What exactly does collaboration mean? The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines it as: “to work with another person or group in order to achieve or do something.” Seems simple enough, but it’s more than that isn’t it? It’s about breaking down barriers and walls, and tapping into raw creativity in its purest form. It’s about building relationships and creating something beyond our wildest imaginations. That, and it just plain gives you the good feels to create and accomplish something together.
For us here at Republic, collaboration isn’t just a word definition, it’s a spirit, a philosophy, a way of life. From its inception, Republic was built on this spirit of collaboration. Even choosing the name Republic was a purposeful way to express what we wanted to accomplish. Our CEO and co-founder, David Morken, had this to say when asked how he came up with the name, Republic: “We chose the name Republic to reflect the fact that we wanted everyone to feel like they were a part of something bigger than just a phone company and that each and every person should have a voice.”
Collaboration to us is our lifeblood. We must take nothing for granted. We wouldn’t be here without our incredible members – the people who know, just like we do, that there has to be a better way to stay in touch. It’s why we launched our service in BETA testing early on – so we could listen, learn with conviction, and keep getting better. We actively seek out feedback and invite co-creation. We are on a tireless mission to unlock new value for our members and continue to make wireless more fair and awesome for us all. Our members help us every step of the way.
Early on, it was clear that we sparked the interest of thousands of people that were fed up with not being heard by their wireless providers. News spread fast after our launch in November, 2011 and our online forum quickly became the place to go to discuss and get updates about our service. Right before our very eyes, members began to help each other and were making suggestions on how to improve the service. This is when it stopped being an online forum and became the Republic Community.
The Community was not only filled with helpful members, but there were also lots of great ideas that needed to be heard. We needed a place where members could field ideas, have them voted on, and provide another avenue to actively influence the products in their hands. And so, the Think Tank was born. To date, we have 847 ideas, many of which have already been implemented into final products that our members use everyday such as MMS, reactivations of phones, and adding Republic merch in our store. There’s lots more being actively worked on and in progress now too – all thanks to your help suggesting ideas, and getting them voted up by other members to add to our product road map.
Members helping members. I can think of only one group of people that understands this more than all the rest – “The Founders”. Most of you are more familiar with their current name, Ambassadors. In the early stages of the Republic Community, there were some members that quickly stood out to us. They were out there answering questions and helping members at all hours of the day, just for the simple reasons that they enjoy helping other people and they truly believe in Republic. Today, the Ambassadors group has expanded to 24 people and we work with them very closely every day testing new products and features. Working together with them not only lets us know if we’re on the right track, but it improves the final outcome. Two heads are better than one right? 24 are even better!
How do you go from ideation to implementation? Testing, of course! While our Ambassadors provide us with feedback from our first real world implementation, we have always wanted to expand this testing aspect to the Republic Community, which is what led us to our newest program for fostering collaboration, Republic Labs. Our first lab, Maestro, has thousands of our members testing new plans and giving us feedback on how they feel and perform. This feedback from the hands-on use will be invaluable for us as we fine tune and improve the overall experience. This level of collaboration will drive us to make better products and services that all of our members can enjoy. Future labs will involve more and more members as we grow and continue to innovate and further expand the collaboration between our members and us, thus creating the most unique experience in wireless.
Today, we’ve taken you on a journey, but it’s a journey that never would have happened without you, our members. From our humble beginnings to present day, and in the future, we always want you to have a say in how we evolve. We always want for your voice to be heard. We hope you’ll continue to help us shape the mobile industry and make wireless more awesome for us all. We believe we’re in this together. Thanks for reading!