AlertMedia CEO and Founder Brian Cruver has always tried to stay resilient in the face of devastation.
After losing his job at Enron following its collapse — and writing a book about the scandal that was later turned into a movie for CBS — Cruver made the decision that he would only get involved with companies that help make the world a better place.
Fast forward to 2013: Cruver was awestruck by the recurring tragic events that gripped millions of us on a daily basis, ranging from the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting to the Boston Marathon bombing.
Where many of us saw tragedy and despair, Cruver saw a way to help prevent them. By giving organizations a way to efficiently communicate with their employees during emergency situations, countless lives could be saved.
Today, AlertMedia is growing at an amazing pace as it doles out its emergency communication software to more and more customers. We took a moment to talk to Cruver and some members of his team about how supporting their mission has resulted in change for the better.
WHAT THEY DO: AlertMedia provides emergency communication software so that organizations can communicate during critical events.
WHERE THEY DO IT: Austin
OUT ON SABBATICAL: After six years with the company, AlertMedia allows employees to take up to six weeks off for a sabbatical to focus on doing something they love outside of work.
T.G.I.T.: Every Tuesday, AlertMedia pays for a catered lunch to get everyone in one room to mingle, meet new hires and get business updates directly from the CEO.
Brian Cruver, Founder and CEO
A lot has changed since Brian founded AlertMedia back in 2013. For example, he now has a talented leadership team in place to handle day-to-day operations, leaving him with time to focus on setting the vision for how AlertMedia will continue to drive growth and innovation as a company.
What was the idea behind AlertMedia? Was there a singular event that kicked things off or a general trend in the space?
In late 2012 and early 2013, when I was developing the idea for AlertMedia, a lot of awful things were going on in the world, among them the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting, the Boston Marathon bombing and a deadly explosion at a fertilizer plant in West, Texas. I began thinking about how critical, time-sensitive communications were happening during these incidents. It was obvious that better technology could help keep people safe and informed. AlertMedia was launched to improve communication and improve the outcome in these types of situations.
We may be a technology company, but from product development to sales to customer service, our people are our real competitive advantage.”
How do you ensure that employees are a part of AlertMedia’s story and success?
We share our board deck — numbers, feedback and all — with the entire company each quarter so that everyone is aligned on goals and understands the state of the business. Each employee at AlertMedia plays a critical role in helping us achieve our growth objectives, and they deserve to be rewarded for it. We have a company bonus plan based on the collective success of the company that every employee participates in. And with our equity program, every employee is a shareholder with a legitimate stake in the overall success of the organization.
AlertMedia has recently expanded offices for the sixth time and added more than 50 employees in a year. How will this help the company going forward?
In order to capitalize on the huge market opportunity spurred by growing global demand, we need to continue staffing our organization with great people. We may be a technology company, but from product development to sales to customer service, our people are our real competitive advantage. Expanding our team allows us to rise to meet the market’s increasing demand and hit our growth targets by maintaining our reputation for delivering an incredible product and excellent customer service.
Marissa Sharpless, Sr. Product Manager
Marissa works with practically every team to make sure the product vision is clear and that the product roadmap creates maximum value for customers.
You joined AlertMedia in a marketing capacity and transitioned to your current role as a senior product manager. How has it been for you to experience career growth at the same time as the company’s growth?
When I interviewed in the kitchen of a very cozy, nondescript office space, I loved that the product was purposeful and the team determined, but I had no idea where it would take me. I never thought I’d find a job so core to who I am and that I’d become so invested in this critical mission to deliver technology that keeps people safe and connected. It’s the leaders we have at AlertMedia that I have to thank for investing in me, providing growth opportunities and setting the tone for how we work as an organization — they’ve made the company a success.
From what you’ve observed, how has AlertMedia’s culture handled all of the recent growth on the team?
Of course, it’s always a challenge to preserve a culture that’s so close-knit, but I’ve only seen departments and co-workers be inclusive, excited and inspired by more people and brainpower. We’re selective about who we hire — we want the best of the best — and I appreciate that. It’s often at this growth stage that companies can lose their identity and culture a little bit, but for us, there’s only a greater passion to provide amazing customer service and build the best product in the industry.
I never thought I’d find a job so core to who I am and that I’d become so invested in this critical mission...”
What do you think stands out about AlertMedia or its products that have made it so successful?
We have the best customer success team — they go above and beyond to serve our customers and ensure they have everything they need to be successful on our platform. As a company, we’re attentive to our customers’ needs, and it’s important to us that we grow the product based on that principle. On the product front, we have an intuitive, easy-to-use product that makes it simple to get messages to your people in an emergency.
Lee Rutter, Account Director
Lee’s main focus is on closing deals with new customers in the Northeast and expanding AlertMedia’s relationship with existing customers. In short, he plays a role in deals from start to finish, so it’s no surprise that his goal is to keep his focus on the customers and their needs.
You primarily work with enterprise-level accounts. What’s unique about AlertMedia’s products that make it possible for you to sell them to these larger companies?
Being able to offer a modern, robust product that is easy to use and comes with amazing customer support makes us one of a kind in the market. As simple as that sounds, you’d be surprised how many organizations are still using systems that were built 15-20 years ago and can’t support the mobile lifestyle of today’s workforce. We continue to listen and learn from our customers and add functionality to our product based on their needs. As soon as people see our software, their minds are made!
The team does a fantastic job of hiring talented people, so every area of the business gets better with each round of new hires.”
AlertMedia’s customer base has nearly doubled in just a year. As an account director, how does this impact your job?
Seeing how quickly we are growing gives me confidence and validates what we are doing. There is no doubt in my mind that we offer the best product and the best customer support on the market. It certainly makes my job easier!
How has AlertMedia’s operations improved with the recent round of new hires? What about the culture?
The team does a fantastic job of hiring talented people, so every area of the business gets better with each round of new hires. Keeping the culture exciting, fun and collaborative is crucial, which is why we continue to hire those types of people — this last round was no different!