Q&A: Why Seebo is the hottest place to work
Seebo was launched in 2012 as the brainchild of brothers Lior and Liran Akavia. Step by step, the company positioned itself at the top of the hottest market today – the Internet of Things (IoT). Ronit Amiaz from Carmel Ventures sat down with CEO Lior Akavia to learn about office perks, career advancement, and why Seebo is the best place to work in the Startup Nation.
Seebo is part one of the fastest-growing high-tech industries: The Internet of Things.
What is unique about Seebo as a company?
A company that attracts the best talent is one where people communicate freely and where everyone knows their opinions are respected. Every person at Seebo is treated as a team member; I don’t refer to anyone as an employee. Last week, for example, we followed an open strategy session with brainstorming in groups. I sat with Dudi, a hardware engineer, and Ben, a product manager. People worked together regardless of position or department to reach ideas which could potentially change the direction of the product, or R&D, or marketing.
A winning company isn’t built on one founder with an idea, who gets a team to execute it. The reverse: great ideas are both built and executed by strong teams. Everyone at Seebo contributes to the company’s vision.
“The people are what make Seebo unique. We give everyone a platform to do what they do best – but also provide room for personal development and growth.”
By empowering everyone to contribute to the company according to their passions, Seebo performs better. It may appear chaotic at times: One person is assembling a prototype, another is talking with a client, the design team sits huddled around a screen, and Mika the dog wanders around under everyone’s feet. But in the end, amazing projects are completed and delivered successfully.
The Seebo’s Israeli office has the exciting atmosphere of a rising startup: a relaxed, open-space design, in-house chef, fruit smoothies in the kitchen and a dog-friendly policy.
What’s the biggest perk of working at Seebo?
A career! Working here teaches you about the smart product industry. Every single team member is passionate about forwarding the company’s goal: to pioneer a product that will truly change the world.
“IoT is technology on steroids: If it took the internet thirty years to evolve, and ten years for mobile, then in a few short years the Internet of Things will revolutionize the way people interact with their environment. Working at Seebo jumpstarts your career in IoT.”
Also, people at Seebo learn from one another. Everyone is carefully selected as a guru in their field. As a developer, you’ll be learning from SaaS experts; if you’re in marketing, customer success or any other field, you’ll learn from the best.
You talk about respecting opinions and enabling discussion. Can you elaborate?
A healthy organization encourages a plurality of opinions and powerful debate. We have a weekly status update where strategy challenges, data, product and marketing updates are figuratively laid on the table and anyone can respond or comment. Everyone is expected to be a thought leader and contribute their knowledge.
Seebo is unusual for a high-tech company in that women comprise half of management. Talk about that.
It’s more than that: women make up half of the company, including half of management and half of the development team. Seebo’s Israeli office is a microcosm of Israeli and international society: people of different religious, ethnic, and professional backgrounds work together. Also, Seebo is very much a company where people work hard, but use the flexible hours to maintain balance in their life. That’s one of the reasons people find the company so attractive.
Everyone at Seebo works hard, but they clearly have fun as well.
We like to have fun! Every time a contract is signed, the sales department sprints through the office ringing a bell and going crazy. There is cake and whiskey at the weekly happy hour and heated debates about the latest episodes of Game of Thrones.
Also, by its very nature, working in IoT means doing fun stuff. Walk into the design room and you’ll see prototypes everywhere: toy trucks hanging from cranes and dolls on half the desks. Seeing the hardware integration team transform a regular hammer by embedded sensors that sends data to a mobile app; assembling a smart mattress that sends a baby’s pulse rate straight to his parent’s phone – that’s exciting.
If you’re going to spend nine or more hours a day with a group of people, you have to enjoy their company. We have fun at work primarily because we’ve assembled a great group of people: talented, intelligent, friendly people who respect one another and work seamlessly together.
What is your vision for the company?
We have developed the world’s most powerful platform for the development, manufacturing and in-market analysis of smart products and are working tirelessly to become the IoT answer to every company, in every vertical.
We are building the best team out of incredibly smart, responsible and hardworking people who enjoy both independence and teamwork, who are passionate about innovation and want to take part in changing the world. These people are the chains that make up Seebo’s DNA. We hope our success will act as a ‘smart’ model for other companies.