2019 SC 25 Fastest Growing Companies: No. 3 Clear Touch Interactive
LEADERSHIP Keone Trask | President
INDUSTRY Maker of interactive multi-touch panels, education and business software and accessories for education and business
If someone were to make a movie about your company, what would be the story you'd want to tell?
It would be a classic tale of a boy who grows up, chases his dream, works hard and finds success. But even though corporate "experts" try to lure him with big-city glitz and Silicon Valley glamour, he insists on building a company that retains a small-town vibe where everyone feels like family and friends.
As these friends set out to start a business that creates innovative technology to make the world a better place, the film would also feature nostalgic travel scenes, complete with 1940s-style animation of a truck and trailer leaving dotted lines tracing the customer visits and trade show adventures around the globe.
As the movie winds down, the scenes would then transition to footage of the Clear Touch® team consulting with our customers, innovating our products and stepping back to admire the collaborative spaces we created together.
And speaking of friends, the storyline would have to include a heartwarming scene of our team getting a rescue dog as well. It just wouldn't be the Clear Touch® story without it.
What interview questions do you ask or what hiring techniques do you use to hire the right candidate? How important is finding good talent in your company?
Rather than dictating generic interview questions, we give each of our supervisors the freedom to ask whatever questions will help them identify and hire the best people for their specific teams (technical, support, sales). We've found that it makes sense to give most of the decision-making power to the leaders who understand the unique challenges of each position—because they're the ones involved in the day-to-day operations of that department.
We find that the team members who excel in their roles tend to be go-getters who love exploring new possibilities and sharing their enthusiasm about our products. We also strive to find candidates who are team players. We all win and lose together. It is important to build a team of individuals who are passionate about helping each other succeed.
What marketing tips would you offer other companies?
Know your brand. Clarify your purpose. Understand your customer. Identify where your brand—and your business—intersects with your customer's needs, then meet them there, because every touch matters. That's marketing for us. We know how Clear Touch® melds into the everyday lives of our customers—whether they're in education or business. We create our products by communicating with our customers about their needs, and we enhance our solutions by asking which needs could be met more efficiently. By listening to what our customers say, we learn what interactive technology means to them. That knowledge allows us to design innovative products and solutions that enhance classrooms and boardrooms around the world.
What is the secret to your success?
Team up with good friends. Focus on a common goal. Work hard to accomplish that goal. Oh, and take time to enjoy some downtime together every now and then. It is important to have a team that is passionate about the product, the company and each other. When you have that, anything is possible.