the world solve this? How can we protect our most vulnerable – like Grandma in a senior living home? My teachers are teaching differently, they trust more.
We are all feeling our way through the dark and the light is coming, and they will tell their children about this and one day, I hope they will be inspired to solve problems based on what they have seen. At 16, 17 and 18 – they are ready to take on the world. And I have a front row seat. We are all entrepreneurs now.”
What have you learned during this experience that makes you a better entrepreneur?
“We serve the front line worker – I want to give back. I want to pay it forward. We are a mission critical platform and we are flourishing while others are suffering. We are reminding ourselves that we too are on the front line with the users and companies we are partnered with. I have spent many many many years in “the struggle” in creating our software category and helping the unconnected get connected and engaged.
I vividly see our value and we stand strong with the frontline healthcare, manufacturing, construction, mining and laid off retail and hospitality workers of the world.”
How can the community support you?
“Ask not how they can help us – but how we can help them.”