How starting a successful company brought two brothers closer
They've grown along with their business
When the Crawford brothers were kids, they were definitely not on the same page. “Mike and I always looked at things differently,” Marc Crawford says of his older brother. “I was always a carefree kind. And he was more of a book reader, more of an intellect.”
Mike agrees. “He always liked to do things differently,” he says of his brother, Marc. “I was always a little more grounded.”
They might not have had much in common as youngsters, but they do now.
Marc and Mike are the founders and owners of Educational Measures, a 12-year-old Colorado company based in Centennial that currently counts almost 60 employees. The company got its start when Mike realized he could improve the audio-visual work he was already doing for some local physicians. “Mike came to me and said, ‘Do you want to do this thing?’” Marc remembers. “We started to go from there.”
Today, Marc and Mike have moved Educational Measures far beyond standard audio-visual work by creating their own software and systems to collect data on corporate meetings and provide analysis and feedback on the effectiveness of those meetings.
“We have a really powerful engagement tool that ensures people are really retaining information and engaging in content, and allowing us to really measure that,” Marc says, explaining that meeting attendees can use the company’s iPads to interact with content and provide feedback on the event.
Overall, the offering helps Educational Measures’ clients “look at whether or not the live meeting was a success, and whether you’ve moved the needle,” Marc says. “The technology really engages people.”
But how did two brothers who didn’t have much in common manage to start a company that has enjoyed revenue growth of around 20 percent every year?
“Earlier on, he would just handle operations and I would handle sales and marketing. And it was as simple as that,” Marc says. “As we grew, our roles became more defined. He settled more into the product side because, quite frankly, our Array product, which is our lead product right now, wouldn’t be what it is without him. And as the company evolved, we really settled into what our passions were. For me, it’s been vision and sales. And for him it’s been the product, and taking the product and making it the best he can.”
It’s that appreciation of each other’s strengths, Marc says, that has kept the brothers together through Educational Measures’ evolution. “Those differences, we’ve learned to appreciate more working together, and I think it’s actually made us closer than if we hadn’t been doing this.”
Indeed, Marc’s younger brother, his wife and uncle are all now working at the company in different roles. Ryan, their younger brother, is currently helping with both product management and bookkeeping at the company, but also acts as an occasional peacemaker between Mike and Marc. “He’s nice to have there to balance,” Marc says.
“I think working together has brought us closer,” Marc says of his brother and family, adding with a laugh, “It makes getting together for Thanksgiving more challenging because you don’t want to talk about work.”
(Editor's note: This sponsored content was provided by Educational Measures.)