WW presents “Distant Voices,” a daily video interview for the era of social distancing. Our reporters are asking Portlanders what they’re doing during quarantine.
What does a classroom software company do in a world without classrooms?
That's the question facing David and Christine Vernier, whose Beaverton-built sensors and computers assist in science experiments in high schools and colleges around the world.
They've built a company—Vernier Software & Technology—around detailed calculating. Now they're trying, like thousands of small business owners, to chart a path forward. In sleepless nights, they weigh whether their 70 percent drop in business is a short-term crash or a long-term shift in how students learn. And they wonder if they're making the right adjustments.
"I think back and say, 'Why did we not do something?'—for one thing, sell all our stock," David Vernier jokes.
In this frank conversation with WW editor and publisher Mark Zusman, the Verniers discuss what to do after the Payroll Protection Program money runs out, and what the future of philanthropy looks like when there's less cash to spare.
"I really worry about nonprofits," says Christine Vernier. "I think we're going to lose a lot of them, to tell you the truth."