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Fireside chat with Errol Anderson, Founder&Creator of Popongo

Who is Errol Anderson?

Errol Anderson is a Jamaican-born man who made his way to America to seek out new opportunities.
After finishing his education in West Yorkshire, England, he went back to Jamaica to start his professional career and later moved to Denver, Colorado. Errol serves as a partner and Co-CEO of Legacy Management Group, a company he joined in 2004. Errol independently owns several other business ventures outside of his day job. Popongo is his latest and most fun venture so far. His work ethic is largely influenced by his mother, who taught him from an early age to put forth his best effort and exercise good manners. She took every opportunity to mention her philosophy that “it is not a Visa that takes you through the world, it is good manners”.

What’s the story behind Popongo?

During the COVID-19 pandemic, my friends proposed getting together in a backyard to not only get out of the house but to also be around each other for some in-person interaction while observing the rules of social distancing. I looked online and purchased the most popular outdoor/lawn game that I thought would suffice for some social distancing activity. Only two people played for a total of about 15 minutes which did not sit well with me. After spending $165, I was determined to see what else I could try to get in exchange when I got home that evening. It did not take long for me to realize that there was not much else available, and those that were available were not too terribly exciting. It was at that moment that I realized that this industry was lacking and decided to challenge my creativity and try to figure out a new game that would appeal to the masses than what was currently available. I was on a mission to develop a game for everyone that would be more exciting, challenging, engaging and just more fun in general. This was the beginning of the conceptualization of Popongo. I was also on a mission to create a game that was just as fun to watch as it was to play. Wanting to celebrate the Jamaican culture, African roots and Caribbean pride, I included the colors of the Jamaican flag, red for Africa and blue for the beautiful Caribbean skies and ocean waters in Popongo’s design.

What was the most difficult part of your experience in the early beginnings?

The development of Popongo was slow and methodical and took months. Figuring out how the game would look and the logistics of how it will be played was a long and slow process but so much fun as it came together bit by bit. The biggest challenge for me occurred when we were figuring out how to market the game. When it came time to develop a social media and PR plan for Popongo, I didn’t realize my communications team would want me to be the face of the company. I do not have much of an online presence and was keen on staying out of the public eye. However, through coaching and strategic planning, I developed an online presence and put myself out there to raise awareness for Popongo and elevate my game’s story.

What are you most proud of regarding your business?

While creating Popongo, the most meaningful part for me was the decision to give a nod to Jamaica (my beautiful, proud people), our Caribbean neighbors, and our African roots by incorporating color representations into the design of the game. It is an amazing feeling knowing that fellow Jamaicans can share my pride in our culture and celebrate it by playing this new game I invented. As far as I know, a Jamaican has never created a game that has the potential to end up in most households across the world. I felt this was an opportunity to add to our legacy and hope that every Jamaican fully endorses and embraces it.

What is your vision for the future of Popongo?

My aspiration for Popongo is that it becomes the most popular game across all of America, the Caribbean communities and the rest of the world. Through its popularity, I hope to help create positive and long-lasting experiences of interaction between people in new and existing relationships thus memorable moments that they will hold in a special place. This would be my absolute honor.

What’s your advice for the businesses that are trying to adapt to this economic climate?

Exercise creativity and think outside of the box. Don’t settle for the way things are or how they have been done in the past. Push yourself and your company to continuously adapt, pursue new challenges and stay at the forefront of cutting-edge ideas and solutions.

Please name a few technologies which have the greatest impact on your business.

I am currently working with a developer to launch a Popongo app that will give game enthusiasts all overt he world the opportunity to play Popongo. This is made possible by augmented reality technology. The virtual experience will create a real-life simulation whether players are playing against the computer or a competitor of their choice. 

What books do you have on your nightstand?

For me, the most influential book I have read is “Cry Like a Man” by Jason Wilson. This book shaped my outlook on life and relationships helping me understand that it is okay to show vulnerability as a man.
Not only as a man, but as a black man, we need to learn to be more trusting be more open to expressing our emotions and be vulnerable to those we love or are growing to love. Allowing yourself to cry is a show of courage and strength, not a sign of weakness. This book taught me it is okay to let your guard down. We do not need to constantly maintain our “warrior’s stance.”  These lessons from this book are lessons I carry with me and apply to my life every day. These lessons allow me to exercise emotional freedom as I work toward being a better person.

Because of the current economic climate our publication has started a series of discussions with professional individuals meant to engage our readers with relevant companies and their representatives in order to discuss their involvement, what challenges they have had in the past and what they are looking forward to in the future. This sequence aims to present a series of experiences, recent developments, changes and downsides in terms of their business areas, as well as their goals, values, career history, the high-impact success outcomes and achievements.

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