Ten years after being launched by three friends, Red Piston is still striving to remain ahead of the curve by offering outside-the-box marketing, management and quality control solutions to their clients.
Now settled into a three-storey brick building just east of Windsor’s downtown, after six moves in a decade, co-founders Jakub Koter, Andy Kale and Ali Al-Aasm remain on the cutting edge with a growing variety of social media and marketing services.
“Windsor is not really known throughout our industry as a place where creative risks are taken so we get inspired by marketing campaigns such as those launched by companies in California, for instance,” explained Koter.
“If that means stepping outside the box to offer fresh services to our clients then that’s what we’ll do and our whole company feels that way,” adds Koter.
Koter says that unless customers are entertained and believe they will be offered an interesting experience by a client’s business, it’s hard to convince them to even leave the house or cross the street.
“Our role is to help our clients provide that unique experience to their customers,” he said.
Red Piston, with a roster of 13 experienced employees, provides mobile apps, web development and design, augmented and virtual reality and games to a variety of clients in such sectors as entertainment, retail, automotive, agriculture and fitness.
“We’re trying to create new options for our clients,” explained Kale. “It’s not always easy to do but we seem to be gaining some traction and increasing client visits because of our approach.”
“The business has changed in 10 years and clients are generally more sophisticated but just because you can do something, do you really have to?” he adds. “It has to make sense for our clients, their customers and us.”
The company is currently working on iPhone apps for Lakeside Produce which will enable the company to streamline its quality control processes through user-friendly data and photographs which help Lakeside identify issues with their crops.
“We’re helping them move from paper-based analog systems to fully digitized systems,” explains Al-Aasm. “In the past, data would be collected on paper and then handed to someone who would input it into their systems.”
“Now, it’s more efficient and streamlined,” he added.
In addition to working with a growing client base, Red Piston also reaches out into the community to get its name in front of a new audience.
Turning programmers into rock stars
On May 1, Red Piston will host another Code in the Dark programming event at their offices at 568 Chatham Street East from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m.
The event requires participants to design and implement a website using only a screenshot they are provided with just before the event begins. They are given a prescribed length of time, often only 15 minutes, to complete their task which is then judged by the audience.
“It’s completely in the dark and accompanied by pulsing laser lights and loud music which is designed to turn these programmers into rock stars,” said Koter.
“Code in the Dark is a fun way to bring our local tech community together,” said Yvonne Pilon, President and CEO of WEtech Alliance, one of the a sponsors of the event. “The night will also feature an arcade competition for non-developers, so we encourage everyone to come out.”
Code in the Dark events are staged throughout the world and bring together some of the brightest programmers in the industry.
Red Piston also hosted a Code in the Dark event in 2017.