By Summer Naomi Interior – June 27, 2022
Love a good origin story? I know we do! Especially one that features, say, three brilliant college students who started a kick ass company.
And it’s even better when those founders are willing to share some real talk on the highs and lows of their journey, as well as top tips for other entrepreneurs looking to take the plunge (or for those *slightly* more seasoned folk looking for some fresh inspiration).
RedRoute Co-Founders—CEO Brian Schiff, CTO Jacob Cooper, and CRO Sam Krut—sat down with CMO/Podcast Host James Gilbert and served up a whole lot of good perspective, this week on the Spamming Zero Podcast.
Ready for the first golden piece of advice? Here it is… Listen to the full episode. But—if you can’t do that right n-now-now—continue reading for a few key takeaways.
What Young Entrepreneurs Should Be Asking Themselves
Let’s say you’re interested in starting a business. You have no idea what you’re doing, BUT you do have a good product idea, strong ambition, and the entrepreneurial spirit. What should you be consistently asking yourself?
Our founders have some thoughts.
For one thing, an idea is only as good as the execution of that idea, says Sam. And—in reality—you’re not going to be the first to market. Somebody else has tried this. So, the real questions are, “Why did they fail, and what are you going to do differently? Why are you going to succeed, and what portion of your execution is going to drive that success?”
Similarly, Jacob doesn’t believe you have to have THE “big idea.” In his mind, it’s more about passion, communicating, and being willing to put in the effort. “Honestly,” he says, “it really comes down to working hard, trying to collaborate, and not being an asshole.”
He encourages finding a couple of people who are going to work just as hard as you—who you are not going to mind spending long hours with—and getting to work.
And Brian? He believes that, first off, you’ve “just gotta’ jump in” and he encourages an equal focus on product and on distribution. He also cautions (strongly) against hanging your hat on survey responses from people saying that they want your product.
“You know if you’re onto something and if people want what you’re building,” he says, “based on whether they will pay for it and whether they will use it.”
Learning From Failures
Three college students running a business they’ve never run is, inevitably, going to equal some serious learning opportunities. Perhaps doubly so with this being, in Brian’s words, “one of those dorm-room, double-pivot, COVID, somehow made it out the other side” kind of stories.
From people who are rooting for you to fail (and the burned bridges that often follow), to getting caught up in the current moment and losing sight of bigger priorities, to challenges around the hiring process, there have been obstacles.
And these founders “stumbled at every point you could stumble,” says Brian. But he’s quick to emphasize, “It’s tough to not find very direct and influential learnings that came from those stumbles.”
You’ll want to tune in for all the fantastic details discussed here, but I’ll say this much… A theme that consistently emerges—across the board—is that so much comes back to the relationships you build and nurture. In Brian’s words, “The people are everything.”
Lookin’ Bright: The Future of RedRoute
The past six months have brought some huge and exciting changes for RedRoute, and the founders are incredibly optimistic about what the future holds.
Jacob looks forward to the product becoming “sexier.” He’s confident that, within the next 6 to 12 months, RedRoute will be “the fastest, the most intelligent voice product you can get out there… also the most fun… and the value that our customers will see – it’s gonna’ be even more of a no-brainer than it is today.”
Sam, who—in addition to his work as CRO—has been wearing many different hats (marketing, sales, partnerships, client success, etc.) plans to work more on the business and not as much in the business.
Brian is excited to help get the “many amazingly talented, fun, and just great people” who have joined the team entirely up to speed. And, for RedRoute’s customers – present and future? “They can expect a lot of wow moments and unconventional experiences.”
“We’re solving a problem,” he says, “that every single person has felt. We’ve all had this negative experience, and it’s just going to be a lot of fun to exponentially make a dent into what is so widely understood and laughed at – to start to change that narrative.”
Here’s to their success, and yours!
Check out the full conversation in Episode 4 of Spamming Zero. And be sure to listen, rate, and subscribe on Casted, Apple Podcast, or Google podcasts for more great eps coming your way!
If you’d like to see how RedRoute can slash the spamming of zero in your call center—cutting costs while improving CX metrics across the board—schedule a quick demo here.