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Category: Startup Life Posts


Finding Kansas City ranks Red Nova Labs as one of KC's top ten best tech companies

Check out our latest feature in Finding Kansas City.

Long story short, we’re kind of a big deal.

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Our New Year's Resolutions

Check out what we did in 2016.

Let’s talk about resolutions.

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2016: Our Year in Review

Check out what we did in 2016.

It’s been a rough year for America. Most of us are glad 2016 is over. But let’s not focus too much on the bad and forget all the great things that happened over the last year. Our employees accomplished a lot over the last year, both inside and outside of the office. Check out some of the cool stuff we did in 2016!

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November Employee Spotlight: Matt Friederich

Meet Matt Friederich

We’ve already heard from most of Red Nova Labs’ veteran employees, like Chris Klein, Katelyn Wyss, Eric Hankins, Tim Banks, and Ashley Burgener, so this month we’ll be shining the spotlight on Matt Friederich.

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Interns Leave Red Nova Labs as Expert Ping Pong Players

Ping pong image.

Fall is here, which means it’s time for the return of pumpkin flavored everything, football and crockpot deliciousness. The end of summer also means our summer interns have left Rainbow Boulevard and returned to school.

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August Employee Spotlight: Tim Banks

Tim Banks

I wasn’t nervous at all to interview RNL’s Sr. Software Engineer, Tim Banks. There’s something about Tim that makes you immediately feel comfortable talking to him. Maybe it’s his crazy curly hair, the way he talks lightning fast or how candid he is with everyone around him. More likely, it’s the fact that he is hands down one of the most interesting people you’ll ever meet.

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July Employee Spotlight: Alex Downey

Alex Downey

I had a hunch that Alex Downey, our support engineer, would be fun to interview - and I was right. Even though I haven’t worked with Alex very much, I have gotten to share several hilarious morning coffee shop discussions with her and I was lucky enough to work in her Hackathon group last month. After checking out her team bio, I was curious to get to know her better and to get some dirt on what it’s like to work in the sales pit.

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10 Easy Productivity Hacks to Help You Crush Your Workday

This article originally appeared on the storEDGE blog.

Intro image

When I was 24 I found out I had been wrapping my headphone wires wrong my whole life.

Okay, maybe you think there really isn't a "wrong" way to wrap headphone wires. But there is a way that can save you time.

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Internships at Red Nova Labs: Where Boys Become Men

Ben's Hackathon 2.1 team was small, but mighty.

There are interns among us. You may have worked with them during Hackathon 2.1, or maybe you’re the one who taught them the house rules of ping pong. Maybe you've sat next to them while waiting for your morning doubleshot at The Grind. If you haven’t met our summer interns yet, you’re seriously missing out!

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February Employee Spotlight: Chris Klein

Almost every picture of Chris involves cute kids

If you’ve ever worked at or been to RNL, it’s extremely likely that Chris Klein has introduced himself to you. He just celebrated his sixth anniversary at Red Nova Labs, making him our most senior employee. But, honestly, that’s probably not what you know him for.

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January Employee Spotlight: Beth Donnelly

Beth in her trusty Star Wars tee

There aren’t many projects at RNL that lead me to regularly cross direct paths with Beth Donnelly, our product manager. But I sure know who she is. Ever since her first day on the job, she’s tackled any and every project thrown at her efficiently and effectively.

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December Employee Spotlight: Adam England

Adam, his wife, and his two kids

Adam England, our director of engineering, is someone I don’t get to spend much time with here at the office. I’ve bumped into him a few times at our coffee shop and exchanged some casual conversation, which is always grand.

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November Employee Spotlight: Ashley Burgener

Ashley with her husband and two kids

Who on earth could follow the act provided by Dan’s employee spotlight last month? That’s what I wondered as I started thinking about this month’s spotlight. Thankfully, the random number generator chose someone who could give Dan a run for his money: Ashley Burgener.

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October Employee Spotlight: Dan Miller

Dan giving a speech to the team in the early days of RNL

While I’m honestly excited for every employee spotlight interview, there are those few people out there in the office whose personalities I know will make for a killer post, even if I don’t ask them many questions. Perhaps the biggest of those personalities is none other than our fearless leader Dan Miller.

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September Employee Spotlight: Kalyani Haridasyam

Kalyani and her husband, Sravan

I knew Kalyani Haridasyam, our quality assurance engineer, would be a blast to interview. She may be small and seem quiet, but she packs a ton of personality. A quick read of her team bio shows off her spunk: she claims to be a developer’s worst nightmare, hopes to smash a guitar after a killer rock performance someday, and boasts that she’s feisty and proud of it.

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August Employee Spotlight: Paul Gill

Paul Gill and his family: Meagan, Quincy, Joplin, and Georgia

Every now and then, my random number generator chooses an employee I know very little about. Since Paul Gill is a salesman and works on a separate floor, our August pick for the employee spotlight was one of those instances.

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July Employee Spotlight: Amanda Giese

Amanda graduating from Grantham University

The fondest memory I have of Quality Assurance Analyst Amanda Giese is watching her whip out a Nerf gun from under her desk to join an inter-office war that she helped plan.

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June Employee Spotlight: Paul Losensky

Paul likes to spend time outdoors.

RNL Web Designer Paul Losensky is someone who I knew would be entertaining to interview. Because he’s a part of the marketing department, I’ve worked with him on a few projects and have a group meeting involving him every week. And let me tell you, he knows how to get people talking and how to crack a joke.

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May Employee Spotlight: Andrea Hewitt

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I have a story for you. Last year I decided to take an indefinite hiatus from writing employee spotlights. At first, it didn’t seem like too many people minded, but then I had several co-workers ask me when to expect the next one. I’d push back and say there wouldn’t be a next one. After many of them either sighed, gasped, or made (surely harmless) threats, I decided I’d let fate decide my next step.

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Want to Work with Us? Take a Peek at What We Did in 2014

The RNL team

Since we’re always on the lookout for great talent in Kansas City, we attend career fairs throughout the year and encourage our co-workers to recruit their hard-working friends. Through these processes we get a lot of questions about our company culture and what a day at RNL looks like.

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July Employee Spotlight: Katelyn Wyss

Katelyn and Avery

Out of all the employee spotlights I’ve written thus far, I figured that my interview with PR Specialist Katelyn Wyss would be the easiest. After all, we already meet every day during our marketing meetings, and she and I work closely on content and link building.

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Red Nova Labs' Developers Push Themselves toward Greatness

Ashley Sullins working

The other day, CEO Dan Miller was explaining at one of our rare company-wide meetings how Red Nova Labs has managed to be so successful. “We’re not a marketing company that does tech,” he said. “We’re a tech company that does marketing.”

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April Employee Spotlight: Eric Hankins

Eric Hankins

Eric Hankins, one of Red Nova Labs’ senior software engineers, has been with the team for more than two and a half years. While he’s proven his brilliance and determination through the development of a number of our products, he’s renowned for coming to work dressed as a pirate and posting humorous descriptions of his day on our company’s private social network.

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What We Actually Do at Red Nova Labs

Meet storEDGE

Update --- Let's face it, we're always changing because that's what you have to do to be the best. So, this article is already out of date. If you want to know what we're really up to, check out storEDGE. Plain and simple: we're a technology company making kickass products for (drumroll...) the self storage industry! Don't judge, we love it here.

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The Magical Gnomes behind Red Nova Labs

The Red Nova Lab’s Gnome in action.

Congratulations. You’ve made it through another April Fools’ Day. The infamous day that bad surprises and pranks plague Americans from coast to coast.

Here at Red Nova Labs, we live in excitement of being visited by our pleasant pranksters every day. Little did we know, when we moved to our current location, the space was already occupied by something: Gnomes.

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You’ve Been Voting. We’ve Been Bugging You. We're Humbled to Be Voted KC's Best Brand.

Red Nova Labs wins Battle of the Brands.

So what is this competition that we’ve been harassing you about for the whole month of March? KC Source Link, a local organization that links Kansas City’s businesses to the right resources, hosted its third annual Battle of the Brands competition. And with your help, we won.

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The Creative Pursuits of Red Nova Labs Employees

In case you missed it, the RNL band got together this week to write and record a song in celebration of reaching 600 likes on Facebook. That kind of spur-of-the-moment creative undertaking is not uncommon here at RNL. We’re a creative bunch of people, and creativity is a skill we seek to bolster, both in and out of the office.

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600 Facebook Likes: Behind the Scenes

We recently hit 600 likes on Facebook, and to thank you, our band got together to record a song for the occasion:

As we approached the milestone, software engineer Joe Morgan, SEO specialist Beth Cain, and local search specialist Margaret Kocher took some time out of our delicious cookout last Friday to compose the song. They asked people around the office what they would love to have 600 of and set the answers to the tune of Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believin’.”

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March Employee Spotlight: Megan Kannard

Megan Kannard with her family.

Something you might not know about Megan is that she’s kind of OCD. This trait makes her extremely detail oriented and a fantastic marketing director. She’s always juggling many different tasks, from working with the content team on upcoming projects to doing a little design on the side to asking the other departments on dates.

At Red Nova Labs, marketing takes on a large variety of projects and Megan is our valiant leader. She started off as a designer but just a couple months into the position, there was a role that needed to be filled and Megan stepped up to the plate. Now she coordinates all the inside and outside marketing for RNL and loves it.

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Where We Work (and Play) at Red Nova Labs

Writing on desk

Every great company needs a great place to work. Here at Red Nova Labs, our environment reflects the values we employ in our work: our spontaneity, our openness to collaboration and new ideas, our focus, and our desire to balance the hard work we do with a healthy dose of fun and relaxation.

From our glass tables that employees can write on to our plethora of work stations that vary in size and level of privacy, our workspace is the dynamic chameleon that the modern office needs to be.

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Creating the Perfect Company Culture

Team bonding at a Royals game.

Most people’s excitement comes at 5 p.m. when they can finally clock out of work and head home. Not here at Red Nova Labs.

A mantra spoken by many here is, “I wake up excited to come to work!” That might sound surprising when you learn that our focus is self storage, an industry that may seem far from glamorous.

On any night of the week, you can find RNL employees working long hours on our own volition because we sincerely care about the industry, our products and our clients. What makes our company special? We work in a culture of enthusiasm, trust and transparency.

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Red Nova Labs' Ping Pong Community

A game of doubles.

As the day winds down here at Red Nova Labs and people begin drifting away from their computer screens, the titular ping and pong of a table tennis ball against wooden paddles inevitably draws me downstairs to squeeze in a couple of games – and, okay, one more – before I head home for the evening. The lunch hour, similarly, is filled with a rapid succession of ping pong games sandwiched between eating and the return to work.

We love our ping pong here at Red Nova Labs. At times the rare silence between games becomes more distracting than the noise made during play. It’s even in the picture at the top of our blog pages. And its popularity makes sense. It’s good exercise. It’s a way to bond with our coworkers. And it’s yet another way we constantly push ourselves to get better.

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2013: A Year in Review

RNL team during spirit week. The RNL team during spirit week.

A year ago StorageAhead.com did not exist. That alone tells you how immense the progress has been for Red Nova Labs in 2013.

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RNL Employees Share New Year’s Resolutions

Red Nova Lab's New Year's Resolutions

Every year, people sit down and make a list of New Year's resolutions and that is exactly what Red Nova Labs employees did. A week into the New Year, we decided we should share them with the world as a way to keep us honest with ourselves about our goals in 2014. Here's what we plan to accomplish:

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December Employee Spotlight: Garrett DeGregory

Garrett and his bike, looking cool.

We’ve already heard about Rachael Heslop, Natalie Bragg and Joe Morgan, but this month we’ll be shining the spotlight on Garrett DeGregory.

Garrett is Red Nova Labs’ best (and only) sales administrator. Between sips of tea, he’s digging through our database of potential clients to send leads to our sales team qualifiers or he’s cleaning up Salesforce.

He’s fairly new to the RNL team, only starting in September, but he’s proven to be quite the asset. Get to know him a little better.

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Red Nova Labs Celebrates the Holidays in Style

Casino table decorations

Last Friday night, the Red Nova Labs basement transformed into a Las Vegas-style casino wonderland, complete with blackjack, craps, roulette, poker and an open bar. Out of town employees were flown in to spend a relaxing weekend in Kansas City, and everyone brought their friends and family to share the excitement of a traditional Red Nova Labs-style party. Newfound gambling addictions commenced, and several employees have already turned to 1-800-BETS-OFF for help.

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Dan's Birthday Extravaganza

Red Nova Labs CEO Dan Miller had a birthday Monday so we celebrated in style. Take a peek at the action: Empty parking lot

While Dan’s wife took him out to lunch, we cleared our cars from the parking lot to make it look like we’d left for the day at noon. But Dan caught onto this pretty quickly. When he left for lunch later than planned, he noticed the parking lot was emptier than he’d ever seen it.

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November Employee Spotlight: Rachael Heslop

The third time’s the charm, right? Natalie Bragg and Joe Morgan were interviewed for the spotlight in September and October, respectively, and the charming Rachael Heslop was randomly selected for November’s post. When I asked her if she’d be willing to take part, she sweetly replied that she would love to, despite an irrational fear that she’d have nothing interesting to share.

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Spirit Week 2013 Update - Twin Day

Twin Day - Spririt Week Day 2 At Red Nova Labs

Day Two of Red Nova Lab's first (and soon to be annual) Spirit Week is Twin Day. We're a big fan of matching here, whether it's with names or clothes, so we decided to get together with our fellow employees and dress alike. Can you guess which one of each pair is the rel=canonical?

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(Very Nearly) Kickball Champions

A couple of Thursdays ago Red Nova Labs staff, loved ones, and friends participated in our last Kansas City BigBalls Kickball League game of the 2013 season. As the afternoon toil in The Labs wound down, we decided it was time to celebrate Alyssa's birthday as well our upcoming playoff game.

Employees enjoy a pre-kickball meal.

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Why Your Boss Needs to Back Off Your reddit Addiction

Hey, you, reading this blog - are you at work right now? Would your boss approve of you reading the hilarious musings of this content writer while you're supposed to be coding, or flipping burgers, or whatever it is that you should be doing to earn your next paycheck? Well guess what - she should be happy you're reading this blog, because I'm about to drop some real knowledge on ya.

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A Year Is Just Short of Forever

A year is a LONG time in technology years. It's been a little over a year since the management team came back from sabbatical and nearly a year since my last blog post. Probably a good time to reflect, following our major strategy shift towards toiling in the "Labs" with a singular purpose in the self storage industry. A great deal has changed and Red Nova Labs seems revitalized with more energy, passion, greater challenges and larger opportunities.

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How I Keep My Friends Interested in My Job

This summer was a whirlwind for me. I landed a writing internship I felt severely under qualified for with a company I knew I wasn't cool enough for. After three weeks of muddling through SEO jargon and trying to keep my head above water, I was offered a permanent position as a content writer. With many of my friends still looking for work or moving across the country for one job offer, I can't begin to understand how I got this job a year before graduation.

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Red Nova Labs and Venture Fridays to StorageAhead and Market Domination

I applied to Red Nova Labs to fill a sales position for a text marketing platform called BuzzMeDo. I knew Red Nova Labs had several other products: StorageFront, WebWorks, Shop Fauna and Mystery Ball - but just a year ago I thought I was applying to work for a start-up who dabbled in several different areas and was always looking for the next "big idea." Red Nova Labs was (and still is) well-known within the Kansas City start-up community for hosting monthly get-togethers, Venture Fridays, and being a champion for all things tech and start-up culture.

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Why My English Teachers Would Hate SEO

I once came in second place in my fourth grade spelling bee. Although I didn't secure the most coveted top spot, I'd say I still have some clout on the subject of spelling and grammar. So when I accepted my first real job out of college as an SEO content writer, I was in for a surprise when I learned I was no longer in a place that cared whether I used "more than" versus "over" when describing numerals; I was in the world of "teh interwebz."

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The SEO Guide to Puppy Names

You're down on your luck with a special lady. She just won't pay attention to you. You don't get it - you've combed your hair, you've bought all the Axe body spray you can find, and you're right in front of her but she just doesn't notice. You decide your only option for her attention is to tempt her with an irresistible tactic: you get a puppy.

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The Constant Telecommuter

When I started working remotely for Red Nova Labs more than two years ago, I knew I had the discipline to get the job done, even allowing for the potential distractions that come from working out of a home office. What I didn't realize at the time was that I would actually miss the interaction with my peers. Sure, we keep in touch daily with technology like Google Hangouts, chats and phone calls…but there's also nobody hiding around the corner from my office door getting ready to launch an attack with a Nerf gun. And some days, I kind of wish there was.

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Build a Strong Social Skills Foundation

In my last post, I talked about how having a genuine interest in people leads to quality relationships between account managers and the clients they serve. This time I'm going to give you a few resources partly to show you why this happens and partly to show how you can develop these social skills. This is by no means an exhaustive guide. The question is too big and our attention spans are too small.

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Selling Self-Storage: My Perspective After Seven Months

Self storage owners are busy people. They often wear many hats and are in charge of everything from facility maintenance, hiring, customer service, accounting, operations, marketing and everything else that comes along with running a successful self storage business. As a sales person for StorageAhead, I have the privilege of speaking with these great individuals on a daily basis, and am faced with the challenge of working with their busy schedules, sending the right email at the right time, scheduling follow-ups and researching each brand to know how our products will best benefit their business (thank God for SalesForce).

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Are You Engaged in Screen-to-Screen Communication?

When I first came to Red Nova Labs, I thought the most difficult part of account management would be the lack of face time with clients. My background is in journalism, specifically profile writing. Getting face-to-face with people and figuring out what makes them tick genuinely interests me.

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Red Nova Labs CEO Instates (Optional) Not-So-Casual Fridays

Unlike most offices, Red Nova Labs gives their employees pretty much free reign on the dress code in the office, resulting in what you would see if you let your six-year-old daughter pick her own outfit for school. However, at the end of the week, several employees drop their Mark Zuckerberg-esque hoodies and "eff-you" flip flops and engage in Fancy Fridays.

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I Moustache You a Question

One hundred days ago, if you would have asked me if I would still be wearing my masculinity on my upper lip, I would have probably said "No." But alas, I'm a man of phases, and today marks the 100th day of warming my philtrum (For the lazy) with the multitude of hairs more commonly known as a moustache. Frankly, I don't know when I'll get rid of the ol' face furniture.

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