Our musings on making video personal
This month, we’re celebrating the eight-year anniversary of SundaySky and SmartVideo. I shared some highlights from our company history at our annual company kickoff meeting this January, and one thing is clear: we’ve come a long way since our inception. Our personalized video technology has greatly evolved, our customer base has grown and we’ve continued to add new team members. Looking around the room, I saw faces from our offices in Israel and New York and our field team from across the U.S., Europe and Japan. Even though this group hails from around the world, as we all gathered together, everyone had a clear sense of the SundaySky culture. We expanded beyond our first office in Tel Aviv back in 2011 and maintaining our company culture has been the biggest priority as we build our team. Here are the steps we’ve taken and how they’ve paid off.
We expanded to the U.S. in order to be closer to our target market and existing customer base. Choosing New York as our new headquarters was a strategic choice: not only is it a major business and tech hub, but it’s also geographically closer to our location in Tel Aviv than a west-coast city. There are direct flights between New York and Tel Aviv and the seven-hour time difference is much more manageable than the 10-hour difference between the west coast and Tel Aviv. This makes it easier for employees to collaborate across continents and maintain that tight communication between offices.
While we knew each office would have its own sub-culture, we wanted to ensure and uphold a unified company culture across all locations. In establishing our U.S. presence, we needed to extend the culture from our original office, so we relocated some employees from the original office to New York. These team members served as an effective bridge between locations and supported the new talent we were recruiting. To encourage smooth communication across locations, the team relies heavily on Skype to hold video calls with colleagues in the field or a different office, or to stay connected with each other through instant message. The team is also flexible in scheduling meetings which might be held later in the evening in Tel Aviv, or early morning in New York.
As we continue to hire new positions (check out our job openings here), we’re still very conscious of who we recruit in order to preserve the culture we’ve built. We’re fortunate to be able to recruit from a large pool of candidates who are at the top of their games. For us, however, simply being at the top of your game isn’t enough. While we want you to be an expert in your domain, we also want to find the right person that embodies our culture and brings a combination of creativity and intelligence to the company. Still today, I am involved in the process of recruiting every hire, and I make the effort to meet each candidate personally (via Skype if necessary).
We’re building a global organization, but all of our employees have the same innate energy, ambition and enthusiasm for what we are doing with SmartVideo. Employees value the quality of the team we’ve built – their talent, intelligence and work ethic – and we want to uphold that even as we hit new milestones. Sound intriguing? Come join us!