I mean I have done all kinds of things. And in every single one of those deals, if you want to call it that, I have learned more about that industry than people in the industry. I am very much focused on learning as much as I can: I love to learn, I love to read, I love to explore. So sometimes it makes me know a little too much about everything. But the fact is, I do know a lot about a lot of things, and it is because of that experience of working with so many different deals and in the markets.
I’m always trying to figure out a better way and an easier way of doing, in solving whatever that problem is. How can we do it quicker, faster, cheaper? As a business owner, you are either trying to reduce your expenses or increase your revenue. Every day, you have got to reduce your expenses and increase your revenue. And if you can do that, you are making more money.
I’m not from the South, but I got here as fast as I could.
If I have something I want to use it to its maximum.
In every situation, there are problems and there are solutions. And the companies that provide solutions are the companies that are very successful. I’m extremely good at fixing things and identifying what’s wrong and how to solve the problem.
I’ve said for years, that I like to disrupt the disruptors. Being a disruptor, and early disruptor back in the 90s with Cytation [an innovative software company] and the products we were developing. Seeing the disruptors today, the Ubers the Airbnbs, the companies that are truly disrupting and creating brand new industries. They have reached their cycle. There is that cycle where, it never was thought of before. Then it is up here and now. They are so big that they are just doing their thing. Well, they are ready now to be disrupted. I believe that VROOMRes can be one of those disruptors of those disruptors.
A Look Inside a Founder’s Mind: 7 Sides of Kevin High, Founder of VROOMRes
Are successful company founders different from the rest of us? If they are made and not born, what can we learn from them to help us succeed at what matters to us?
Anyone of these of labels would be an apt description of the founder of VROOMRes, Kevin High, but the description would be incomplete.
Kevin the Innovator
Kevin invests a lot of his time learning about whatever endeavor he embarks upon. Using his past experiences and extensive and often overlapping knowledge base, Kevin examines the many facets of a business and industry system. If the system does not seem to flow, he explores options to redirect the flow or reinvent the system.
One example of his innovative thinking revolutionized the college application process: His software company at the time, Cytation, in agreement with around 1500 colleges and universities around the country, created a basic universal college application for prospective students. As all of the participating schools required some of the same information, students only had to complete this information once. Upon selecting which schools they wanted to apply to, students were then provided access to any additional application requirement for that particular school.
A more recent innovation involves the development of modular components of VROOMRes for property managers that are intuitive, thoughtful, and process-driven to meet the needs of individual property owners.
Kevin the Entrepreneur
From an early age Kevin has been interested in business. He helped his father with printing and restaurant businesses. If the parking lot needed to be swept, Kevin swept the parking lot. If the tables needed to be bussed, Kevin cleaned off the table. With the influence of his sister and brother-in-law working in court reporting, Kevin opened his first business at age 15 creating videos of court depositions. Using knowledge gained working in his father’s printing company, he created an advertising agency in college. Businesses bought advertising and created coupons for notebooks that were given to college students for free. After spending time learning the ins and outs of Wall Street, Kevin created his own brokerage firm, which he later sold to his employees as he shifted his focus to software development.
I see a need, I can fix it, and it’s been very diverse. I’ve done everything from electric motors for sailboats to new gas technologies that can revolutionize how we power vehicles, to software companies to nanotechnology.
Kevin seizes opportunities when he knows he can make a difference. Following his philosophy in business and in life, it is all about the mission and creating time to enjoy life.
Kevin the Communicator
Communication. Occasionally, technology is needed; other times it is just a conversation and Kevin excels in both arenas. Already familiar with the restaurant business helping his father, waiting tables – his only job ever working for someone else – reinforced Kevin’s customer service and time efficiency skills, as well as the motivations for advancement. His advertising agency in college helped businesses find customers in college students. Finding a niche on Wall Street, Kevin brokered deals in equity options, index options, and financing. An early adopter of the Internet, he helped more businesses communicate with their customers using new technology. He has continued this trend with software development throughout the years.
At the same time, he kept pace with changing communication technologies relating to his adventurous hobbies and creative endeavors while maintaining older skill sets like Morse code and film photography.
Even with his current property management company, Kevin continues exploring communication processes: conversations may revolve around a specific reservation, a repeat guest, homeowners, housekeepers, suppliers. In his latest project, VROOMRes, Kevin is working to create a community for property managers to share information while also developing software solutions based on their needs.
Kevin the Adventurer
To boys of a certain age in a certain time, Morse code is one of those boyhood requirements. Appealing to the young Kevin as a secret communication, Morse code has also become a skill in his back pocket that could help out in other situations. So could his expertise as a certified Ham radio operator. With his more adventurous hobbies sailing, boating and flying, communication is key. As a pilot, Kevin wants to be able to get to where he wants to go. To keep his license current as a US Coast Guard Captain certified for 100 lb vessels, he ran the Dewees Island Ferry for several months. Avid traveler that he is, Kevin and his family sailed around the Atlantic Ocean for three years. During that time he took the opportunity to dive every day as a SCUBA Dive Master, as well as fishing every day for family vessels. Sailing into Charleston Harbor, he embarked on another adventure: living in the South.
His adventures also extend into creative outlets in photography, music and writing. Following one dream, Kevin lived above his own photography studio and recording studio. As a published author, Kevin blended his unique perspective from working at the White House and on Wall Street in King. King proposes a change in government via seven proposed amendments, any one of which would be for the betterment of the United States.
Kevin’s other adventures incorporate the many challenges presented by his business interests.
Kevin the Technologist
Technology has always held a fascination for Kevin.
It might have begun with his usage of Morse code or with advances in communication prompting him to become a certified Ham operator. Working with developing video technologies in his first business of recording court depositions or playing a very basic internet game at the White House in 1979 may have sparked his interest. His adventurous hobbies required the in-depth knowledge of the constantly changing technologies in airplanes, boats, and SCUBA equipment. Kevin not only explores his own interests, particularly in software technology; he also integrates other technologies into his daily life. During his time as a brokerage firm owner, he had T1 Internet access and served as an ISP port for a time for other companies.
On a personal level, he began making his home a Smart home before a Smart home was popular. To ease the complexities of his property management company, all of his properties are also integrated Smart homes. Changing key codes on the locks and adjusting thermostats from afar, Kevin continues to develop technologies through VROOMRRes and partnerships with other companies to providing the latest advancements for guests and usefulness for property managers.
Kevin the Trailblazer
Sometimes an opportunity just presents itself. As the Internet became more common, Kevin realized his firm needed a website. He hired programmers to create websites not only for his business, but his clients’ businesses.
Sometimes an idea or a product is simply ahead of its time and requires certain circumstances to bring it to fruition. The conditions were not right for some of Kevin’s projects. Slow internet speeds, download times, and not enough data storage in the early 1990s prevented Kevin from further developing VC1.com, a virtual community, and Loving Pictures, precursors akin to Facebook and Instagram, respectively.
Sometimes, being enmeshed within the problem helps the solution to present itself. As his property management company continues to expand, he came to understand that the solutions currently available do not address all of the issues, which led him to develop VROOOMRes.
I’ve never been this in-the-box kind of person where, “Oh, well, this is the rule and I can’t do it.” I’m always like, “Well, why not?”
Kevin the Disruptor
What is a disruptor? In business and technology, a disruptor can be an opportunity to make a major, and often revolutionary, change within an industry. Academia, manufacturing, photography, transportation, communications, computer hardware, music, data storage, medical testing, publishing have all experienced disruptors in recent years. And it can bring about broad societal changes: while it seems so mundane now, the advent of the personal computer certainly changed business and education. Disruptors combining computer and communication technologies impact how we communicate today.
As a disruptor himself, when Kevin sees a need for change within his business that may also change whichever industry it is, he does not hesitate. His unexpected entrance in the property management realm has brought his attention to the challenges that property managers face. With his business acumen and software development skills, Kevin is looking to disrupt yet another system.
Innovator. Entrepreneur. Adventurer. Communicator. Technologist. Trailblazer. Disruptor. Kevin High pursues his passions with a thorough zeal to improve himself, a company, a system, an industry; and to enjoy life in the process.