Arik Gaisler, Ribbon’s new VP of Engineering, knows what makes a successful tech team
Early in his career, Arik’s love of music led him to sound engineering. As he explored this new creative outlet, he realized the power that tech can have to influence people’s passions and change industries. After completing his degree in software engineering at Tel Aviv University and diving into the video space, Arik came across an early-stage media tech startup called Tvinci and realized that his talents could help shape the trajectory of the company early on.
While in chief architect and product roles at Tvinci, Arik grew his team to 20 people and moved to New York to launch the US arm of the company as part of an acquisition. He then built and scaled the company’s infrastructure, leading a team across the US, Ukraine, and Israel.
After a period of time in the ad tech arm of Comcast where he grew the infrastructure product team across multiple countries, Arik founded his own startup, 2ndKitchen. 2ndKitchen completed the Techstars accelerator in 2018, and after building the team and company over two funding rounds, they were acquired by REEF Technologies in 2021.
We sat down with Arik to find out what made him decide to join us here at Ribbon.
What were your first impressions of Ribbon?
The first thing I noticed coming into this role was how strong of a foundational layer we have from a people perspective. We are creating a world where navigating healthcare is simple – and everyone is fully bought into this vision and laying down the foundations to tackle this. This vision is a complex one to realize, and having the right people in place to execute it is fundamental to our success.
From a technical perspective, it was refreshing to see how much of a technically driven organization Ribbon truly is. At the end of the day, our product is a highly technical one, and it is inspiring to be able to have intelligent conversations with anyone at the company – from product, tech, sales, go-to-market, or marketing – around our technology and how building innovative, scalable and efficient solutions is at our core.
How would you describe our engineering culture?
One thing that is immediately apparent is that Ribbon’s values are a day-to-day part of our work.
Because we're such a mission-led, purpose-driven company, our engineering organizational structure is very collaborative. People lean into where they need to lean in. We are very much of the mindset, "If something needs to get done, we'll figure out how to get it done," which is an amazing starting point to be at.
This has proven to be a very strong foundational layer. The people aspect of our tech organization is pretty amazing. People are fully on board with our mission and our vision statement, what we're doing, and why we're doing it. People believe in the products that we have today, and are committed to improving them and maturing them. Everybody is acutely aware that these are the things we need to do in order to fuel our next stage of growth.
What do you see as the next stage of growth for Ribbon?
What excites me is that we're exactly at an inflection point, where building on the extraordinary foundation that we have will allow us to operate as a fine-tuned machine that will get us to our next stage of growth. A lot of Ribbon's growth up until now has been very organic: things clicked, both in terms of the offering that we have to the market and the amount of customers that wanted it.
Our next stage of growth is all about scale. Powering every care decision to be accessible, affordable and high quality means building out a platform that knows how to ingest and process any data source, making sure our data models provide high quality confidence on our data, and building out an API that allows our customers to build and innovate. This growth will also require us to prioritize our people, both in terms of building the team and retaining and growing the amazing talent that we have today. Our people are the ones driving our growth, and having the opportunity to continue investing in a world-class tech team very much excites me.
What are you most excited about at Ribbon?
If I had to summarize, the one thing that excites me is building, and building means many things. Building can mean building tech: really building out our platform. Building also means, for me at least, building up an organization and building up the processes in the organization, and really creating an environment for high-velocity, highly productive, and also just mentally healthy, happy people that enjoy the work they're doing.
One of our core values here at Ribbon is Build with Empathy. That’s why we spend so much of our time on building an innovative and efficient organization that will ultimately impact the people we are all here to serve: our customers and the patients that benefit from the work we do.
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