How does the War in Ukraine affect Everyrun?
I am Ukrainian, and the Russian war against Ukraine has affected both me personally and Everyrun.
Three days before the war started, we had an interview with Garik, our new senior backend developer. We agreed to hire him but did not sign the contract yet. So, when the war started, we had a difficult decision to make: should we proceed with hiring more staff? Or should we keep working on the startup at all?
The decision was not easy to make. When your country is being invaded and bombed, when a colossal uncertainty is hanging over your life, family, relatives, and future, working in the running industry seem irrelevant and unimportant.
But in the end, we decided to hire Garik and slowly proceed with developing the product to the stage when it is good enough to organise charity events so that we can raise money for Ukraine.
I will be honest, Everyrun was not our primary focus for the next two months. Like the rest of the World, I could not stop constantly scrolling through the news. We had to do something with it. So together with Ian, we created Ukraine Shelter (ukraineshelter.com), the platform that helped 6000+ Ukrainians to find temporary accommodations abroad. Now it is a sustainable project with thousands of hosts, and a great team of volunteers, in the call centre, marketing and promotion.
It was a tremendous real-time lesson on crisis management and bootstrapping. We had three days between the decision to create the project and the first requests coming through our website. For the first few days, we used Google spreadsheet as a main tool for the database. But very soon, the team at Fibery.io kindly offered us to use their platform as a CRM for free, which enabled us to scale quickly, protect the data, and eventually help thousands of people find temporary accommodations abroad.
So, what about Everyrun? The plan of onboarding 7000 runners and 30+ race organisers in Ukraine before the platform launch is not possible for now because of the Russian invasion, so we had to change our target market. Now we are in the UK and will soon launch the platform here but with a focus on Ukraine - helping people to organise fun runs and charity races to raise money to support those affected by the war.