Kurt J. Long, BUNKR

Kurt J. Long

Listen, Persist, Integrity

Editors’ Note

Kurt Long started his career at the Kennedy Space Center as space shuttle databank mission lead for the Hubble Space Telescope, Venus Radar Mapper, Ulysses (Sun close fly-by) as well as numerous other missions. As an entrepreneur, Long believes in a “people-first” leadership philosophy having founded, grown and sold three successful businesses – most recently FairWarning which protects patient privacy in 8,500 healthcare facilities around the world. In founding FairWarning, Long had less than $1 million of outside investment exclusively with lifelong friends to produce a 75x+ return to investors as well as producing shareholder profits for 10 consecutive years along the way. Together with his sons, Long is Co-Founder of BUNKR. BUNKR empowers consumers and their households to organize, secure, and share the most important information in their lives. Long is active with a variety of projects as an investor, mentor, and through the Long Family Force for Good Foundation including work with Big Change, Virgin Strive, National Tennis Foundation, EasyPeasy, VentureWave, the Brookings Institute and Give Learn. Long co-founded and funded “Next Generation Entrepreneurs” with a major public school system in the United States. He has been granted nine patents in privacy and security technology globally and has a master’s degree in theoretical mathematics and bachelor’s degree in business.

Company Brief

BUNKR’s (bunkr.life) vision is to give customers time back in their day while growing trust and reducing the anxiety in their lives. BUNKR’s business model is aligned with the well-being of its customers through the company’s product design and service principles. BUNKR’s products are designed to save its customers time, eliminate frustrations, and protect customers from security, privacy, and surveillance risks. BUNKR believes privacy is a human right and the company never sells any form of customer data to any third party. In exchange, its customers pay a subscription fee for the value the company creates in their lives.

What was your vision for creating BUNKR, and how do you define its mission?

During spring of 2020, our family was evaluating business opportunities and living a mostly digital life during COVID lockdowns. It became astonishing that the tools we use in our daily lives like email, text, social media messengers, cloud storage, and password managers were clumsy and frustrating, and most were exposing us to cyber-threats by their very design. People most-often use these tools because they are “free,” but they come with deep hidden costs. This is very apparent for people on-the-go, families, and travelers. Cyber criminals are now rapidly incorporating AI into their cyber-attacks, intensifying exposure to these threats.

Based on our past experiences, we decided we could do better, so we founded BUNKR. We would build a product that was seamless, easy-to-use, protected its customers, considered privacy a human right, and saved people time. Further, we would make it affordable for everyone.

Today, BUNKR is an affordable safe-haven for individuals and businesses in 29 countries used by travelers, families, executives, entrepreneurs, professional athletes, agents, financial and healthcare professionals, and others.

BUNKR’s vision is to give customers time back in their day while growing trust and reducing the anxiety in their lives. BUNKR has been built to put our customers’ most important information at their fingertips no matter where they are in the world, share information with exactly who they choose, and to receive protection from the best-of-class privacy and security.

How do you describe BUNKR’s culture and values?

We think of our culture as a way of getting work done and it is grounded on three core values: listen, persist, and integrity.

Listen – listening requires having respect for others. Respect is based on seeing unique strengths in each other. If we combine our strengths, we can do incredible things. It requires humility to live this idea. We are always looking for team members who listen first.

Persist – persistence is crucial in good times as well as difficult times. When a business is growing fast, there are challenges and, when a business is struggling, there are challenges. In all cases, there are challenges, and we persist in finding solutions together.

Integrity – solving challenges creates intrinsic pressure which leads to temptations to cut corners. This works against quality as well as the sustainability of the business. To make up for shortfalls, cutting corners can lead to making misrepresentations to your customers, your employee-team, shareholders, and the community in general. The biggest business fails we witness in the media come from a failure of leadership integrity.

We are at our best and most fulfilled when leadership lives their promises. We believe in listening and persisting with integrity to build a company that lasts.

“We are at our best and most fulfilled
when leadership lives their promises. We believe in listening and persisting with integrity to build a company that lasts.”

Will you highlight BUNKR’s capabilities and solutions?

BUNKR puts your most important information at your fingertips, so that you can share it with exactly who you choose. BUNKR was built for trust from day one, offering secure cloud storage, invitation-only messaging, password management, large file transfer, seamless scanning, and everything you need to conduct your personal and business affairs with complete security and privacy. Once your information enters BUNKR, it is always encrypted unless you are literally looking at it. This is great to know if your phone is lost or stolen like mine was on a trip in 2019. This influenced the design of the product.

BUNKR is transforming how people run their lives by eliminating the need for paper files, retaining mail, and password notebooks. It completely eliminates spam, scams, and impostor frauds. We built the product so that your information is available regardless as to whether you have connectivity which makes it ideal for travelers and people on-the-go. Families using BUNKR consider it mission critical to saving them time and keeping their families secure.

BUNKR is perfect for anyone, and any business who values their time and wants the ultimate in privacy and security in an easy-to-use product.

What have been the keys to BUNKR’s growth, and how do you define the BUNKR difference?

The magic of BUNKR is that it’s so simple to use, offers rich features and is best-of-class in security and privacy. Further, we’ve aligned the BUNKR business model with the well-being of our customers by making it so affordable while never selling customer data – ever. People can spend more time with the people they love and doing things they enjoy because BUNKR is saving them time while keeping their lives secure and private.

What do you look for in a BUNKR team member?

We look for people that listen first and have a track record of persisting with integrity. These characteristics also build immense competencies in people and give them the skills to learn faster than others. In short, we are looking for people who align with our values that we discussed and have competencies in our areas of need.

“My greatest joys have come from having the freedom to push limits while being part of teams of people who care about each other. Entrepreneurship, high-performance teams, and living family-first are the catalysts of my life.”

How do you define entrepreneurship?

Entrepreneurs transform a vision into a sustainable reality, creating value in the lives of all involved, beginning with the lives of their customers.

Integrity is the key to sustainability – when integrity fails, eventually the business fails. Profitability and growth are essential to sustainability – there should be no apologizing for them. If you lose enough money, you will not have a business. Human decency and the way we treat workforces are critical as are relationships with shareholders and contributions to the community. Environmental sustainability is critical, but it cannot be our only focus.

This brand of entrepreneurship is a vision, a journey, and a high bar. Entrepreneurs are pushing to grow and produce profits – simultaneously we have higher aims. It is a lot, but it absolutely can be done. We can reshape capitalism and entrepreneurship for the better in the 21st century.

When did you know that you had an entrepreneurial spirit and desire to build your own company?

My greatest joys have come from having the freedom to push limits while being part of teams of people who care about each other. Entrepreneurship, high-performance teams, and living family-first are the catalysts of my life.

I was fortunate to spend the first 10 years of my career at Kennedy Space Center (KSC) on the Space Shuttle program with world-class people. As a team, we made mission-critical contributions to numerous ground-breaking space missions like Hubble Space Telescope. We were proud to be part of something bigger than ourselves.

My mentors taught that if we work together toward a common vision, we could do anything together. This directly translates to entrepreneurship. On pushing physical limits, KSC is on the Atlantic Ocean which has an irresistible draw, so I learned to surf and windsurf along with playing competitive tennis. These sports also contribute to one’s humility. This all built a growth mindset of possibility. It was a wonderful start given that I come from working-poor beginnings.

My career advice to aspiring entrepreneurs is to start your journey working for the most talented, caring people who will have you. You have a long time to make money, but only a single chance at laying the foundation of your character.

Eventually I moved on from KSC and founded three companies over the 25 years prior to BUNKR. Each was acquired by significant businesses. The most successful was FairWarning where we invented patient privacy monitoring and dominated our industry for 15 years before we sold the business to Imprivata in late 2019. FairWarning continues to dominate its market segment within Imprivata, which is itself a great company.

In recent years I’ve been part of a small group of entrepreneurs who raise money for children’s education by taking on remarkable physical adventures all over the world. The feeling of teamwork and respect has been incredible. I’ve never seen an entrepreneur quit on any of these adventures. Climbing a mountain of 17,000 feet is a lot like building a great business – take it one step at a time to get to the top.

The entrepreneurial spirit is about pushing personal boundaries, persisting, and accepting the rewards as well as consequences of your life. Entrepreneurs are always aiming for the promised land.

BUNKR’s spirit of pushing the limit is making privacy, security and saving people time affordable for every person in the world.

What are your priorities for BUNKR as you look to the future?

Building a globally trusted and meaningful brand, living up to our promises, and feeding the human spirit by empowering people to live their best lives.