Author: RachelB

Culture Spotlight: Maya of Honeybook

When you walk into the HoneyBook offices you’re immediately greeted by a welcoming space flanked with bright walls, market lights on the ceiling, and beautiful furniture created with upcycled wood.  It’s like you’ve just entered a living room filled with a family of tee-shirt clad developers huddling around computers and cups of coffee.  Music plays through the open office space while HoneyBookers mill about, working on new developments for their core product- a workflow system geared toward creative professionals.   HoneyBook has created a stir in the tech world with VC investments totaling $46 M since its founding in 2013.  This international team certainly has a unique way of creating value for their community from San Francisco to Tel Aviv.  Pitaya had a great time chatting with Maya Wolkoon, HoneyBook’s Tel Aviv GM, on all things culture and employee development. Maya, What gives you inspiration for your workday? We are builders. Everyone here is building our product, while also building the company. It takes people with an entrepreneurial spirit, and those people are so fun …

Culture Spotlight: Sagi from Vonage

Pitaya sat down for lunch with Sagi Dudai, Senior VP of Engineering at Vonage, and GM of Vonage‘s Israeli R&D center in Israel, and it’s clear this company does something special in the way of investing in people.  Vonage has over 1,800 employees across the globe, and it’s this sheer magnitude and success that leads us to be curious about maintaining an agile feel and a sense of family within a company so large.  Sagi shared his experience and best practices for cultivating a strong internal team across geographies. Name: Sagi Dudai Current Position: Senior VP of Engineering & GM, Vonage How did you get to where you are today?  I started off in the army. I was recruited to the MAMRAM unity and served as a developer and a team leader in the intelligence corps. After the army (and a trip to Australia) I earned a Computer Science degree at Tel Aviv University. While I was a student I was a psychometric instructor but felt that it’s wasn’t my ultimate career. So, once I graduated …

Culture Spotlight: Talia from WalkMe

Pitaya sat down with Talia Komorov from WalkMe, a growth-stage startup company that has catapulted into the global tech stratosphere.  WalkMe, a Digital Adoption Platform that simplifies user experience and drives user action using insights, engagement and guidance capabilities, has raised $92.5M since 2011, and they have a unique mix of big-company comfort, with an agile startup feel.  This company represents the type of passionate people investment we love, and we’re sharing insights from Talia- passionate people person, at the company’s Tel Aviv office. Name: Talia Komorov Current Position & Company: Employer Branding Manager Where do you live & work? The best city on earth- Tel Aviv What’s the best thing about working at WalkMe?  For starters, the fact that we’re not corporate 🙂 The most important thing to mention here is the talent we hire. We actually surveyed our employees on overall engagement and happiness and the feedback from nearly everyone was that the best thing about working at WalkMe is the people they work with and the startup culture we have been successful at maintaining. Additionally, we pride ourselves …

In Building a Company or a Marriage — Perks Just Don’t Cut It

Just as life-partners need to weather the storms that often arise in marriages in order to achieve effective connection and great quality of life, companies need to do the same. Not only do we need to survive the shit storms, but also come out thriving on the other end. In March 2016, my company, Pitaya conducted a market satisfaction survey for tech employees in Tel Aviv. Of hundreds of respondents, 70% had worked in their companies for less than 2 years. Despite being new employees, subjects reported a surprisingly high level of company loyalty, and comfort being honest with their direct managers and/or direct reports. When you pop the hood and peek into the day-to-day of a terrible company to work for, or an absolutely fantastic company to work for, it all boils down to a subjective reflection of the experience. It’s no accident when people feel connected to the mission of their company, proud of their employer, and driven to help their company succeed their lofty goals. Out of the data we collected, two …

How they Win. Lessons from the Tech Talent War Battlefield.

Article originally posted in Medium. Over the past few months, my partner and I entered over 70 stunning offices of successful, growing, hi-tech companies to interview the industry’s brightest minds one on one. Our purpose was to uncover the truth behind what makes a company truly sticky from an internal employee perspective, rather than who’s flaunting the cushiest bean bags and fancy espresso bar (though we’re massively impressed by the new wave of office design!) Our method centered around three lines of questioning for the following personas: HR, middle managers, & individual contributors. We focused our research on intrinsic employee motivation within each company, and aimed to understand the factors that lead those employees to stay, or move companies. Like foam rising to the top, we heard the same sentiments echoing across an overwhelming majority of our research. It’s all about meaning, and it’s all about the manager. Those of us in the tech world understand that a company’s most precious intellectual property isn’t written in code. The key element of a company’s success (startup …

work inspiration

THIS IS YOUR LIFE. A Manifesto by Holstee.

In a recent interview, we came across a meaningful manifesto from one of our Pitaya members.  She has a poster hanging on her bulletin board at work, filled with advice and wisdom for a life well lived.  Naturally, we were curious to find out the source of such words, and we came across Holstee – an art company with a mission to help us all live a more meaningful life. We encourage you to check out Holstee’s video manifesto above, and give your Monday the inspiration it deserves.

Your Personal Brand- more than just a LinkedIn profile

Original Article posted in LinkedIn* Personal brand surrounds us all like an aura, distinct to each and every one of us. Before we enter an interview, a meeting, or a boardroom with strangers, chances are that the other party will already have a hunch as to our position and what we’re all about.  The other person may have searched for you online, but they’ve also probably heard about projects you led or teams you contributed to- culminating in a personal brand, which reaches beyond the internet and into the tangible world. When someone speaks about us at time when we’re not in the room, our reputation lingers. Our actions and our words supersede us, or trail behind. We have a brand association like anything else- reliable like a Volvo, innovative like Apple, or determined like a Nike runner. The aura extends in all directions- often most palpable when we’ve left the room.  For example, when you loose your cool and brazenly shoot down a stupid ideas from your colleague, or perhaps you meekly in the …

The Magic Behind the Virgin Way

I recently returned from a holiday with my husband in which I practically ate books alongside my daily dose of pad Thai.  My thirst for stories and lessons of remarkable CEO’s and marketing leaders was unquenchable. One of the first books I finished was Richard Branson’s The Virgin Way, in which he extols the virtues of successful companies, taking care of his people, launching new ventures, and staying true to his crazy self despite the critics. I took many lessons from Branson’s vast experience building and shifting the Virgin enterprise, but one of the stand-out messages was his commitment to a double bottom line. He introduces the “B team” , a group of CEO’s committed to people, profit, and planet without pushing one at the expense of the other pillars. The purely profitable plan A, as Branson notes, doesn’t cut it anymore. As leaders of business and burgeoning managers, this commitment to a new goal should be the new standard. At Pitaya, we support our community in building your career and investing in yourself as a …

1 Knockout Way to be More Successful

The metrics for professional success constantly serve as hurdles to conquer along our long paths along the road to accomplishment. Power, money, influence, and praise vie for the top parameters of what many people in driven careers want to achieve- but the kink in these pillars of success is that the drive for such end-goals can drain us of our energy and balance as we keep our eyes firmly set on the prize. Without weaving self care and adequate rest into our daily to-do lists, maintaining that fiery determination for victory won’t be possible. From corporate business leaders, to human rights advocates, to imaginative artists- it takes hard work and dedication with a focus on your goals in order to succeed. Along that journey, it’s critical to make a few hard stops for self care and rest… or we may never truly make it to the vision we dream of. Arianna Huffington learned her lesson the hard way- by waking up with a broken face in a pool of her own blood, after collapsing to …