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Executive Perspectives: Calvin Carter

The Bottle Rockets founder and CEO shares strategies for continuing to innovate and solve challenges for clients while working from home.
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Calvin Carter launched his company in 2008, just a day after Apple announced it would work with third-party developers and months before the App Store debuted. Since then, Bottle Rocket has become a renowned connected lifestyle specialist that aligns some of the world’s biggest brands (Disney, NPR, Starbucks, Coca-Cola) and their customers in intuitive ways. The company employs more than 240 people at its headquarters in Addison. 

How are you coping amid the COVID-19 crisis?  

As we all work to adapt to our new normal, Bottle Rocket has shifted its entire workforce to operate in a distributed work-from-home fashion. We are truly inspired at how seamlessly we’ve been able to transition to this new way of working while still helping our clients with mission-critical challenges. To help both our employees, as well as our clients, partners, friends, and followers, adapt, we have been providing daily tips, tools, and technology recommendations to make this adjustment smoother on everyone.  

Just like most other companies, we are relying heavily on technology, like Slack and Zoom, to keep us connected and are continuing to find new virtual ways to do tried and true things. We have also implemented a virtual whiteboard technology to mimic our physical working environment back at the office and are using new tools and tech to handle everything from vacation time requests to employee reviews.  

How are you maintaining your company culture?  

Bottle Rocket’s unique culture is one of the greatest things about working here. Some of the things we are doing to maintain our culture while working remotely include weekly all-employee staff meetings via Zoom and an open dialogue system via Slack, where once a week, all Rocketeers can Ask Me Anything.’  

Various groups within our organization have hosted virtual happy hours and connected lunches. We’re also coming together to support a local business with a fundraising initiative selling “Keep Calm and Rocket On” shirts to all Rocketeers. Our LIFT and office experience teams are hard at work planning new and different ways for us to maintain our connections and continue our culture until we are all together again.     

Do you have advice for other local companies?  

The best advice we can offer to other local companies is to find new ways to do what you are world-class best at. Stay at it, and don’t give up. Although it is often hard to adapt to the changes and distractions of working from home, we believe if everyone can stay focused and working toward the greater good, when we do go back to work, we will have a greater sense of community, a deeper appreciation for our businesses, and enhanced connections with our co-workers. We’ve pulled together resources on working from home, the best tech and tools to use, and how to continue building culture even in these timesHopefully, you will find something there that can help! 

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