RapidSOS EC-1 Part 1: Origin story
Except, that is, for Michael Martin. RapidSOS’ story is one of a mission, a community, a team, and a dream that every emergency should have the best chance to be resolved as positively as possible. HeAlongith Nick Horelik and Matt Bozik very early on, he became fascinated by the complexity and lack of innovation in the sector. “Uber had just come out.
I could press a button and get a car. Why can’t I just press a button and get an ambulance? And then it sparks this curiosity,” Martin said. He sought knowledge, but for such a critical system, information was sparse. “The Wikipedia article on George Clooney is way longer than the one on 911,” he noted.
So began a nearly decade-long journey with RapidSOS that would see Martin and his team first attempt to build a consumer-safety app called Haven before pivoting exclusively to helping dozens of tech companies, including Apple and Google and device companies like SiriusXM, connect to a myriad of 911 software vendors.
Along the way, they experienced the full vagaries of startup life, frenetically pivoting from product to product as they tried to get consumers to even care about emergencies. It wasn’t easy, and it took years before the company finally hit its stride. But RapidSOS’s story is one of a mission, a community, a team and a dream that every emergency should have the best chance to be resolved as positively as possible.
Indiana: The call roads of America
Martin grew up outside the rural town of Rockport, Indiana, population about 2,500 today. His mother was the local doctor, and he and his brother habituated to the openness and ennui of rural farming life. “We grew up on 35 acres of land; we had an enormous garden and a little hobby orchard and stuff like that,” he said. “We had ‘Drive-Your-Tractor-To-School Day.’”